Clutter has a knack for taking over homes before the homeowner even realizes what hit ‘em. And it’s not just an aesthetic problem; a messy home poses health risks as well. It’s an especially harmful environment for children and anyone with respiratory problems or allergies. Moral of the story – it’s time to clean house! Here are seven easy tips for cleaning up the junk overtaking your home.
Do it in Sections
Cleaning up a house full of junk can seem like an overwhelming project. However, when you break it up into sections, such as tackling one room at a time, the cleanup becomes a far more tangible goal. If it’s just one or two rooms needing the love, section the rooms off into manageable bites you can cleanup as your busy schedule permits.
15 Minutes a Day
Spending just 15 minutes a day decluttering can make drastic improvements over time. Set a timer and have at it. The average American watches about four hours of TV per day, so don’t tell me you don’t have the time!
Throw it Away
Be honest…do you really need all the clutter? Most of it is simply trash, so put it where it belongs. Rent a dumpster if you have a lot of stuff that needs to go. Most dumpster rental companies let you keep the rental for seven days, so you can clear out the junk a little each day.
One in, Two Out
Use the “one in, two out” rule to clear clutter and prevent it from coming back. Anytime you bring a “clutterable” item into your home, get rid of two other items. The math works.
Give it Away
Take advantage of sites such as Craigslist and Freecycle.org to rid your home of clutter. Give it away for free to people living in your area; you’d be amazed at what people will take off your hands when you put it out there for free.
Get Rid of (Some) Storage
This may sound a bit counterproductive, but the fact is that too many storage areas just provide more places to stash trash. You may be able to get rid of a bookshelf or cabinet you really don’t need. It will clean up a space fast.
Digitize Your Life
Do you need a huge library of books cluttering your house anymore when you can have a whole digital library of them accessible via a tablet-sized e-reader? Donate, sell or give away the books to your local library and step into the digital age. The same is true for paper bills and statements filling up your mailbox every day. Switch to e-statements and do it all online.
Photo: Hooked on Houses