After spring decluttering is done, what’s to keep you from being in the same position next year? A clutter free future is the topic of this post, part 3 of 3 about spring decluttering.
Professional organizers say designate places to put things and then put them there, don’t let stuff pile up, create a pending folder, etc. If we were good at that we would not have needed to declutter—right? I possess good organizational skills but am just as prone to piling and stacking stuff as the next person.
Chances are a personality transformation, turning you into a neat and organized person, did not occur during decluttering. So now what?
You can stay clutter free by making a small daily time commitment and acquiring a few easy habits. Try one or more of the ideas below. It takes about 3 weeks to adopt or break a habit. Give it a month, and then evaluate what’s working, what’s not, and tweak as needed.
Daily Pick Up
The best way to stay organized is to put things away after using them, duh. Who does that? The next best thing is to implement a daily pick up routine. Allot 5 or 10 minutes a day to gather and put things away. This strategy works because it is a small time commitment and if you do it every day there won’t be much to pick up and put away.
Commercial Break Pick Up
TV watchers, computer gamers, and web surfers can use the daily pick up strategy to get stuff picked up, with almost no effort. For TV watchers, like me, put stuff away at commercial breaks. It’s amazing what can be accomplished during an hour-long show. Computer gamers and web surfers, when you pause to get a drink of water or something, take a few minutes on the way back to your computer to pick up and put stuff away.
When our children were young, we did a daily toy pick up. We walked around the house with the kids and helped them collect their toys and games and then put them away where they belonged. This daily routine helps kids learn to be responsible for their own stuff and eliminates or at least minimizes household clutter.
Less is More
Be mindful of what you purchase. Pause and think before you buy. Do you or your family members actually need that t-shirt, serving bowl, toy, or what-not?
Giving and Receiving Gifts
Give some thought to your gift giving and receiving philosophy. Is it necessary to give gifts to every family member for every occasion? How about giving a gift to someone just because they gave you a gift last time?
Give the planet and yourself a break by buying and giving less stuff.
Do it Now
Keep a box or two in a closet and put things in them throughout the year. Outgrown clothes, toys the kids no longer play with, gifts you do not like, etc. When the box is full get rid of it by donating, selling, or giving the stuff away—now.
Remaining clutter free in the future is possible.