Take a look around your home. Do you have those areas that just seem to attract piles of “stuff”? Tables, counter tops and just about every other flat surface can easily become a landing spot for all those things we plan on dealing with later.
When you really take a look at those piles, often times a lot of what is there is actually just garbage. Junk mail, old magazines, receipts and other useless paper items can easily collect on surfaces. The other “stuff” that collects is usually what I like to call “homeless” clutter.
The best and easiest way to keep your space clean and clutter free is to create homes for the homeless clutter. It sounds silly and simple, but once you create a proper “home” for your belongings that is easy to use, they will no longer be left lying around on random surfaces.
Here are a few “homeless” clutter issues in most homes:
Items that need to be returned, fixed, donated etc. Every home should have an OUT system in place for those things that we mean to take, well, out of our home. You could have some labeled bins in your garage, canvas bags hanging in your hall closet or even a tote in the back of your car where all of these “out” items go until you are ready to deal with them.
Phone, wallet, purse, keys, mail . All of those things we “drop” when we walk in the door often become clutter on surfaces where we would rather they not be. Create a “landing strip” with a designated home for all the stuff that gets dropped at the door. Find a spot in your home near the front door where you can place a basket for eye glasses, wallets and other loose things in pockets, hang hooks for keys and purses and consider a charging station for phones and other electronics. If mail is an issue, place a bin for junk mail and a basket for bills and other important mail right where you would usually set it down! Always separate your junk mail AS SOON AS YOU COME IN!
To Do Items. That shirt that needs the button fixed, that picture frame that needs photos, that craft you wanted to finish. We all have little projects and things we want/need to deal with when we can find the time. Unfortunately, these items often sit out a little longer than we intended and eventually blend in with all the other clutter. The best way to deal with these items is to create a TO DO box or basket and schedule yourself a time to pick something from it to complete. Having all your little “to dos” together in a bin makes it easy for you to prioritize the most important. You can carry the basket with you to work on things during commercials of your favourite show or outside while you watch your kids play. Make making a To Do bin a priority!
Lazy Clutter. Lazy clutter are those things you need to put away, but you just don’t want to do it right now. lol. Kids are the worst for this! Create a LAZY CLUTTER system where you have a basket or bin, either one for the entire family, or one for each family member. Find something laying around? Toss it in the basket. At the end of the day, everyone empties the things in the basket back where they belong. Tossing the unclaimed items in the trash is a sure-fire way to ensure they are claimed in the future! I have a “Downstairs” bin at the top of my stairs for all those things that we need to carry back downstairs. It keeps the stuff out of sight until I can take the time to carry it all down and put it away properly.