After all, prevention is better than cure.
If you haven’t been KonMari-d yet, we have news: there are simple ways to cut down on clutter. The first step is to stop it from coming in your house in the first place. These are our top nine tips.
1. Reset to zero every night. In a nutshell, put things back where they belong. Lounge cushions go back to their rightful place, tea mugs are washed, magazines go in their holders. Doing a little every day helps stop the clutter from building.
2. Sort mail before you even get inside. Junk mail goes into the recycling bin immediately. Bills go into their own pile. And do you really need that catalogue? Bin. It.
3. Do a birthday cull. You probably do a cull of your kids’ clothing and toys before Christmas and their birthdays, when they’re likely to be flooded with new stuff, but do you that with your own stuff? We’re guessing: no. Clean out your bookshelves and wardrobe, at the very least, to make way for all your shiny new presents.
4. Recycle magazines. Unless you’re a collector, you don’t need the print editions forever. Scan them with an app like Evernote, and then pass on your hard copies to a nursing home or kindergarten for craft.
5. Have a “don’t buy” list. When you go shopping, as well as having a list of food to buy, have one that outlines stuff you don’t need any more of.
6. Everything has a place. Keys are hung up. Clothes go in the washing basket or are hung again. Jewellery is stored safely. Coins go in wallets or a savings jar. Once you get into a routine of putting things away as soon as you get home, you will reduce clutter like crazy.
7. And for everything that doesn’t have a place, have a clutter area, that is, a junk drawer. Yep, everyone needs a place where they can stow stuff that, well, doesn’t really have a place. Rubber bands, takeaway menus, paper clips – where do you put all this stuff? In the junk drawer, that’s where. Keeping it all contained in one place is the key.
8. Hire things you own that you only use once in a blue moon – specialty tools, big ticket kitchen items, even fancy dresses. You’ll save in space and money. You can rent clothing, equipment, tools and, of course books (from the library) – a truly great way to reduce clutter and cut costs.
9. Aversion therapy. If you really, really can’t stop the clutter getting in, there’s one more thing you can try. Watch for thirty seconds. Cured yet?