Having a home that’s clutter-free and organized is a goal that can be easily thought of, but cannot be achieved by thinking alone. If you enjoy looking at magazines that feature home organization ideas, but hate the idea of clearing out the clutter that you’ve accumulated over the years, here’s a few tips that can help you manage the process without giving up before you get started.
Acknowledge the Clutter
You may have a conscious awareness of the clutter residing on your counter, desk, table, or inside drawers, but fail to acknowledge the important of the documents. Whether it’s bills, junk mail, photos, or books, you must acknowledge the content of the matter. By doing so, you move from awareness to confrontation.
If you have outstanding bills that you haven’t address yet, now is the time to go through unopened mail to analyze the total and interest your bills may have acquired. You may have been able to barely manage your mortgage, rent, car, and utility’ payments, but if you toss other bills to the side, years could go by without making the smallest payment.
Lack of acknowledgement enables passivity which leads to apathy.
Tackle One Portion at a Time
If you haven’t done any shredding in a while, you may look at the mountains of documents with dread. Hiding the documents in bags, drawers, and closets won’t make the paper go away and wishing won’t either.
The best way to conquer the accumulated paper battle is to focus on one pile at a time. This can be done by setting a daily and weekly goal. Each day you can review a small portion of a pile, shred what needs to be discarded and repeat the process each day until that pile is eliminated. Focus on one portion of a room and file the remaining clutter in the your mental file cabinet.
When you do this, your mind makes a subconscious shift that the project is doable. If you stay on course with this decluttering method, you will be done within a month or so depending on the amount of work you need to address.
Let Go, Free Your Mind, and Move Forward
After you have separated your clutter into piles, organize each pile according to date. This will give you an idea of the total amount of bills, and allow you to shred the extra copies of bills that are not necessary to retain.
Place the bills in a file folder, list each bill on one sheet of lined paper, and staple or clip the paper inside the folder. This will help you manage due dates and pay down bills based on your ability. For example, you may want to pay off the smaller bills and move on to the larger ones.
Be truthful with yourself and ask if a book, magazine, document, or other item is absolutely necessary. If it doesn’t contribute to your assets, personal growth, or family heirloom collection, toss it. If you don’t, you’ll continue to carry emotional ties from the past into your future.
If you have a plethora of ideas or goals you want to accomplish, you must realize that old papers can block creativity and progress. If you haven’t been to college in awhile, or you graduated years ago, shred papers and articles that are not relevant to your present status. You have your degree, transcripts, thesis, and dissertation to showcase, that’s most important.
If you feel better saving coursework, scan and save the documents to your desktop or flash drive.
If you have medical documents, it’s a good idea to organize the papers so that you can access them quickly when needed.
After you have completed this step, you will see how much space you have created. If already have file folders, begin to organize the folders in alphabetical order and place the files in a cabinet. If you don’t have a cabinet, you can use cardboard boxes until you can purchase the type of file cabinet or file boxes you like.
The more order you create, the more clarity you gain. It’s hard to think when you have a lot of clutter around you. However, if you make organization a priority in you life, you’ll be able to achieve other goals in an efficient way.
You’ll also be able to retrieve important documents quickly because you’ll know exactly where the information is located instead wasting time searching in places that can’t yield answers.
Act Now and Save Time
The more you put off decluttering, the harder it will be to declutter if you have to move. You can save time by shredding, discarding, and storing things now. When the time comes to move, all you need to do is focus on packing clothes, furniture, and other large assets.
Don’t limit these tips to your home, apply the methods to your vehicle, and office.
You Can Do It!
Go ahead and conquer that clutter giant, your home will become the ideal haven your mind has dreamed of for so long.