Sure, you see the big picture – scattered shoes that you trip over each time you navigate the precarious passage of the hallway and the junk drawer that’s long exploded, spilling its guts onto your kitchen counters and onto the bathroom floor. Don’t get lost in the big picture; focus on the little things you can do every day to keep clutter at bay.
1. Make your bed every day – as soon as you get up. A freshly made bed is less of a magnet for discarded jeans, handbags, belts and piles of magazines and newspapers. Think of it like brushing your teeth, you wouldn’t leave home without doing it.
2. Put clean bin liners at the bottom of the garbage can. Bagging and taking out the trash is never fun, but it’s a dirty job that somebody has to do. This simple trick removes 2 or 3 steps from the process. When the garbage is full, just tie the bag, pull it out and pull up a clean one – all in one go.
3. Create order at the doorway:
-- Corral keys and other stuff like wallets and cell phones, and toss them in a wicker basket or dish, or hang them on hooks by the entry door.
-- Stow shoes in a cabinet with cubbyholes in the hallway or underneath a hallway bench.
-- Manage mail by placing a basket or dish on top of the hall table for bills and letters.
-- Stop junk mail before it gets to your door. The average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail a year, according to the web site www.41pounds.org. Sign up for a service that stops unwanted brochures, catalogues and other unsolicited mail from coming to your door and save a couple of trees in the process.
4. Manage your media:
-- Invest in a 100 plus CD player and just punch in the number of your favourite song when you’re in the mood. It’ll be like your personal jukebox. And/or store your extensive CD collection in the sleeves of a media book. Either way, you’ll get rid of the jewel cases as well as the clunky CD and DVD tower taking up space in the corner of your living room.
-- Get rid of the audio cassettes and VHS tapes you’ve been holding on to (unless they are family home movies). Those have long gone the way of the dinosaur and you probably no longer own the equipment to play them anyway. Do not throw videocassette tapes into the garbage. They contain non-biodegradable material that are hazardous to human health and the environment if not disposed of properly. Contact your local health department, environmental agency, recycling center or landfill to find out where to take your "tapes to trash" for proper disposal
-- Keep your remotes in a basket or tray on top of the media centre, your coffee table or an end table.
5. Create a “life surgery” drawer and get rid of the junk drawer. Think of it this way, if it’s junk, why are you keeping it? Instead, keep a drawer with things you need. Use dividers to make compartments for items like scissors, hair elastics, mints, tape and band aid.