If your house is like mine, every time you turn around there is STUFF.
The papers from school.
The junk mail.
The trinkets from kids’ meals.
The toys. The dirty dishes. The backpacks.
The trash that doesn’t make its way to the trash can.
It’s time to de-clutter.
All that stuff stresses me out. It’s visual stress, distractions. Do you feel the same? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s scientifically proven, clutter causes stress. Yep. That can’t-breathe-or-feel-like-I-can’t-get-anything-done-until-the-house-is-picked-up feeling isn’t in your head. It is real!
A few years ago I came across a de-cluttering expert (yes, there really is such a thing — not a home organizer, but a de-cluttering expert, how heavenly is that?), Tracy McCubbin, and some of her tips have stuck with me.
Now, don’t be fooled, my house still has STUFF, but it is much easier for me to let it go and make some headway using these tips from McCubbin.
Don’t put it down, put it away.
Simple. Genius. Powerful.
How many times have we gotten a pen out of the cabinet, used it and left it on the counter?
How about getting out our make-up and leaving it on the bathroom counter?
Or what about taking time to wash, dry, and fold the laundry only to leave it sitting on the couch, dryer or any other surface that is NOT a drawer, for days?
McCubbin says, take the few extra seconds to put it away…or as I tell my tween, ‘complete the cycle.’
Toss it before it hits the door.
One of the biggest and most annoying sources of clutter in my house is the junk mail. It never ends. It always seems to pile up. Let’s be honest, how many times do we REALLY use those flyers for the lunch special at the local sushi joint or the $3 off a purchase of $15 at Ulta.?Not many times.
So toss the junk mail before you even bring it in the house.
Now, I get it. Not everything is trash…but that doesn’t mean it is treasure either. The expert suggests creating three piles: toss, donate and sell. Toss anything that isn’t useful. Donate items that are still useful, but don’t have much value, like old vases, shoes and clothes. And sell items that are useful and have value, but you don’t necessarily need, such as kitchen gadgets, office supplies and yard equipment. McCubbin says, “If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s out. If you REALLY need it in the future you can either borrow it or buy it again.”
Put like with like.
Once the trash has gone out, McCubbin says it’s time to organize what is left.
Putting like items together is the best way to de-clutter and stay organized.
So that cabinet of random tupperware that has mis-matched tops and bowls, toss the mis-matches and keep like with like. (Same is true with socks!)
Consistency equals change.
Our home isn’t going to be stuff-free overnight…and will never be perfect..but with a little more consistent organization and some simple de-cluttering, we can see the change we want and have a home that is a little more stress-free.