Clutter Control Tips

posted by Aby Garvey 7 Comments

Do you have a door mat to prevent dirt from coming into your home? What about a system to keep clutter from getting in? Remember, the best way to control clutter is to prevent it! Give these ideas a try:

  • Sort your mail over your garbage can or recycle bin. Junk mail will never make it into your home or on your counter tops!
  • Avoid impulse purchases. Keep a wish list in your purse or wallet. When you see something you want (but don’t really need) add it to the list. After waiting a week or so, look over your list. Decide if you truly need, love, or have-to-have anything on your list. If so, go get it and enjoy! If not, throw out your list and pat yourself on the back! You just prevented clutter and saved some of your hard earned cash!
  • Identify your triggers. When shopping, do you ever say “If it doesn’t work, I can always return it”? Clutter alert!! How often do you actually end up returning these items? Instead, do these things ultimately become clutter in your closet? If you don’t love it in the store, there’s something wrong with it. Either it isn’t exactly what you’re looking for or you don’t need it. Let it go, find something better, and feel good knowing you just avoided some potential clutter.
  • Pony Tail Holders Blue Ceramic DishCreate homes for your belongings. Clutter often results when things don’t have a home or the home is inconvenient. Look around your house. What things are causing clutter? Do they have a home? Is the home convenient? For me, a chronic source of clutter was my daughter’s pony tail holders. They were always scattered all over the bathroom counter. I added a simple ceramic dish to collect them. Now they look neat and tidy — not at all resembling clutter. Once several have collected, I return them to their home in her bedroom.
  • Store items where you use them. Keeping items where you use them will help you conquer clutter in your home. Here’s why. When you store things where you use them, it is easier to use the item and put it away when you’re finished. This last step, putting the item away, is a critical step in controlling clutter.

When you see clutter in your home that is a result of items that haven’t been put away, double check the item’s home. Is the item kept where it is used? If not, look for ways to carve out space for your items closer to where they are used. When you do, you’ll be taking one more step in the direction of a clutter free home!

Print Friendly
  • June 7, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I’m going to try this with the hairbands, I leave them all over the place and lose them really easily, I must have bought hundreds of them over the years!

    • September 11, 2013 at 7:52 am

      Hi Aby,

      Not sure if you will see this or reply, but worth asking!

      I really struggle with things like this, I find that I try to put things in “homes” like dishes etc, but then where do you draw the line of having tons of dishes everywhere just storing stuff that doesn’t have a home?

      I have so many things I haven’t managed to let go yet, but then I don’t have somewhere to put them…

      Any tips?

      September 11, 2013 at 8:37 am

      Hi, Lucy,

      Thanks for your question. If I’m understanding your question, I think what might be missing from your equation is limits. With limits you decide how much space you have available for dishes, and then, you keep only the dishes that will fit in that designated home. If you don’t have enough storage space or enough areas to designate a home for all of your items, then it means that you either have to add storage or let go of more things until you have enough space to carve out homes for everything.

      I have an online class that is just getting started called The FUNdamentals of Getting Organized. This class will help you declutter and establish homes for the items you decide to keep. Here’s a link to the course description if you’re interested. In addition to the course content, I will be there to coach you and answer any questions during the teacher participation period. Let me know if you have any questions about this class and if it’s a good fit for you.

      Thanks for your question!


      • September 11, 2013 at 8:42 am

        Thanks for the reply! I’ve been browsing through all your tips on here and seeing so much I can try to do to help myself!

        I think I definitely need limits, and I’m definitely bad at going “oh but I might need this” and holding onto things for sentimental reasons. I’m getting better but I am very interested in your guides and classes.

        Currently I can’t afford to do the workshops (and I want to do both after listening to the PRT episode this week!) – do you ever repeat your workshops? Although I can’t sign up right now, I’m hoping perhaps you do repeat them and I may get another chance in the future…

        Thanks for your reply :)

        September 11, 2013 at 9:31 am

        I do repeat workshops. We will definitely run FUNdamentals again, but this could be the final expert-guided session of Creative Space.



        • September 11, 2013 at 9:37 am

          Thanks, that’s useful to know.

          What would be the difference between the self paced and the live workshop? Is it the coaching from you? I haven’t fully looked but that was the workshop I was interested in, but perhaps I can still benefit from the self paced when I get a better opportunity to do it.

          Sorry for all the questions, am new to your site and feeling so inspired after reading through all your tips so all my questions are buzzing around!

          July 29, 2014 at 9:20 am

          Hi, Lucy,

          The expert guided classes are paced. Lessons are released one a week and the expert guided classes include my support via the private classroom forum. The self-paced online classes are not paced. You can work through the lessons as quickly or slowly as you like. These classes include access to our private member area for questions and support. We have two community leaders who answer questions and keep everyone motivated, and I am also available to answer questions on an as needed basis.