Updated: Jan 9, 2021
We all have a lot on our plate! Summer comes with the mindset that things slow down and you have more fun! Ha! How about reality….you still have the same surprises, deadlines and stress….now you have expectations of others…to create fun for them….vacations! It is always great to get away, regroup and de-stress. But, when you look at all of the tasks on your “to do “ list it can become overwhelming. You feel overwhelmed and let things "slide a little" resulting in clutter that snowballs. Just know, it is unrealistic to believe that we can live totally clutter free.
However, let’s take a moment to look at the “Clutter Triggers” in our lives that contribute to our sense of overwhelm. Everyday living is about the systems and processes you have in place (or not). Look at your everyday routines….dressing, laundry, meals….now look at the processes involved. Look at the laundry…it did not end up on the floor by itself, the clothes arranged on the furniture in the bedroom, and the preparation and clean up for meals. Your clutter is a result of your sequences during the mindless daily activities. The system you have in place is only as good as you make it…but maintenance and consistency is the key!
Look at a few “Clutter Triggers” we deal with on a daily basis…..
Mail - Incoming and outgoing
1. Do you have a basket/bin to corral the mail
2. Immediately throw away junk mail at the time of opening
3. Cancel old magazine subscriptions, catalogs etc.
Kids - School bags, sport equipment, books, toys shoes clothes etc
1. Get the kids involved
2. Create a home for each item to be placed when they discard it
Adults - Routine for end of day placement of keys, purse, etc
1. Bowl or hooks for keys by the door or in the kitchen
2. Attractive box/ basket to collect items for retrieval on way in or out
Office - Paperwork, files, receipts, mail etc
1. Create a designated area to corral
2. Have a general family file (separate by family member if necessary)
Digital - Photos
1. Delete photos in the moment if taking several shots of same event
2. Files set up to download into by category/event or date
Email - Purge frequently
1. Unsubscribe from subscriptions and websites
2. Set up a folder to capture less important email you can peruse at leisure
3. Create a junk folder
4. Set up individual folders to have mail delivered directly to that folder
Misc - Items sitting around the home ( clothes, jackets, shoes, books etc)
1. Have a home for each item
2. Can anything be donated, gifted or trashed
Mental - Get the thoughts/to do list out of your head
1. Use a calendar to post immediate things to do
2. Use Trello or like computer app to keep projects in order
I am sure some of you have other great ideas and suggestions…just know that you did not get in a cluttered mess overnight…but taking small steps each day to establish habits and systems can help you reduce the “Clutter Triggers” in your life.