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5 Tips for Making Clutter Disappear

No one wants to live in a dirty house. Yet, dirt isn’t the only thing that bothers homeowners. Clutter does, too.
When asked, more than one-quarter of people surveyed by Apartmentguide said that clutter was the most annoying mess in their home. Dirt came in third behind pet and human hair! Research shows why: Visual clutter causes us to fall into disorganization mode. We often become more stressed and less focused as a result.
So, how can you stay ahead of the clutter? Around 10% of families take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach. Nearly one out of 10 rely on offsite storage units to tuck away their stuff. Others make use of every available nook and cranny, which might be why about three-quarters of home garages are too full to accommodate a car.
These types of responses to clutter are understandable. Who hasn’t shoved kids’ toys under a bed or closet when company unexpectedly arrives? However, they’re not long-term fixes. Ultimately, whether your clutter is in your crawl space or a storage unit, you’re not tackling the underlying problem. You’re simply putting off the inevitable and potentially lowering your quality of life.
If you’re ready to give clutter the ultimate heave-ho, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s not difficult. Follow these processes to move toward a clutter-free lifestyle:
1. Balance your inflow of items.
Our society encourages consumption. But for every item you bring into your house, you run the risk of adding more clutter to your world. The way to combat this is by balancing your input and output.
For example, when you make a purchase, consider recycling, selling, donating, or tossing something else. That way, you’ll maintain a sense of harmony and not overload your home with too many things.
2. Keep a donation box handy.
As they say, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” It’s true, and you could make someone else’s day by donating surplus furnishings, clothing, knick-knacks, and the like.
An easy way to keep donations top of mind is to set up a donation bin somewhere in your house. When the bin is filled up, take it to your favorite charity location. If you have large pieces of furniture to donate, or just a lot of clutter, consider donating to a nonprofit that will arrange a free pickup at your location. No fuss, no muss, no mess.
3. Make decluttering part of your regular cleaning routine.
Consistency and scheduling are key whether you’re talking about basic cleaning or decluttering. For instance, consider adopting the practice of daily or at least weekly “eye sweeps.” During your sweeps, look for anything out of place. Flat surfaces and visible shelves can become magnets for clutter, so keep that in mind.
Every three months, go for a deeper declutter that includes hidden spots such as drawers, attics, basements, closets, pantries, and backyard sheds. Combine this decluttering process with some cleaning using CLR® Everyday Clean. You’ll end up with a tidier living space that feels roomy and welcoming.
4. Buy replacements only when you need them.
It’s so tempting to assume that you need to replace something when it seems outdated or breaks. Many items can be upcycled or repaired, though. You might want something new, but do you really need something new? And what are you going to do with the old item?
Rather than constantly replacing what you own, take a step back. Be thoughtful about your purchases. If you believe you need something, have a plan for the item it’s going to replace. Oh, and don’t stock up on products just because they’re on sale. This strategy to save money can wind up backfiring if you never use the products, anyway.
5. Give all your belongings dedicated spaces.
All your personal treasures deserve to have a home within your home. Those that don’t might fall under the umbrella of clutter. So, aim to dedicate space to everything you own.
This includes storage space for your seasonal decor, too. If your holiday decorations are scattered in different parts of your house, consolidate and store them together. You’ll be glad you did once it’s time to switch up the look of your home’s interior or exterior to fit the time of year.
Clutter happens, but it shouldn’t be allowed to take over. Putting just a few practices in place will help you tame clutter for good and give you peace of mind — not to mention a more satisfying place to call home.