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Conquer Clutter Or Die Trying

Oct 26, 2007
If you would like to conquer clutter once and for all in your home, there are only a few things you need to do. But you WILL need to do them faithfully each and every day.

Are you interested? These aren't difficult suggestions, but they may require some new actions on your part for success. Frankly, even if you only try some of them, you'll probably notice a difference in the amount of clutter in your home.

1. Stop the piles coming in.

Okay, you probably can't actually stop the piles of clutter coming in everyday, but you can stop them from piling up. If your home is like a lot of homes, you have piles of mail, piles of school papers, and piles of newspapers and magazines coming into your house on a daily basis. These can pile up FAST and overwhelm a room within a matter of days.

The solution? One suggestion is to designate a place for these incoming piles and assign yourself (or a family member) fifteen minutes a day to go through these piles and deal with them appropriately. Fifteen minutes a day doesn't sound like much but if you don't do this everyday, that's one and a quarter hours per week, Monday through Friday. And that's only one clutter pile.

2. Deal with the clothes.

If you have difficulty keeping your laundry off the floor and into your closets, as well as clean and ready to go each morning, then it will probably help you to deal with this clutter pile each day, as well. I suggest setting a timer each evening after dinner for fifteen minutes (this is a great chunk of time to use) during which each family member collects their clothing from around the house and puts it away. One load of wash is started. When the laundry is done, everyone goes through the load, picks out their own clothing and puts it away.

Again, daily is the key or by the weekend, you have a mountain of laundry and no helpers in sight.

3. Conquer clutter in the kitchen.

The key to a clean kitchen is the morning. Take your magical fifteen minutes as you start your day (you can rotate this through family members, if you desire) and empty out the dishwasher and sink. Then there is only one rule for eating for the rest of the day. When you're done, put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher and wipe the counter where you ate. Just one rule, not 52. Keep it simple. Got someone who can't handle one rule? Then they do everyone's dishes until they get the point.

4. Everyone handles their own stuff.

In many homes one person, usually an adult, cleans up after everyone. No wonder household management feels overwhelming!

Conquer clutter in a reasonable way. The old adage "if you get it out, you put it away" applies here. Then enforce this one simple rule with consequences that have meaning. Again, about fifteen minutes is all it takes once a day to keep everyone's stuff put away. Put on some music, start the timer, and announce no dinner until the clutter is conquered.

Believe me, they'll learn to put everything away fast. Really fast.

As you can see, to conquer clutter in your home doesn't require a major makeover, just a few daily disciplines and the expectation that everyone do his or her part. Pick one area and start that discipline today. Give yourself and your team thirty days to make the change. Then celebrate together! And start on the next discipline.

Pretty soon your cluttered house will be a thing of the past. And won't that feel great?
About the Author
Colleen Langenfeld has been parenting for over 26 years and helps other moms enjoy mothering more at http://www.paintedgold.com . Visit her website and get more tips on how to conquer clutter today.
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