Declutter Tips

Is the clutter taking over?

Top 10 Declutter Tips:

1.  Remember the acronym L.U.M.P. when you declutter your house.

If you don’t want your house to look like lumps and loads of clutter, then answer yes or no to the following 3 declutter questions:

L stands for the question “Do I LOVE it?”

U stands for the question “Do I USE it?”

M stands for “Will I MISS it?”  If there are two No’s then out it goes!

P stands for “PASS it on.”

Answer these questions in seconds so you gain momentum as you see results in just 15 minutes of speed de-cluttering. It can be difficult to answer all 3 questions quickly. If you struggle to make quick decisions, then get a buddy.  Find a buddy who is somebody that loves you, but not your stuff and watch amazing things happen as you declutter together.

kitchen-counter

Declutter the kitchen counters so the space looks spacious and clean.       House Cleaning Tip: The less you have, the less you have to clean.

2.  Each object you own, owns a piece of you.

When you acquire something you are committing to finding a home for it, repairing it, moving it, remembering it, finding it, losing it, labeling it, and disposing of it.  Realize that just because something could come into your home – doesn’t mean that it has to.  If it’s not there then you won’t need to move the clutter.  Imagine – what you could do with your time if you didn’t have the clutter in the first place.  By eliminating clutter – you are giving yourself time to do the things that are more important to you.

kitchen counters

Here’s another view of those clean, clutter-free kitchen counters. Doesn’t that look nice?

3.  When something comes in, something goes out.

The world doesn’t have a manufacturing problem, it has a distribution problem.  The truth about stuff is:

There is enough and to spare,
so why don’t we share?

There is enough food, clothing, and shelter available however what we lack is how to share it properly.  It’s especially easy for us to acquire too much in our own homes and lives.  Then when our homes are full we may be tempted to rent a storage unit.  Let the Charities and Thrift Stores store your stuff for you.  You are donating to a great cause, giving people valuable employment, providing a means to recycle things of value, and allowing others to clothe their homes and families, and when you want it again, go back and buy it for pennies instead of a monthly storage fee!

cookbook-storage-in-breakfast-nook

Here’s a darling breakfast nook with cookbook storage. We are utilizing unused space under the bench and it still looks clutter-free.

4.  Create limits for your shopping patterns and habits.

Are you bringing in more than you’re taking out? Although shopping at times is necessary, sometimes it’s just for fun.  Is there something else that is just as fun without all the “baggage?”  Shopping just for fun brings home a lot of work too because you now you have more to manage.  I love shopping and giving gifts, but I try to let my four favorite letter “F’s” take the place of shopping and gifting:

  • FOOD-  Food is great to enjoy together or as a gift.  You have to eat anyway and it’s fun to enjoy food and be together.
  • FRIENDS –  Spending time with friends and family is great because relationships are most important.  You’re valuing looking at your loved ones over knickknacks.
  • FUN–  Engage in a wholesome recreational activity or laugh which is another great thing that you don’t have to store, clean, repair, or replace.
  • FLOWERS–  Getting flowers or enjoying nature is great because you get to enjoy the beauty and keep the memories in your mind – not your garage, basement, or attic.

5.  Remember the 80/20 Rule.

  • 20% of what we own, is what we really use 80% of the time.  How much time are we spending shuffling the 80% that we hardly ever use?
  • Our spaces should only be 80% full or less.  It’s good to leave open 20% of our space for future growth.
  • Containers should have NO LIDS and only fill the space vertically 80% or less.  Then your hand can reach over the bin and drop the item in – in just one simple step.  Lids take 3-5 steps because you have to pull out the box, open the lid, put the item in, shut the lid, and put the box back.

6.  Create a vacuum – and be open for what you want to come to you.

Here are the 4 steps create a vacuum:

1-  Give away what you don’t want.

2-  Decide exactly what you want in detail.

3-  Prepare to receive what you want with the least amount of expense and time spent possible.

4-  Be open to receiving it.

There is more than enough in the world for everyone to have what they need and want.  Be generous with what you give away, and good will come back to you.

Here’s a quick story to give an example of this principle in action:

I received an old cream-colored, second fridge however I didn’t need it.  So I gave it away.  Five years later I wanted a second fridge.  I didn’t want just any fridge.  I wanted a white, side-by-side fridge to match my other fridge.  So I purchased a fridge.  I told my Mom’s friend and she said – “Oh that’s too bad, because my son has a fridge he’s trying to get rid of that you could have.”  I canceled the fridge I’d purchased and got a free, white fridge just like I wanted.  I gave away what I didn’t need and was blessed to get back something better when I needed it.  Try this principle out because it really works!

Goal affirmation statement

I gave a fridge away, and got another fridge for free when I needed it.

7.  If you don’t use the item at least once a month, it doesn’t deserve to be in your “prime real estate.”

Put that item in long-term storage and don’t let it clutter up your life.  If you haven’t used it in a year, seriously consider letting it go.

Quick clothing tip:  To know which clothes to keep, hang up all your clothes with hangers facing backwards.  When you wear the outfit you’ll take the outfit out and fix the hanger.  Now after a month you’ll know what you wear – and you can get rid of the rest – because you don’t wear it.  Remember the pioneers made it with 2 outfits and a few aprons – how many clothes do we really need?

8.  Declutter your hot spots.

Go through your house and write down your top 10 hot spots that are driving you crazy.  These are the spots that gather clutter, stash and dash piles, and are the piles that should be files.  If you have an hour work on one hotspot each day and try to get all 10 hotspots done in one month or less.

15 Minute Declutter Project Ideas:

Kitchen windowsills are notorious for gathering clutter.

kitchen windowsill and sink

Let’s clear off the kitchen windowsill!

Step 1:  Clear & Clean

Clear off the clutter by taking everything off the windowsill.  Even if you know it’s going back, just clear it off and clean the area.

Step 2:  Speed Sort

Ask yourself the L.U.M.P. Declutter questions.  Can you remember the questions?  Do I Love it, Use it, or Miss it?  Two no’s?  Out it goes!  Pass it on.  Let the clutter go!

Step 3:  Replace Items

Put back a few items that you really love, use, or will miss.  Only put it back if it’s blessing your life.

Step 4:  Put Everything Away

Put away the remaining clutter.  Be a finisher!  It’s human nature to not finish a job completely, plus we get lots of interruptions, but plug on a quickly put away all those odds and ends and you’re done!

9.  Teach your family how to do a 10 minute speed clean up.

We like to clean up the house before my husband comes home from work so he has a peaceful place to come home to.  If everyone helps and you have 6 children, then that’s one hour of work done in 10 minutes!  You can declutter together!

10.  Create “Put Away Pans” to Declutter.

When you’re doing a speed clean up, often there isn’t time to put everything away correctly.  One of the keys to success is to not have you or anyone leave the room your cleaning because the chance of getting sidetracked is extremely high.  Acquire a dishpan or a little basket for the doodads that need to be taken to another room.  When we speed clean the living room we throw the blankets in the blanket chest, the shoes in the wicker shoe basket, the trash in the garbage, and everything else is put in the “put away pan”.  Once the room looks clean then we send a runner to put away the “put away pan” or we shelve it in the mudroom to put it away at a later time.  It works great!

Declutter your beehive.  You can feel light and fit and free!

Krystal Meldrum

 

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