Clear Clutter Now!

Clear Clutter Now

Clutter accumulates little by little. It creeps up on us while we are dealing with life, and then all of the sudden we look around and see that piles, heaps and stacks have sprouted up all over our space.

We want to deal with it, but don’t know how to start. Is it possible to organize even if we have very little time?

The good news is “yes”, getting organized is something that can be done bit by bit. Consistent movement in one direction – even if it is small – yields huge results in a period of weeks. Once you make even a little progress, you will find yourself motivated to keep going. What seems tough at first gets easier and easier.

Simply stated, to clear clutter you have to start getting rid of stuff. There are a few categories of belongings which are common “clutter offenders”:  items we tend to keep beyond their useful life, which in turn litter and cramp our space. By tackling these items – even if it is just a little at a time – you can free up space and correspondingly free up your life. So grab some bags and get ready to walk around your space and start collecting items to get rid of. It doesn’t matter where you start, just hold yourself accountable to do something every day. Lastly, clear an area in the back of your car (and in your schedule) for donations.

CLUTTER OFFENDERS & HOW TO SHED THEM

Give Away:

Toys:
Children grow quickly, toys break, and party favors accumulate. Take a serious look at the toy stash. Do you still use them? Do the kids love them?  If not, move them along.

Books:
Books are the ultimate reusable. Unless you absolutely loved it and want to read it again, pass it along to someone else. In actuality, we rarely re-read a book.

Clothing & Shoes:
If you don’t love the way you look/feel in an article of clothing pass it on. If you love it, but it doesn’t quite fit now, its okay to hold onto it while you pursue a weight goal… but make sure you love it! Don’t keep clothing out of guilt (e.g. “But my Mom gave me this…”) because you won’t wear it if you hate it.

Mugs/Sports Bottles:
Most homes have too many of these. Donate them.

Anything you consider ugly:
It is amazing how many items we keep because we “should”, even though we really don’t like them. If you haven’t displayed or used an item for years, you probably don’t like it. Give it away.

Shred:

Old paperwork with sensitive material:
Paperwork piles up like nothing else. You must relentlessly purge it. Shredding should happen at least once a week for any paper with your social security number, account numbers, or personal information. Name and address aren’t necessary, but it doesn’t hurt.  Get a small trash can/bin where you can hold “to shred” until you get around to it.  Shredding can be a great chore for children.

Trash/Recycle/Safely Dispose:

  • Cords & chargers for which you cannot identify a corresponding electronic
  • Broken items
  • Magazines
  • Used up supplies (pencils w/o erasers, dried up markers, notebooks with broken spiral binders)
  • Keys which you can’t identify
  • Extra copies of old invitations or announcements.
  • Freezer items you can’t identify
  • Expired food, medications

Again, the key here is to grab a bag and do something every dayOpen a drawer, look inside a toy bin, consider items on a shelf, leaf through a stack of paper… and if you encounter a question, contact The Seana Method on the form above and we’ll help you. If you want free tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

The time to clear clutter is now – you can do this!

32 thoughts on “Clear Clutter Now!”

  1. The toys and books are big clutter piles around here. My husband can’t stand it, however, we have a one-year-old and a four-year-old and a little toy clutter is probably inevitable. That said, I do try to get rid of a book we don’t need or an unused toy or item of clothing at least once a day. I think that’s a great idea.

    1. Kids and clutter go together for sure, Tamara. Part of peace at this stage is learning to find a place of contentment in the chaos:) But getting rid of one item a day is terrific. Way to go!

  2. This is great! I love the list if common offenders, you made me realize I should go back into my bin of fall decorations (that I finally got out today!) and donate the decorations that I bought years ago and never get out because they’re my least favorite things. I already have a big donation bag going thanks to the seasonal clothes change-over that’s going on in my house right now! (Another great opportunity to declutter.)

    1. Oh Sarah, I need to get rid of some old decorations as well! That is a great thought… the items I bought or the children made that have deteriorated! Good for you having a bag of donations ready to go!!

