I have talked about decluttering and how it affects your life. But there are other types of clutter (aside from the one that we can see) and here are 11 ways to declutter your life- and believe me, they will make a difference in the amount of stress that you feel. How many times have you lost your keys, shoes or important papers because there is too much clutter in your home? Families around the country are drowning in clutter that can cost time and money as well as cause frustration. Clearing the clutter from your home, and your life, will take some time and effort but the results will be well worth it.
11 Ways to Declutter Your Life for Less Stress
* Go through your home and make note of anything in your home that is out of place, items that are piling up or things that bother you. Start with what bothers you most and begin going through the items, getting rid of things you no longer need or want. The goal is to clear small areas, one at a time, until you have cleaned the entire room. Go through each room until you have gotten rid of as much clutter as possible.
* Create a cleaning and decluttering schedule. Include chores for each member of the family so one person does not have to do everything. If you work on cleaning a little bit each day, it will make keeping your home clean much easier.
* Rather than stacking mail and other papers all over the room, create a specific area to handle mail and pay bills. This could be a desk or a shelf with an inbox.
Be sure to place a garbage can near your mail area so you can throw junk mail out as you go through the mail. Along with the inbox and garbage can, it would also be helpful to keep a family calendar in the area. When you see paperwork that has an appointment or important date, you can write the information directly into the calendar and toss the paper unless you need to return it.
* Place a coat rack or shelf with hooks near the door you use most often. It is important to have everyone hang jackets and book bags here when they come into the home each day. By placing these items in the same place each day, your family will be less likely to lose things.
* What clutters your mind? Begin by getting a notebook and a pen. Take a deep breath and think about things that you have to do. Write everything down. Once you have written things down, you can see what is necessary to accomplish and you will have a list to keep track of everything else. It can also help if you watch less television as it tends to clutter the mind with things that are not important.
* In some cases, people who have a clutter problem also have a weight problem. Sometimes people use both as a self-protection mechanism. If they are overweight or their house is full of “stuff,” they will not have to worry about others getting too close and possibly hurting them. Once they begin to let go of the “stuff” in their home, they may find that it is easier to let go of excess weight as well.
* How many activities does your family have? If your family is like most, each child has at least one activity they participate in after school. Mom and Dad may each have things they do that keep them on the go.
To declutter your schedule, sit down as a family and talk about the activities each does that mean the most them. If you can cut out some activities, you will have more time to share as a family and there will be much less running.
* Think about bills you have that are draining. For instance, is it necessary for everyone in the family to have a cell phone? If the answer is no, then let some of them go and have one extra that your teenager can use while they are away from you.
Do you watch all of the channels on satellite or cable? Chances are good that you do not, so pare your programming down to what you know you will watch. Stop eating out so often. Even though eating out is easier, it is more expensive and is often not good for your health.
* Depending on your job, workspace clutter may or may not be a problem. For those with an office desk, workspace clutter may be having too many pictures or mementos. For those in a factory setting, it may mean you cannot find your tools when you need them. By creating a functional and clean workspace, you increase your productivity, which will make the boss happy.
* Evaluate everything in your home. If there is no use for it, get rid of it. If you have to start justifying why you keep something around- it might be time to let it go. I’m not suggesting that you go an extreme purge, but do start looking at what you have.
* Believe it or not, sometimes your friends might be a source of clutter in your life– whether your realize it or not. How? You may be trying to spread yourself too thin when it comes to arranging your social life or if you feel as though you have to keep all of these commitments.
Start to ask yourself, are these friendships really worth it to me? If a friendship isn’t growing you or beneficial to you in some way, it may be time to let it go. I’m not suggesting that you just start cutting out your entire support network, but really think about your friends.
It is unlikely that anyone consciously decides to have clutter in his or her homes or their lives. Unfortunately, clutter tends to creep in and take over once it starts. Use these tips for decluttering your life and you will marvel at the sense of freedom you experience.
Finally, if you are too overwhelmed with the amount of clutter in your life, give yourself permission to seek outside help. A professional organizer can recommend simple habits to keeping your life clutter free and will help you develop a routine that will work for your family.