There are three types of people in this world: those that live in stark, museum-like homes with no knick-knacks of any kind, those that collect every possible tiny little item in existence, and those of us that are left in the middle with maybe just a little more things than we need. This article is meant for the majority. We’re looking right at you, lady reading this at her slightly over-capacity work desk.
The truth is, clutter just slowly finds its way into our lives. We start off with one little thing, then another, then another and before you know it the nightstand looks like the top of the garbage on a Friday afternoon. Well, no more. We’ve got a few tips to get rid of that clutter you so much despise.
1.) Take out the trash. In the midst of all our clutter we usually have plenty of trash. These are things like bills that have already been paid and “pre-approved” credit card invitations (yes, those need to be thrown away). Go through really quick and get rid of the stuff you know shouldn’t be there. If you have your doubts about if something is garbage or not, put it in a separate pile to come back to later. This is just a quick first step.
2.) Condense what you use. Take a look at your closet. The simple rule is, if you haven’t worn it in the last year, throw it out. Of course in a city like New York, with abundant seasons, that basically gives you six months to wear your favorite summer dress or winter coat (which is never fair). So we say re-evaluate. Your style evolves over the years, are your clothes evolving with you? Are there things that don’t fit anymore (including your “fat” pants)? What about in the kitchen: do you really need three waffle irons or will one do the trick?
3.) Separate donation (or sell), trash, storage and keep. Put the keep pile to the side; we’ll deal with that later. Once your items are separated, it’s important that you do this next step immediately. Take them where they need to go! Drop off your donation items at Goodwill, put your storage items in storage and take the trash to the trash. Now you’re left with the “keep” pile.
4.) Organize. Now that you’ve narrowed it down to the important things to keep, go ahead and organize them in the way you’d like. Don’t throw all your clothes back into the closet in a haphazard sort of way; organize them for later! Hang your shirts and dresses up by color or season, put your shoes in an easy-to-spot system.
5.) Plan ahead. The next time you’re out, think about what you bring home. Do you need the item you’re looking at or do you just think it’s nice right now? If you already have a pair of blue heels, do you absolutely need a pair of blue/green heels with almost the exact same cut and height? Probably not (sorry).