  3. great tips…I find that if I do get rid of something every day or deal with it immediately I don’t have clutter…or even have the bring something in then toss something out rule.

    1. That’s the way, Karen. If you deal with it daily, it doesn’t get beyond you. And I love the “something in, something out” rule!!

  4. Oh, the things we get from my in-laws! That in itself clutters our house! I just can’t get rid of it fast enough…. Donating is my all time favorite solution! Now if I can just talk the kids into getting rid of some toys….

    1. Gifts are such a common source of clutter. Loved ones with generous hearts and great intentions. I remember finally having to ask my parents to please not send any more stuffed animals:)

  5. I like this idea of doing a little bit every day. I once read the book It’s All Too Much and de-cluttered many of my closets. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt knowing they weren’t crammed with crap. And I’ve never missed even one single thing I gave away. And I rarely buy new stuff–that way I don’t have to de-clutter very often. But I could use your trick of a little at a time. Have a great week.

    1. I so agree about the how great it feels, Linda! It is like a literal weight has been lifted… and if you donate, you feel even better about shedding! I have rarely regretted passing something along either – the payoff of more space always outweighs the mental stress of the clutter.

  6. These are all good points. I really need to clean out my closet and several junk drawers. Several years ago when our house was under construction, I HAD to clean everything out and it was a great feeling. Now I just need to get motivated to do it again!

    1. Yes, a move/construction project/house sale all get us motivated fast, don’t they? But it is such a great feeling that it is worth having all the time:) Thanks for stopping by:)

  7. Oh, I just had a good lesson in clutter! We just moved a week or so ago and found that we had much more stuff than we thought and now have lots of unpacked boxes and bags lying around our new apartment. We have, however, got several bags worth of stuff together for the Goodwill and adding some more shelves so that’s a start!

    1. You make a great point, Jessica. Moving always unearths belongings we didn’t know we had/need to pass on to someone else. I always bring a “donate” box with move when helping either pre or post move. Sounds like you are well on your way – good luck!!

    1. It does, doesn’t it? It isn’t always easy to remember to take something out, but it is pretty effective. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. PERFECT TIMING for me to read this post. I’m currently working on de-junking my house. Next time I’m not sure where to start I am going to come back to this post. Thanks you

    1. Congratulations on having started the process, Kristiina. One step at a time and before you know it you will have cleared up all kinds of space. Thanks so much for your comment!

    1. So great that you are wanting to pass good habits on to your children! It’s never easy, but so worthwhile:) Thanks for reading!

    1. I totally agree, Lorelle. When my children arrived, I felt like clutter grew during the night:) Thanks so much for stopping by!

    1. Labeling is a great first step, Sandra. I have my own list of “like to get there”… no self condemnation – just one step at a time:) Thanks for stopping by!

  9. My desk at work has been covered with papers and clutter since the day I started over 14 years ago. This week my office is getting new windows. I needed to clear everything off my desk so a group of guys could pull it away from the window and remove the blinds. It is one of those big heavy oak desks. Other than finally being able to retrieve all the stuff that had fallen behind the desk over the years I have to tell you I am loving working on a clutter free desk. I feel freer and am in a better mood. I used to have this huge wire organizer that sat next to my computer that was always overflowing with papers. I think it has to go. Happy SITS Day.

    1. What a great story! There is just something so appealing about a big, open workspace. I totally get it! There are many organizing products out there, but the best one is us — getting rid of unnecessary stuff or filing it away where we can find it when we need it. Thanks so much for this comment!

  10. love this post Seana!! I am struggling with keeping all the toys and “fun” new things that my 11 month old is now able to explore with! need better ways to store all of her things! great post!

    1. Thanks so much, Nicole. I have some other blogs on organizing with children, and lots of cool ideas on Pinterest. Feel free to shoot me a question if you are having any particular challenges.. congratulations on your 11 month old. It is a wonderful journey!

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