Cut the Clutter

cut clutter hints and tips

Take aim on clutter with these tips to take charge of the surplus "stuff" in your life.

Whether you contain it, purge it, or resolve to accumulate less of it, cut the clutter with these hints and tips.

Cut Clutter: The "Hands Off" Policy

Psychologists tell us that when we handle an item, it increases our attachment--which causes a problem when considering whether to dispose of unneeded possessions. Try a "hands-off" policy: make declutter decisions without touching the item under scrutiny. Stay detached ... to cut the clutter!

Entryway Clutter? The Shoebag Solution

A hanging shoe bag--the kind with pockets for each shoe--does double duty when hung near the entryway. In winter, stuff mittens, hats and scarves into the pockets to keep them at hand. Summer sees sunblock, hats, sunglasses and pool passes ready to go. Cut entryway clutter!

Tackle Trash With A Daily Dash

Whether you think of it as Peter Walsh's "trash bag tango", or undertake Flylady's "27 fling boogie", a daily round with a trash bag makes short work of burgeoning clutter. Once a day, circle the house at top speed, gathering expired coupons, newspaper inserts, take-out food containers, empty packaging materials and other trash, then toss. It's an instant clutter-cutting boost!

Clutter Fighter: The Containment Principle

To limit collectible items like media, magazines or craft supplies, reach for the containment principle. Designate an appropriate container, shelf or cabinet for storage, then decide that you'll only keep as many items as the container will hold. When a new issue of Family Fun magazine arrives, remove the oldest issue from the magazine holder and recycle it--to keep clutter at bay!

Speed Clutter Decisions With The Yearly Rule

Clutter flows into our lives every day--from the mail or from the mall. Establishing clutter rules can help stem the tide by forcing a decision. One such principle: the Yearly Rule. Whether it's clothing, cookware or media, an item becomes clutter if it hasn't been used in the last year. Wear it, watch it or use it annually, or find it a new home!

Respect Clutter-Cutting Decisions

Attacking clutter, the hard part is making the decision to part with an item! Don't undercut your efforts with second-guessing. Use black plastic garbage bags or lidded boxes to hold de-cluttered items for sale or donation ... and once the item's in the bag? No peeking!