5 Minutes To Get Rid Of Clutter

Do you have five or ten minutes to spare? Sure you do – even on the busy days in our lives we usually have a few minutes where we are spinning our wheels and not really doing anything. Now, if you need the time to relax – do it! However, if you want to get something done and make a difference around your home, take advantage of this time to make a real impact on your work to get rid of clutter.

Although there is a long list of things you can do with a few minutes, I want to share one idea with you that I find works well for me, and I know that other people use it to good effect as well.

The general idea is to position yourself in one room or area and gather items that are out of place, laying around, or just haven't been used in a while. If you have a box, tote, or other container, place these items into it as you go through and pick items up.

Once you have gotten everything straightened up and the odds and ends put into the box (if you don't have a container handy, just collect everything in one central area) stop and take a look at what you have collected.

Do a quick “triage” and separate things according to these 3 concepts:

  • Items that are used frequently
  • Things that are out of place
  • Items that you are not sure what they are for or how they got there

Now, that third category is a little leading. Of course, if you have items that go in the third category those are the items that you can immediately toss out, donate, or give away to help reduce your clutter.

Additionally, you should think about the items in the second category. Is the item out of place because it is no longer used and was just left laying about? Maybe it was useful at one time but no longer serves a purpose in your home. In this case, treat it like an item from the third category and go ahead and get rid of it.

Once you have identified what needs to go, make sure you follow through and actually get rid of them. Either put it near your front door so you will remember to throw it out or donate it the next chance you get.

If you are able to do this type of activity once or twice a week you can make a large impact on your home and save yourself the hassle of having to spend long hours agonizing over what to save, what to keep, etc. Breaking it up into little areas and amounts of time makes the task much easier – and you'll feel better once you've done it.

If you are looking for specific organizing tips and help, these articles might help you:

Got any quick tips for five or ten minutes decluttering sessions? Let us know in the comments below.

Paper Clutter

Well, the holidays have passed and all of the craziness that goes with them. So - what's next? For many of us, at least in the US, we are getting our W-2's (tax documents) from work. That can mean headaches, stress, and lots of paper clutter, or we can prepare ahead of time and tackle the issue before it becomes a contribute to clutter. Continue reading

Holiday Cleanup and Declutter

Ok, the holidays have come and gone - hopefully they were good to you and your family! If you're on the ball and did a little planning and organizing ahead of time you will hopefully be relaxing a bit more than the rest of us that might have procrastinated things a bit. However, just because we are now facing the post holiday slump with a cluttered up house and lots of trash doesn't mean that it has to turn into a monumental chore or something that lasts into the upcoming year.

Take advantage of these quick tips to turn your home back around and get it ready for the New Year! Continue reading

Holiday Clutter Tips

Keeping your sanity, not to mention your home organized, can be a tough thing to do in the rush and chaos that can accompany the holiday season. While we all find ourselves busy and stretched thin by a full schedule, there are a few things that you can do now that will save you a lot of time and effort in the coming weeks. Preparing to deal with clutter andholiday clutter some chaos ahead of time and having some plans in place will let you enjoy more of the holiday season and able to focus on what really matter – enjoying the holiday!

The main idea here is that you want to spend a few minutes to either set things up the way you want them or to actually write down what your plan will be to deal with specific situations. I find that writing them out helps to actually “cement” them in your brain and gives you a reference list in case you forget what you had thought of previously.

Here are a few areas and some solutions that tend to cause the most problems and have some of the easier fixes: Continue reading

Organizing Paper Clutter

Organizing paper clutter is a common topic for many reasons, the most important being that there is just so much of it! Even though we seem to be going towards a more digital type of lifestyle, there is no denying the role of paperwork in the world today. From utility bills, to to-do lists, to tax documents, there is no getting around paperwork and the clutter that it can produce if you let it get out of hand.

