Time for Some Clutter Control?

Clutter is like a mosquito bite—it won’t stop bugging you until it goes away, says organizing expert Jill Viglione.  “It is surprising how clutter can occupy our minds without our realizing it,” she remarks. If your house is starting to resemble Kmart or feels just too crowded, it’s time to put that adage “Out with the old and in with the new” to work. Decluttering can be difficult for everyone, which is why we asked Viglione for some tips.

General Overhaul

Carving out a block of time to organize the kitchen or garage is often on the bottom of the priority list. But now is the time to move it to the top; otherwise, you may end up spending that sunny afternoon cleaning your basement rather than sitting on the porch enjoying the sun.

  • First, imagine how your space would look and feel without the clutter. This can make it easy to get rid of stuff.
  • If an item doesn’t fit into your vision, if you don’t love it or it isn’t useful, give it away or donate it.
  • Limit your purging sessions to ten minutes at a time; set a timer if that helps.

Closet Control

Can’t find your shoes? Having an organized closet is one of the easiest ways to save time and reduce stress during a rushed morning.

  • Place out-of-season clothes in clear bins in another area and donate the clothes that you no longer want to a nonprofit.
  • Sort clothes and create sections by type and color, such as short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, skirts and slacks.
  • Place your shoes on the top shelves for easy access rather than on the bottom, or toss the shoeboxes and use an over-the-door shoe holder. Lastly, purchase matching hangers to create a sense of balance in your closet, which is a great way to start your morning.

Kids’ Collectables

To toss it or save it: What parent isn’t plagued by what to do with quickly accumulating children’s treasures? Here are some tips for dealing with kids’ artwork and awards and such:

  • Purchasing a clear under-bed box is a good place to start. It can be easily stored, accommodates larger pieces and limits how many items can be saved.
  • Designate a wall in your home as your child’s “Art Gallery” to highlight their favorite art pieces; place in simple frames and hang them on a monthly basis.
  • For iOS and Android users, ArtKive is a free app that lets you take photos of artwork and saves them to your phone and an online account.
  • Another option is to photograph artwork and post it to Google+ or Flickr. Once it is posted, it is easy to create a photo book for each year’s artwork, which can be cherished in future years.
  • Share artwork with friends and family.

When you walk into a home that is clutter-free, the room will feel open and balanced. You may feel calm or light, or experience a sense of renewal, according to Viglione. “Most people will feel relieved or happy and notice that everything has its place. If you take the time to work the steps and surround yourself with the things that mean the most to you, your space will match the vision that you would like it to be.”

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