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!

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and coaching program

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