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.

Clutter Fix: Erase the Evidence

To keep clutter at bay, think "erase the evidence"! When you leave a room, pause for a moment and survey your surroundings. Chances are, you'll find evidence of recent activity: a drinking glass, disordered pillows, a dropped toy. Take a few seconds to "erase the evidence", tucking the glass into the dishwasher, replacing the pillows or tossing the toy in the toy basket, to cut clutter as you go.

Control Clutter With Catch-All Containers

Keep clutter contained--and add a decorator touch--with designated catch-all containers for every room. Use pretty baskets, canvas hold-alls or small shelving units to keep shoes, toys or other clutter culprits contained. Add an "empty baskets" item to your evening routine to conquer clutter painlessly!

Clear Refrigerator Clutter with a White Board

The front of the fridge is a natural place to get the family's attention, but once layered with notes and photos, it can be hard to spot important information. Clutter-free solution: a small magnetic whiteboard. It'll display messages and reminders without the clutter--and clearing old news is as easy as an eraser swipe!

Clutter-Cutter: Pick A Number

Decide in advance how many items you'll keep, to pare down multiples, whether they're pens, DVDs or items of clothing. If you know you'll keep three sweater sets, zero in on your three favorites, then consign the leftovers to the donations box. Pick a number to cut the clutter!

Rout Out Reference Books To Cut Clutter

In this online age, the Internet provides quick access to owners' manuals, reference works and appliance handbooks. Why pile up paper versions when the answers are as close as your computer? Clear shelf space by using online reference books and recycling paper copies.

Speed Decision-Making to Clear Clutter

Parting with clutter--like breaking up with a sweetheart or removing an adhesive bandage--is best done quickly. The longer you agonize over declutter decisions, the more likely you are to keep the item in question. Make quick decisions to minimize the pain of parting ... and cut the clutter.

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!