10 Ways We Plan To Get Rid Of Clutter Fast

Sometimes looking around our house stresses me out.  And it’s not just the house, either!  Clutter can take over very quickly.  Even after you reduce your clutter, it comes back.  Clutter is something you have to stay on top of.  As I’ve looked around my house, and my life, I’ve found a few ways that I can get rid of clutter fast.

toy clutter

The Problem With Clutter

Some people don’t mind clutter.  If you’re one of those people, good for you, I suppose.  But even if it doesn’t bother you, clutter still has many negative effects.

  • Takes Up Space.  Clutter takes up space that you could use for other things.  Or, in some cases, like if you have to rent a storage locker or have to buy a bigger home, it can increase the space you need.  Space costs money!
  • Wastes Time.  If you aren’t sure where something is, it’s going to take you a lot longer to find it if you have a cluttered life.  Every minute you spend searching for something is a waste of time.  This is time you could be doing something more productive or enjoyable.

Clutter won’t ever stop, but it can be addressed.  Here are some ways that I plan to get rid of clutter.

Read more10 Ways We Plan To Get Rid Of Clutter Fast

My Garage Is My Kryptonite…What’s Yours?

I truly believe that keeping clutter to a minimum and staying organized are keys to a great home.  While clutter itself doesn’t lead to disrepair, I feel that if you let clutter and disorganization take hold, you increase the risk of letting your house slip away from you.

My wife or I are by no means perfect when it comes to avoiding clutter or keeping things neat, but we’re generally pretty on top of it.

The one area, though, that gets me every time?

The garage.

We have a three car garage.  We have two cars so that leaves us an entire stall of unused space.  You’d think that this would give us plenty of room to keep things organized.

You’d think wrong. At least in my house.

I can’t even post pictures of how bad it gets.  For some reason, the standard process ensues:

  • Sometime in the spring or early summer, I do a full blitz on the garage.  Everything that isn’t bolted down or too heavy comes out of the garage.  The floor gets swept, the cobwebs come down, and everything goes back in only if it has a place.
  • Within a couple of weeks, the entire system starts to fall apart.
  • By the end of the summer, any cleaning that had been done is unrecognizable.  I mean to clean it again, but instead just bring everything in from the winter, leaving it a steaming mess.

I can’t conquer this one on my own.

I should have enough in my arsenal to keep it clean.  I have shelves on the wall.  I have organizational hooks for hanging tools.  I have two shelving units.  I have a workbench.  The third garage means more space.  Yet, it looks like a bomb went off.  I look into my neighbors garage, a two-car garage, and it looks awesome.  And he has most of the same stuff I do (save for he doesn’t have as many toys for little kids as his kids are older…but still).

So this year, I’m enlisting help.

My wife is going to help this year.  And it will be done soon.

I have recognized that part of the problem is simply having too many different places.

Here’s a few issues:

  • I have some stuff for gardening on three different walls.  One wall holds tools on hooks, the rakes and shovels and such, but the opposite wall is where I’ll keep some of those types of items that I use regularly.
  • Small gardening tools for planting or weeding are in one area, but weed killers, plant fertilizers and stuff to prevent rodents is on the opposite side of the garage.
  • Lawn fertilizers are in a completely different area and mixed in with kids toys.
  • Speaking of kids toys, they get moved around as they share space with the lawn mower and bikes.
  • Smaller kids toys are on one wall.  The ones that they play with.  Other toys for going to the beach are on the back wall.

So, I think I’ve recognized problem one.  It’s not re-organizing the stuff and putting it away neatly.  It’s that I have to put it away smartly.  This is where my wife comes in.  She has pointed out that the kids stuff needs to go together.  In one spot.  I laughed and said that the way things were, this wasn’t possible.  That’s when it dawned on me that the system itself is flawed.

So, fairly soon we will be tackling this.  I’m hopeful that with my wife’s assistance, we can not only clean the garage so that it gets clean and organized, but that it STAYS clean and organized for more than a couple of weeks.

What is your organizational kryptonite?  The one area that, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t keep together….

8 Ways To Reduce Clutter

Unless you’re a compulsive neat freak, clutter will inevitably take hold of your living area in some way, shape or form.  If you’re not careful, clutter can overtake your home.  Having clutter around is also a ‘spiral out of control’ situation, as clutter builds quickly once you allow it to take hold.

If you have too much clutter, follow these eight steps to get a handle on your clutter, and re-claim your space!

  1. Make a list – Before you even tackle a de-cluttering project, go around and make a list of areas that have too much clutter.  Rank your top five ‘most cluttered’ spots and be specific (don’t just say ‘basement’ but put ‘basement shelves’)
  2. Tackle any item except the first one – Don’t start with your most cluttered spot.  Start with #3 or #4 on your list instead.  This will help reduce the chance of being overwhelmed.
  3. Clear out everything from your cluttered spot – If your spot is a closet, remove everything.  If it’s a shelf, take everything off.  If it’s a drawer, empty it out.  Starting with a clean slate will work much more effectively than trying to re-organize within an already cluttered spot.
  4. Divide into two piles: Keep.  Don’t Keep.
  5. Re-sort your ‘Keep’ items  – Put items that go back in the previous spot away in an organized fashion.  Move anything that should go somewhere else, putting it in it’s rightful spot.
  6. Deal with the ‘No Keep’ items immediately –  Throw junk away.  Recycle what you can.  If you are keeping anything for a donation or garage sale, put it in the spot for these items right away.  Whatever you do, don’t leave a pile of stuff to be dealt with later, otherwise you’ve accomplished nothing.
  7. Take a mental snapshot of what the newly cleaned spot looks like –  In the future, you’ll have to make a conscious effort to keep that area free of clutter. Spend a few minutes looking at it to take pride in what you’ve just done and so that your mental image is a clutter free spot.
  8. Go back and tackle another item on your list – Now that you’ve got the process down and have seen results, you can tackle an even more cluttered spot.  Eventually the clutter will disappear and you can take back areas that you’ve lost.

Don’t wait until tomorrow.  Get started on your de-cluttering today.  It will help in so many ways!