Clutter is a fact of life in many homes. Items often are purchased and used only once or never used at all. They get shoved away in a junk drawer or the back of the cabinet and joined by similar items, creating large piles of unused clutter.
Most professional organisers recommend throwing out anything that hasn’t been used in a year to get rid of clutter. While this is usually a guideline for success, many know from personal experience that as soon as something is thrown away, a use is found for it after all.
Evaluate the Clutter
When looking for a way to get organised, consider a different approach. Instead of just throwing things away, think about possible uses for them. It’s true that many of these things were just meaningless impulse buys or things that were needed only once. However, sometimes the things people buy can be trying to tell them something.
The craft supplies, exercise equipment, kitchen gadgets, pieces of clothing, and other items that have been collected but never used can help people to re-prioritise their lives and get in touch with what really makes them happy. When clutter clearing, evaluate why these items have not been unused and forgotten.
Why were the items purchased in the first place? Was it a desire to start a new hobby or try a new style, or an attempt to make life easier? At one time, it was important to take the time and expense to purchase these things, so it may be time to make room for them again.
Use It or Lose It
First, figure out how to get rid of clutter by putting it to use. Make an effort to use the unused. Give it a one-month “use it or lose it” period. For the next month, find time to make use of things that have just become clutter. Concentrate on one item at a time—brainstorm about how to use it, or possible uses it might have in the future. If it is really no interested in using this stuff, after all, give it away to friends or family who may appreciate them, sell it, or donate it.
Find New Storage Solutions and Routines
If they turn out to be keepers, figure out where to put them. They need to be in an area that is easily accessible; otherwise, they run the risk of becoming unused clutter yet again. First, think about the current schedule and space. Is there a way to make those unused items fit? Think about ways to add new routines and activities and ways to eliminate some old ones that don’t work any longer.
Look around at items in the home. Figure out if some have been outgrown or worn out, and can be replaced with the things that were put away and ignored. This may require rearranging display and storage space and adopting new schedules and routines so that the items can be used. For example, it may be time to find time for crafting, exercising, or preparing gourmet meals, while giving up some other activities that no longer hold interest.
Evaluating the clutter in the home, rather than just throwing it away, can turn wasteful purchases into useful ones. It also serves as an exercise in re-prioritising and getting in touch with new interests and goals.