Clutter makes me crazy. And yet with three kids and a hubby who is prone to piles I live with clutter regularly. But I notice when it is at its worst I am at my craziest. I am snappy and short tempered. And physical clutter leads to mental clutter. I can’t find things and I am a forgetful mess.
So I am making concerted efforts to reduce clutter (if you come to my house you might not notice this effort, but it is there). Here are some things I have been attempting to reduce the clutter around these parts.
- Seriously Reduced Garage Sale-ing: I am a garage sale addict. I love them and they love me back. But I haven’t been going this season. Because inevitably I will find something I can’t live without and bring it home and it will just be more stuff.
- Seriously Reduced Shopping in General: Oddly enough when I go shopping I tend to buy stuff. Whether I need it or not there is always some sale I just can’t pass up. So I try and avoid the mall and shop the grocery store off lists. No “window shopping” for me.
- One in One Out: When I do go shopping or out to hit the garage sales I try and get rid of things in exchange.
- Keep a Running Donate pile: When I come across something that doesn’t fit anymore or something that we need to get rid of it goes in a bag. When the bag is full it goes to Goodwill. I used to make piles to sell or consign or whatever. But they just piled up. So now they go as soon as possible.
- Manage Birthday Lists: My kids accumulate a ridiculous amount of toys at holidays and birthdays. And to be frank a lot of it just is never played with past the day they get it. So I have started asking for “disposable” gifts. Crafts and experiences top that list.
- Enlist the kids: I make piles of their various things that have made their way into places they shouldn’t be and put them to work. They are responsible for putting things back where they go or it gets added to the donate pile. That usually motivates them.
- Process Mail Over the Recycle Bin: Let’s face it, half of what is in the mailbox is junk. And if that junk makes it in the door who knows where it will land. So when I walk in from the mailbox I head straight to the recycle bin. I throw out what needs to be thrown out and try to process the rest immediately.
- Clean Up Your Inbox: I know it isn’t clutter in my house, but it is clutter in my life. I spend a lot of time looking through email and I don’t want to spend more time than necessary. So unsubscribe from things that you don’t need coming to your email and spend less time dealing with it. Maybe those precious minutes you save can be spent de-cluttering somewhere else.
- Keep the First Places You See Clean: If my entry way to my house and the entry way to my bedroom are messy that drives me nuts. Even if the rest of my house is falling apart I want the first thing I see when I walk in my house and my room to be clutter free. So I try and concentrate on those areas first.
- Hiding: When all else fails our poor guest room takes a hit. Since we don’t get many guests it kind of becomes the place clutter goes to die. Or party cause it seems like stuff is multiplying in there. Someday I will tackle that room. Someday.
What are your best tips for reducing clutter?
OutGrowingIn is a great place to exchange their children’s outgrown clothes and toys and they are taking the month of July to celebrate "Summer Fun Money – Clear the Clutter". They will be offering free teleclasses with Lorie Marrero and Dr. Alisa Baer, daily tips from parenting bloggers about reducing clutter in their lives and by honoring military families by asking each participant to create a box on OutGrowingIn for a soldier’s family. They will also be giving away free listings on their marketplace for families who clear their clutter so they can earn some summer fun money.
I am excited to tell you about OutGrowingIn but am not being compensated for my time. All opinions are mine all mine. This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda.