What are your clutter hotspots?

Look around your home and identify the areas that always seem to get piled up with clutter:

  • top of fridge
  • bedside table (or the floor beside it)
  • desk
  • table in front entrance

You get the picture! The same spots — over and over — fill with clutter, despite your desire to be more organized. The reason you and your family choose these places to set down objects that don’t belong is because they’re convenient places.

The key is MAINTENANCE! It’s that simple, yet that difficult. Decluttering is only the first step; afterwards, take an extra look at your hotspots each day and tidy them before they get out of hand

How decluttering can make you feel good

There is nothing quite like decluttering and organizing your home to give you a warm fuzzy feeling! Here’s why:

Bright, Open Space…

Decluttering removes all the unused and unwanted items from your home, leaving only the things you need, love and use. Rearranging these and organizing them into the newfound space will leave you with a light and airy home.

Eliminate Bad Memories…

Decluttering will lt you examine each item for usefulness, but it will also reveal your feelings toward a particular thing in your home. If it reminds you of an unpleasant person, event, or time period in your life, don’t keep it.

Be a Positive Role Model for Your Children…

When your children grow up in an organized home they are more likely to follow your example in the future, when they have homes of their own. Many adults are disorganized because they were never taught by their parents — don’t let that be your legacy.

Help Others…

Decluttering gives you an opportunity to pass on your unused items to people who can really benefit from them. Sometimes you know who these people are and you can give them to friends and relatives. Or, you can donate them to charity.

Protect the Environment…

Every item you donate or pass on to others is one less item that must be manufactured using natural resources. In addition, it means one less item in landfill. Either way, it’s a win-win situation!

Why can’t you stay decluttered?

You finally finished decluttering your entire home and you’re so proud of yourself! But two months later — MORE CLUTTER! What happened?

You Thought Decluttering was a One-Time Job…

Decluttering is a lifestyle. It will be something you do regularly for the rest of your life. Granted, it will be easier each time, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you are finished with the process forever.

You Haven’t Examined Your Shopping Habits…

Decluttering is one thing, but you also have to keep the clutter from returning. Many times we are the ones who are guilty of bringing clutter back into our homes.

Before you donate your items to charity, take a minute to examine them.

Why did you buy them in the first place?
Were they impulse purchases?
Had you intended to use/read/wear them but never got around to it?
Did you buy them only because they were on sale?
Did you buy them and use them, but now they are outdated or worn out?
Would you buy them again if you saw them in a store today?
There are no right or wrong answers, only what works for you. Only then can you shop with the mindset that you will not buy anything that will re-clutter. Perhaps you can replace the word “declutter” with “decumulate.”

Your Family is Not Onboard…

You can never declutter successfully without the cooperation of every person in your household.

Your husband and kids must also be able to purge their unused items on a regular basis, and it goes without saying that they must not bring in new clutter to replace the old.

What does your clutter really mean?

There are subtle psychological reasons we accumulate clutter. Clutter often has a hidden meaning, and getting to the root of the problem will give you an insight into yourself, as well as a way to conquer the clutter once and for all!

Hallways

Hallways connect your rooms and represent your ability to flow. Cluttered hallways may indicate your feelings that your life’s path is not clearly defined or that you are on the wrong path.

Kitchen

Your kitchen is where you prepare the food to nourish yourself and your family. This is often where you dump everything from mail to school bags to miscellaneous items, making the nourishment of your family (body and soul) difficult.

Living and Dining Rooms

These are the rooms in which you entertain. If these rooms are cluttered, it could indicate that you are trying to hide your true identity from friends and acquaintances.

Bedroom

If your bedroom is cluttered, you will find it harder to unwind and get a restful sleep. The clutter could also represent your attempt to put up a barrier between yourself and your partner.

Bathroom

The bathroom is where your own private spa, where you pamper yourself, and where you get ready each morning to face the world. Clutter in the bathroom may be an indication that you lack self worth.

Closets

Closets are literally full of things you choose to hide from view. If you overfill your closets with items you don’t want, need, or use, you are blocking the insight and intuition you need to “see into” yourself and situations.

Attic

Items in the attic are literally “having over your head.” Since attics symbolize our connection to the past and families or ancestors, and also to your higher self. Too much unwanted stuff in the attic can make it difficult to resolve issues from your past and grow as a person.

Basement

The basement is the foundation of the home, and a home with a cluttered basement has a very poor foundation. In dreams, basements represent the subconscious mind, and a cluttered basement can blunt your intuition.

Garage

Since your garage houses your car, too much clutter in your garage may make you feel difficulty moving forward in life

Stocking up vs stockpiling

The second part of Proverbs 31:18 in the New Living Translation says, “she watches for bargains.”

In today’s terms, that would mean shopping sales and using coupons, which many of us already do. But if you can find a spot for a pantry, you can go an extra step. A basement corner, and unused cabinet in your kitchen, or even a spot in a spare room might do. Dave and I live in a condo, and after much thought we decided to use a closet in our dining room. Having extra food on hand will allow you, like the Proverbs 31 woman, to have “no fear of the future.”

Once you have the pantry set up, fill it slowly every week. As you shop you will be purchasing food to use during the upcoming week. This is your “needs” shopping. As well, you will see items on sale that you know will be used in the near future. That is your chance to stock up, put them in your pantry, and no have to pay full price for them when you need them. If you have coupons or if you get bonus points on store loyalty programs, so much the better.

We all know the feeling… we are at the supermarket or the drug store and we see an irresistible bargain — a product our family uses, on sale!

To buy or not to buy, that is the question. The answer? It depends…

I regularly indulge in what I like to call “investment shopping.” That is, when I see an item I know we will use in the next few weeks, but don’t need this week, on sale today. Buying it and storing it in the pantry means we won’t need to buy it at a higher price next week or the week after. But where does one cross the line between “stocking up” and “stockpiling?” If you follow these simple rules you should be just fine:

YOU MUST HAVE ROOM FOR IT: That doesn’t mean an unused corner of your bedroom. If you are going to stock up you must have a dedicated space — either in your pantry, a closet shelf set aside for the purpose, or on special shelves in your basement or storeroom.

YOU MUST HAVE NEED FOR IT IN THE NEAR FUTURE: Otherwise there is no reason to purchase it now; watch for sale prices closer to the time you will need it. Example? You won’t need to devote February’s freezer space to the turkey you’ll need for Christmas.

YOU MUST HAVE NEED FOR THE QUANTITY YOU BUY: If you only use several cans of soup in a month there is no need to stockpile a whole year’s worth.

YOU MUST USE IT BEFORE IT EXPIRES: If you open a package from your pantry only to find it is no longer usable, you wasted the money you spent on it.

YOU MUST STOCK UP ONLY ON NON-PERISHABLES: Unless it can be stored in your pantry or freezer, a bargain might not be a bargain. Do not stockpile more fresh fruits and vegetables than you can use before they spoil.
Finally, don’t use your freezer or pantry as a place to “hoard” food. It should be in constant rotation, first-in-first-out. If you realize any particular item stays in the pantry a long time before you use it, you will know for next time not to buy it so far ahead.