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

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

Smart Shelving To Reduce Clutter

Ok, let's say that you have a handle on bringing in clutter to your kitchen, but you are still not organized and can't quite decide what to keep and what to toss. A lot of us find ourselves at this point sooner or later and you need to be prepared by having some quick solutions in place. Hopefully today's tip will help you reduce your kitchen (and other spaces) clutter while also helping you get your home more organized.

under shelf rack

The idea behind the under shelf rack is simple; we want to free up space for the things we need, we want to create a system that helps us to keep only the items we require, and we don't want to spend a ton of money or have to jump through a bunch of hoops to reach this modest goal. That's one of the great things about the racks pictured below, let's step through the solutions they create one at a time: Continue reading

Get Rid Of Clutter In An Hour Or Less

One of the best ways to start feeling better about yourself, your home, and your life, is to get started getting rid of clutter. I want to show you that you can get rid of clutter in less than an hour – sometimes that is all the time we have, so we need to make the most of it.

I’m not going to tell you that your home will be magically clean and won’t need to be get rid of clutter in an hour or lesstouched again – nobody can do that in an hour and hopefully no one tells you that you can do that! What you can do in an hour is get started and lay the groundwork for living in a decluttered home and improving your life.

First things first.

Take out a pad of paper and a pen or pencil, or open up your favorite writing software to write down your thoughts.

  • Write down the areas you most want to change, clean up, or toss things out from
  • Write down why you want to do this
  • Write down your goal and time estimate for each area – be realistic!

After you have written down these ideas and goals, find the one that you can accomplish in the amount of time that you have left in the hour. If you don’t have a task that will fit, divide one up into smaller components – this way you will have still accomplished one of your goals and will be on your way to getting rid of your clutter. One of the best things to have on your side when trying to declutter is motivation and momentum – it can be difficult to start sometimes, but once you start it just gets easier! Continue reading

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