Originally sourced from USA Today
"Caught up in consumerism? Looking to unburden yourself?
Over 80% of Americans say they experience anxiety over home upkeep. But your home should be a place to rest and relax, so you should take the time to get it under control.
If you’re in the 80%, you’ll need our 10 tips to get the clutter out of your home.
Build Better Storage To Get Rid Of Clutter
If you’re a little too attached to your belongings, better storage solutions could be all you need.
Your home has two physical sizes: it’s actual dimensions, and what you do with the space. It’ll amaze you to see how you can transform things with effective storage.
Change up your bathroom to cut down on products sitting on the basin. Install shoe racks to halt the “Recent Rapture” vibe in the hall. A few under-the-bed storage boxes could open up more space in your bedroom.
Get creative with it. Not only will you think up new approaches to clutter, but you’ll probably throw away plenty of it on the journey to better storage.
Unclutter Your Mind
Think your home is cluttered? Maybe your brain looks the same way.
A busy home is often a reflection of your mental state. Take the time to step back and think about why it might look the way it does.
Perhaps you’re disorganized, or too stressed out to deal with it. Perhaps you have trouble saying “no”. Find out what’s going on with you first.
If even your guests make pointed remarks about your clutter, it could be signs of a more serious problem, like hoarding tendencies.
Taking a moment to reflect will often show you where the root of the problem lies.
Yup, it’s time-honored and effective.
A year might be a largely human construct, but it’s like the Matrix: your mind makes it real. We approach a new year looking for a clean slate and self-improvement.
That’s why it’s time to go crazy on the clutter. Break out the cleaning equipment, and while you’re dealing with that protoplanetary formation behind the kitchen counter, be sure to throw a few things away.
On your little ‘archeology in the home’ expedition, you’ll probably come across stuff that went missing ages ago. Throw it away with wild abandon!
Maybe that’s overstating it, but if you didn’t miss it while it was gone, why are you keeping it?
Pass It On
We get it, there’s always going to be an element of guilt when it comes to getting rid of gifts. After all, somebody bought it for you.
That creates a moral quandary. If you keep it, it’s clutter forever. If you sell it, you’re making money from someone’s gift to you. If you chuck it, it feels heartless.
The solution? Pass it on. Transforming old gifts into something you can gift to other people simply continues the spirit of giving.
That doesn’t even mean repackaging as Christmas gifts. You can always donate gifts you no longer want to charity to help someone less fortunate than you.
It’s more practical than ever to digitize your growing collection of stuff.
Some things are obvious. Go for ebooks over traditional hardbacks. Use digital streaming over buying Blu-Rays, or online clients for video games. Instead of boxes of photos, keep a digital album.
Less obvious is that you can digitize physical objects. Some items will always have sentimental value, but it’s more about your memory than the object.
Taking a photo of such an item may be an effective way to preserve it your memory without it taking up space.
Slice It Up
If you’re going on a junk bust, cut your house into zones.
Trying to do too much at once will tire you out, and you’ll end up with a scattershot result. But get too lazy, and you’ll never get it done.
Tackle these zones in short, high-energy bursts. Be realistic about your areas. A bad zone is “the entire bedroom”. A good zone is “the closet and the dresser”. Cut the task down into smaller chunks, then deal with it.
You start out meaning well. You know you’ll need some of those utility bills someday for iron-clad proof of your identity.
But that small stock of important papers soon becomes a dumping ground. Before you know it, even unopened envelopes from your bank are in there because you might open them someday.
No. Sort through the papers you have, keep the bare minimum you’ll need for reference and shred the rest.
This comes with the added benefit that when you’re looking for important paperwork, you’ll actually be able to find it. That’s a great alternative to playing the world’s sloppiest game of Solitaire whenever you need a document.
Create Landing Zones
We’ve all done it. Get in the door, empty pockets, watch as a small pile of trash accumulates on the nearest surface.
Creating “LZ”s (and you need to be military about this) can prevent that happening. This is a tough one because it’s about habits.
Always put your keys in the same place, and you’ll do it every time without thinking. Put a small wastebasket near the door for receipts and leaflets from canvassers you never read.
Eventually, you’ll start to thank yourself when your keys and other effects are always in the same place and you’re not burdened by a rising mountain of scrap paper.
Literally, if you’re feeling bold, but figuratively for the purposes of this list.
Get away from the house. Take a pen and paper. Write down all the things you would need to buy to live in your house.
Go home. Compare. See how many of those things aren’t on this list? It’s in our nature to only realize how little we would miss something when it goes away. This gets you over that mental hurdle.
Now you know what you need, you can start throwing away the things you don’t.
Keep a Clear Conscience
You may feel bad about throwing away the things you’ve had for a long time. But life has to move on.
Most of the time, the only person who cares about your possessions is you. Friends who bought you gifts decades ago won’t even remember. And it’s false economy to keep hold of something just because you spent money on it once.
We live in a material society, so breaking this mindset can be tough. But they’re only objects, in the end.
By following these simple tips, you can get your house clutter under control. It may surprise you to discover how much that can change your overall mindset. Staying on top of clutter is an ongoing task, but with enough mindfulness, you’ll succeed."