It lives on counter tops, tables, shelves, desks, and just about anywhere else that stuff can be set down. It collects dust and takes up space. At some point, we become so used to seeing it everyday that it just starts to blend in.
What is this menace to minimalists and neat-nicks alike?
It’s clutter, and it’s driving me crazy!
So here’s my plan of attack to battle the clutter in our living space:
In this digital era, how do we still manage to accumulate so many papers? They’re the one thing that I can never seem to stay on top of!
We have a drawer that is basically the black hole for all paperwork. It’s where organization goes to die, because paperwork of all kinds is mixed up and piled up in one big, stupid mess.
Every time that I open that drawer to shove something in, I think about how desperately it needs to be cleaned out and organized. Every time, I just shut the drawer and move on. Not anymore!
I picked up a few plastic file folders from the dollar store. Using the tabs that they came with, I made designated sections for each of these categories:
- Car related– insurance, repair work records, sale records
- Medical– insurance, bills from Doctor visits, etc
- Pay Stubs
- Credit Card & Bank statements
- Misc.– anything else
We just got a new dresser for our clothes, as well as one for our daughter. This presents the perfect opportunity to purge and let go of those clothing items that haven’t been worn in years.
I know I’m definitely guilty of holding on to random things just because I think, “what if my style suddenly changes and I do want to wear this someday?” Never happens, but I’m sure some of you can relate.
Since I strive to be more minimalist, I feel guilty letting go of things, even when they clearly need to be replaced. I hate buying something new if I don’t absolutely need to. Need, of course, is sometimes a matter of opinion!
There are so many items just cluttering up my drawers and taking up space, not to mention all of the things that get set down on top of the dresser. It’s time to let go of old clothes, makeup, and jewelry so that my new dresser is organized and neat from the start.
Set aside some time to go through your dresser drawers. It doesn’t have to take hours- even just a few minutes of looking through the items you have in each drawer can make a big difference. Ditch any clothes that you no longer fit or wear. Also, get rid of worn out socks and undies, swimsuits that you haven’t worn for 5 summers, and anything that hasn’t seen the light of day in the past year.
A note to all new parents: There’s a pretty good chance that you won’t need to buy your child any toys, because other people will be more than happy to give them more than they could ever need! At least, this has been the case for us.
My kids have enough toys for 10 kids, and we’ve hardly bought any of them ourselves. Relatives and friends seem to give them something just about every time we see them, not to mention the relatives who’ve been happy to offer us their unwanted items when they do a clean out, too.
This has left us completely over-run with kiddie clutter. We finally bought a toy box from Ikea for $15 for the bedroom. As I mentioned, I also refinished another wooden box that was collecting dust in the basement. That one is going in the living room.
Toys tend to spill out into every room in the home. In the living room, I use baskets and bins to keep the most-liked toys stored. At the end of the day, it only takes a minute to get everything picked up and tossed into the bins.
When in doubt, throw it out
This is my new motto towards junk. If I can’t think of how something is useful or needed within a few minutes, it’s going in the trash or donation pile.
Staying organized and clutter-free is a constant work in process. In a home with kids, it’s almost impossible to avoid messes and clutter. I’ve found that the trick is to simply commit to staying on top of it as much as I possible can. It makes for a tidier, happier home.
Is clutter taking over your life? How often do you attack the clutter in your home?