It’s time to spruce up and create an organized work space, an appealing family room, and a cozy bedroom. You can’t do that when you are surrounded in clutter. Clutter also stymies your thinking and creativity. It’s time to get rid of the clutter and find new storage places for those things with which you cannot part.
The bad thing about clutter is that it creeps up on you, until one day you find yourself digging out from under a pile of “stuff,” and you can’t put your hands on anything when you need it.
The first thing to do is get rid of clutter that is truly “clutter.” We all have knick-knacks and do-dads we have hung onto for years that are now dust collectors. Purge any clutter with which you can part. This is the first step to organizing your space and creating a clean, open, environment where your mind and body can flourish free of the surrounding clutter.
Clutter elimination is easier today than ever before. Have a yard sale, sell things on Ebay, or list them for free on Craigslist or a local web classified site. Go ahead and pass down sentimental items. Get rid of souvenirs from trips you can no longer remember or would just as soon forget.
The best rule of thumb is to get rid of anything that you have not used in a year. If you find it in a pile of clutter and have not even seen it in years, chances are you have no use for it at all.
Before you take your expendable clutter to the local landfill, separate and recycle metals, plastics, and old electronics. This takes more time than tossing everything in the truck for a trip to the landfill, but in the long run it benefits both you and future generations.
Once you have rid yourself of as much clutter as is possible. It’s time to organize what’s left and prevent future build-ups of clutter.
Old-styled trunks, decorative trunks, and old army trunks can be worked easily into most any dÃ?Â©cor. Decorated trunks are inexpensive or plain trunks can be purchased at a local hobby store and spruced up with a little paint and decoupage. Trunks can hide sentimental cards and letters, old books, and even family heirlooms that you don’t want to get rid of, but that don’t fit into your dÃ?Â©cor. Scrapbooks, ticket stubs, and children’s crafts can also be tucked away inside these trunks.
Large trunks can be used for coffee tables, or stored neatly in a basement closet.
The second clutter buster works well in children’s rooms, play rooms, and casual family rooms. Stackable, plastic storage bins come in all colors. Some are transparent with colored accents, others are solid colors. Storage bins with drawers for easy access are among the best way to tuck away toys that don’t belong in the toy box. Dedicate each drawer to a specific toy or type of item and label it. Matchbox cars, hand held video games, small board games and card games, and action figures can all be stored neatly and unobtrusively in plastic storage containers.
Flat, storage bins work well for storing seldom used items under the bed. Under-the-bed storage bins vary in size, and most are compartmentalized for organized storage of stuff that would otherwise clutter a bedroom, family room, or even a closet.
If your home office, bedroom, or family room needs a more sophisticated clutter buster use a screen. A white screen will allow your room to seem more spacious, while a screen that allows you to post your favorite photos will make a room cozier.
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Don’t just toss your clutter behind the screen, before you screen off your clutter places bookshelves or other storage containers neatly where it will be hidden by the screen. Using a clutter free mindset, make sure everything has a place.
Make your new clutter free lifestyle lasting by labeling designated places or containers. Arrange everything behind the screen in a neat and orderly fashion.
Bathrooms can also be clutter zones. To straighten out your bathroom work with the space you have. You do not want to cramp your bathroom, so you may need to install medicine cabinets which conceal shelving. Mirrored cabinets will make the bathroom look and feel bigger.
You can also place a variety of small wall shelves in groupings to hold similar items. This works best in a bathroom that doesn’t receive a lot of traffic. This will keep your groupings looking nice and even allow you to accessorize shelves to pull the look of your bathroom together.
If cabinet space is a problem and you do not have a vanity. Find or make your own wrap-around curtain vanity. Make sure you leave a space in the middle, as you would on window curtains, to allow yourself to access the toiletries and other items you are concealing beneath the sink. Curtain vanities can be sewn or purchased to match window treatments, boarder, wallpaper, or other bathroom accessories. You may be surprised at the charming feel and the cleaner look provided by your carefully chosen curtain vanity.
Bedrooms and bathrooms that are extremely short on space have a couple of clutter busting options. One solution is to find a corner shelf or two that tuck neatly and unobtrusively in the corner. Neatly arrange books, knick-knacks, or other items on the shelves.
Another, more contemporary solution is to recess a cabinet into the wall, if your house is constructed with enough space. Consult your builder and an electrician before you begin to hack into a wall. You may also build a shallow shelf along the wall. Basic shelving is easy to build and can be decorated with fancy wood trim. If the shelf still looks cluttered and makes the room feel cluttered hang a curtain that matches the room’s motif over the shelf. Essentially, it will look like another window is in the room. We did this successfully in a Georgia Bulldog Bedroom.
Girls may prefer to decorate their recessed wall shelf rather than hide it completely. Shimmering bead curtains will capture your eye, diverting it away from the “stuff” stored on the shelves. If you want to make the shelf blend more with the room, add the same or similar bead curtains to the closet or entryway.
Maintain your clutter free lifestyle by throwing away anything that you do not use within a year’s time, unless it is sentimental. The other necessary step is to make a pact with yourself and your family. Once something is removed from its place, it must be returned to the same place immediately when you are finished using it. It may take a while to train everyone to participate in your new clutter free environment, but once the clutter is removed everyone will be able to think and move about more freely.
You can then move on to beautification projects that you put on hold for so long because of the clutter, because now the clutter is gone!