Impossibly Easy Clutter-Busting Tips
Impossibly Easy Clutter-Busting Tips will help you to declutter, because it doesn’t matter how you fold your things if you still have too much stuff! No matter which Professional Organizer you work with, which organizing products you purchase, or which organizing book that you read, you have to purge when you have too much stuff. Remember that too much doesn’t just mean quantity. “Too much” means that your things are no longer useful and are interfering with one of the following: your safety, health, your relationships, financial stability, and your self esteem.
As your San Diego Personal and Professional Organizer, here are my 30 Impossibly Easy Clutter-Busting Tips:
- Stop shopping for items you already have or don’t need. Organizing Tip: stick to a shopping list.
- Avoid purchasing items just because they are “a good buy”. Organizing Tip: donate the money that you would have spent to a favorite charity, or give it to a homeless person.
- Stop shopping in bulk. Organizing Tip: set a lower limit on how many you will have in stock before you buy more.
- Return unused, unworn and unopened items. Organizing Tip: most stores will give you store credit if you don’t have the receipt but the tags/prices are still on the item.
- Donate the items you no longer need, use, or love including gifts that you didn’t like. Organizing Tip: Make it personal. Find the charity that speaks to your heart.
- Pretend that you are moving. Organizing Tip: If you wouldn’t pack it and pay to move it, let it go.
- Put away your collections for at least 2 months. Organizing Tip: Out of sight, out of mind. If you haven’t missed it, you can let it go.
- Recycle junk mail before it comes into the office or house. Organizing Tip: Keep a recycle bin in the spot where you pick up the mail or bring it in. (A shredder, too.)
- Shred paperwork that you don’t need for tax purposes. Organizing Tip: Use a reliable list to determine what you need to keep and for how long. Consult with your tax preparer.
- Recycle catalogs, magazine, newspapers, handouts, old notes, etc. that have outdated information, haven’t been read or referenced in a year or more, and that you won’t make time to read.
- Purge boxes of old cards and photos that are significantly damaged, out of focus, are duplicates, or evoke negative emotions. Organizing Tip: Ask yourself if you would display or move them to a new house. Ask, when was the last time that I looked at this, and how did it make me feel? Ask, would anyone else want this?
- Stop procrastinating…file it immediately…shred it immediately…respond to it if it takes 3 minutes or less… Organizing Tip: Set a timer and do it! I promise that you’ll feel better.
- Take the 1 extra step…put it back where it belongs now. Make the call. Send the email. Organizing Tip: Make it a habit. Put it back after you use it. Do this for 21 days. If you forget to, start again.
- Unsubscribe from junk email. Organizing Tip: Click on this link to learn how to unsubscribe from junk mail
- Keep reusable grocery bags in the front seat. Stack them inside of one another.
- Get a hanger holder. Organizing Tip: A hanger holder will help you to keep most hangers stacked. Order now.
- Use vertical space. Organizing Tip: Don’t stuff drawers and shelves. Think about using hooks behind doors, belt and scarf hangers, etc.
- Get rid of deep storage containers except for larger items. Organizing Tip: Replace deep storage containers with shallow ones to reduce piles and stacks. Declutter them at least monthly.
- Keep coupons, gift cards, and reward cards in your car or purse. Organizing Tip: File them in an small organizer.
- Stop cutting out coupons. Organizing Tip: Stop cutting coupons if you are not using them! Good intentions can create clutter. Try a coupon app on your phone as an alternative.
- Stop buying how-to organize books if you are not using them. Organizing Tip: Borrow these books from your local library.
- Get rid of excess return address labels. Organizing Tip: Peel off address labels are sent regularly. Each time you receive a new sheet, discard an old one. Still too many? Use the 1 in, 2 out rule.
- Use under bed storage. Organizing Tip: Store off season items and clothing, extra bed or bath linens, or anything that you need to keep but use infrequently in storage containers that fit easily under the bed.
- Dispose of almost empty toiletries and cleaning products. Organizing Tip: Use the remaining product if it is still safe, otherwise discard it. If these items are unopened and not expired you can donate them.
- Return wire hangers to the dry cleaners. Organizing Tip: If your dry cleaner doesn’t accept them and you cannot find one that does, ask consignment stores if they can use them.
- Keep a trash container in your car. Organizing Tip: Make sure that the container is small and empty it every day.
- Don’t bring home marketing materials and handouts that you won’t refer to when you go to a meeting or conference. Organizing Tip: Limit those items including your notes, that you bring home. Most people never refer to them again. Marketing materials such as note pads, pens, key chains…leave them there or bring them back to donate.
- Don’t ask for someone’s business card If you don’t intend to put their information in your contacts later that day. Organizing Tip: Business cards accumulate rapidly. Most information can be found on the internet.
- Shred receipts that are not kept for tax purposes every month or sooner. Organizing Tip: Refer to clutter-busting tip #9.
- Have your children help you cull school and art projects at the end of every school year. Organizing Tip: You do not need to keep everything. Give some items as gifts, repurpose them as framed art, book covers, or collage materials. Organize and label them.
Feel free to print this list and make it your checklist! Give yourself permission to let go.