What we can do to fight this type of clutter is have a plan in place to deal with the issue so that it doesn't become a problem. So, let's look at some ways to organize our paper clutter. Continue reading

Paperwork Shredding: Inexpensive, Safe, and Decluttering

Ok, the end goal that decluttering efforts have is to get rid of clutter over all. I'm generally a fan of anything that reduces the amount of stuff that you have in any form or fashion, and sometimes you can actually bring something into your home that will help. A paperwork shredder is near the top of that list for me - it's an item that is relatively inexpensive, improves your safety (identity, financial, etc), and helps declutter. As with anything that is brought into the home, you need to identify why you are bringing it into your home and how it will either help you get rid of clutter, serve a long term sentimental value, or be regularly used. In this case, a paperwork shredder will definitely help get rid of clutter! Continue reading

Interview With Ms. Simplicity – Professional Organizer

This past week I was able to talk to Melissa Schmalenberger, or Ms. Simplicity, who is a professional organizer with years of experience in the areas of clutter and organization. In this interview Melissa and I cover information about professional organizers, specific advice for dealing with closets, and a few more general questions about clutter, organization, and how to best deal with and help yourself declutter. I really enjoyed the information that she shared and hope that you find it useful as well.

interview professional organizer

Without further ado, here is the interview with Melissa: Continue reading

How To Declutter Your Life

"How To Declutter Your Life" - that is a really big question! If you are just thinking that thought right now and wondering how in the world you can actually get anything done, get started, or how one even goes about getting rid of clutter, it might seem like the biggest and toughest question out there. I've got good news for you - in a few quick steps you can stop asking how to declutter your life and move on to the first steps of actually decluttering your life.

First things first. If you haven't been here before and are wondering what you are about to read - check out this page and this one if you are curious about who I am.

Ok, if you're still here - congrats! You've taken the first step towards moving past asking a question and joining the group of people that are improving their life and making changes that matter. Seriously - by not closing the browser window or tab or wandering off to do something else you are demonstrating your resolve and willingness to get something done. Good! I'm not going to lie - how you get rid of clutter in your life can be difficult and take time, but hang in there and you will start to make changes fast.

I have one "big" first step that I want you to take right now. Look around the room you are in and find something that bugs you or that you have left cluttered or dirty when you know you should have picked it up. It doesn't have to be anything large (no closets, entire rooms, or anything like that!), it should preferably be small and something you can take care of quickly. Here's a few ideas:

  • Desktop (computer or desk)
  • Desk drawer(s)
  • Bookshelf
  • counter top
  • night stand

Now, clean up that area in the next 5 minutes. Stop reading this article and go through the space you identified. If there is trash in there, throw it away. If you have items you no longer use, toss them or put them in a pile for later so you can donate them. The rest of the stuff needs a reason to be there - if it belongs then keep it or put it where it belongs.

You are building momentum - and if you just cleaned that one area up you are ahead of so many people that think, "next time, I'll do that next time...". That is probably 75% of decluttering - taking the time, right then and there, to do something about what is in front of you. Make no mistake, you will have to put in the time up front to get rid of clutter from the larger areas, but it is all a repetition of that initial start.

Good job! If you think you are ready to keep going and want some more advice, download my free book and get to work! All that stands between you and a decluttered life is yourself and a little time...

Closet Organization Ideas

A large part of getting rid of clutter is being organized, and we can all use help with closet organization ideas! It's an area that tends to be the "last bastion" of clutter in our homes. I've compiled a list of effective closet organization ideas to help you declutter and organize your closets - don't let you closets end up, or stay, like the one in the picture below!

closet organization ideas

Closet Organization Idea Basics

First things first; open up your closet and take an honest look around. Is it in bad shape? If so, no problem, but be open with yourself and admit that you need to get rid of some of the clutter if it is truly stuffed with odds and ends. Once you are ready to dive in, follow these steps: Continue reading

Staying On Track With Your Decluttering

Like many things in life you might find yourself distracted and realize that it has been a few weeks and your once very important goals of decluttering are slowly (or quickly!) drifting away from you. This happens to all of us and there are some simple things that you can do to ensure that you stay on track and do not get too far from the path that will help you achieve your clutter related goals.

Weekly Reminders

Even if you do not have a goal for the week try to make an appointment with yourself to review what you have done in the past few weeks or months and to remind yourself where stay focused to declutter you are heading. Do you have a room you want to tackle soon? Have you recently cleaned out a closet and want to go over what all that involved and what you did to keep it from becoming cluttered again?

Taking even ten or fifteen minutes can make a huge difference and help you stay on course. Continue reading

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