Clutter-free Living?

by J on March 5, 2010

Grandma was right when she said a place for everything and everything in its place. The problem with trying to follow Grandma’s advice is that too many of us live in homes that are packed with stuff—toys, clothes, shoes, books, dishes, magazines, and electronic devices, just to name a few. It’s hard to put something in its place when there is already something else in its place.

Organizational gurus have lots of advice for us clutter bugs—most of it good. Learning how to weed through and throw out items that are no longer necessary for daily living is good advice for many reasons. Sometimes it just seems hard to relax in an atmosphere full of clutter. Even worse is trying to clean around piles of clutter. And all that clutter isn’t healthy; it attracts dust, critters, mold and even rodents.

The problem with clutter is that it just sort of creeps on you. As your family grows, each member accumulates more stuff, and it just piles up year after year. What to do?

If you’re trying to convert your family to a clutter-free lifestyle, the best place to start is with yourself. It’s not advisable to not have a mini-meltdown and go through the house yelling about the mess. Just start. Start by picking one of your own bad clutter spots and cleaning it up. Then do another. And another. Sooner or later someone will notice how nice it looks, and that’s when you introduce the new order of things at home.

Help your kids or your husband clean up one of their messy spots and try to make a game out of it. Set the timer and see who can clean up the most in 15 minutes. Hopefully by the time everyone tires of your “game,” you’ll have made some progress on the mess.

Sometimes because of the stage of life you are in, it may be more difficult to live a clutter-free lifestyle. If you have a college student in your home or young adults who are boomeranging in and out of your house, you probably have piles of furniture, books, clothes and all things miscellaneous that are theirs. If you find yourself tripping over things you’re just not sure what to do with, you may want to consider a nifty invention called portable storage.

Portable storage or mobile storage containers are ground-level containers that companies drop off at your house. You take your time and fill them with all the things you don’t want in your house anymore. When you are done, you can either store the container on your property or at the company’s facility. It’s a convenient way to rid your home of clutter when you’re not yet sure if you can throw it out.

Now that you’ve got a little breathing room in your home, just be sure you don’t fall into temptation—and fill it with more stuff!

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