This month JAM Organizing presents another informative article from a guest blogger. Enjoy!
Keeping our homes 100% clutter-free is easier said than done. The truth is, most of us have at least a tiny bit of clutter lurking around - behind closed doors, in closets, garages, etc. The worst thing is, we don't even realize we have it until it's gotten entirely out of hand. Putting a stop to it is a must, and the first step towards doing so is to identify the most common causes of clutter. Read on to learn more about what clutter is, why you might be dealing with it, and how to avoid it altogether, all so that you can eliminate the stress it creates.
What is Clutter?
There no one universal definition of clutter. Clutter has a different meaning to everyone. It may be a pile of unorganized documents for some. To others, it may be a stack of cardboard boxes, overflowing kitchen countertops, or something else entirely. However, everyone can agree on one thing - clutter is anything that brings feelings of unease into our lives and makes it challenging to go about our usual business in our homes.
Being oblivious to the clutter isn't particularly unusual. Actually, it's more common than you think, and sometimes it's not until an outsider has pointed it out to us that we finally realize just what a mess we've gotten into.
Most Common Causes of Clutter & How to Prevent It
The reasons why our homes might be drowning in mess are many. The most common reasons are:
1. Poor or No Organization System
Having an organizational system in place helps prevent clutter, but an organizational system is so much more than just a few boxes for storing items. After all, what good is a documents box if you mix up the important documents with those you no longer need? Chances are, unless you've recently created or updated, your system could benefit from a slight upgrade.
Lucky for you, the Internet is full of organizational hacks that help make life easier. Take your search online and you'll find an option that works for you. If you're still not sure, it may be time to call in an expert.
Organizational habits will help you move forward with your goals:
The less mess you leave, the less you will have to clean up, and the less clutter you'll ultimately have to deal with. Pretty simple, right?
2. Being Unable to Let Go of Unnecessary Items
It's human nature to get attached - to other humans, animals, and physical items. We keep many items because of the emotional attachment. Deciding what you keep and what to hold can be difficult and saying goodbye is never easy, but it must be done for the sake of tidying up and reducing stress.
To get ahead of the clutter, you'll have to divide your belongings into two piles - the first one representing those you'll keep and the second those you will get rid of. Some items, like family heirlooms, you'll want to keep but don't need to see or access every day. Keeping them safe and out of the way may be possible. To achieve that, you'll want to find the right facility for your needs - and by facility, we mean storage facility. A place where treasured sentimental items will be kept safe and no longer contribute to clutter at home.
3. Buying Duplicates
How many times have you brought something home from a shop only to realize you already have the exact same item? We bet several. Have you also gone to the store without a particular shopping plan and later returned home with bags of things you didn't really need?
We have good news: the habit of buying duplicates can be broken. A good start: shopping only with a shopping list prepared in advance and stick with it.
4. Lack of Storage Space
When there isn't enough storage space available, clutter can accumulate. The stuff starts finding its place on the floor, behind doors, everywhere! One solution is to find a new house for yourself - one with more space for storage - but that's not always practical. Storing excess items off-premises inside of a storage facility could be a better solution - and a cheaper one!
Before you move your belongings to the storage facility, proper preparation is necessary. Once you decide what to store, you may want to disassemble some of the items for easier transport, as well as to protect them and prevent damage.
5. Lack of Purging
Common causes of clutter include lack of or irregular purging. Purging essentially means getting rid of everything broken or useless in a timely manner. The more often you do it, the better, but it isn't always that simple. Many of us don't have time to purge regularly. In that case, dedicating a few minutes of your time to purging a couple of days in a row is a good option.
6. Schedule Conflicts
You may have great decluttering and organization skills but can't seem to get on top of it because of your busy work schedule. You get home late and barely have enough time to tackle the most basic of chores. There is only so much you can do about your schedule, but don't panic. There will come a day when everything won't be as hectic, and you'll be able to tackle clutter effectively. Until then, practice staying on top of your organizational habits - the ones we mentioned earlier. Put everything back to its rightful place after using it, and when the day to clean out finally arrives, you'll undoubtedly have less cleaning out to do.
Sometimes, life happens, and no matter how much we plan and try to keep our homes in order, we fail. There are so many things we can't plan for that prevent us from having the home and space we desire. It doesn't have to be a particular event that disrupts our decluttering routine. It might just be that we are too tired to do anything about it or aren't in the mood to deal with the mess at the moment. And that's fine.
The thing about clutter is that it does accumulate, but it might not be accumulating as fast as you've think. The rate depends on how good you are at practicing organizational habits. If you are determined to stick with them, you'll be able to go longer between purge sessions. But if you are constantly tossing things left and right, handling clutter is something you'll have to deal with on a much more frequent basis.
While we can get ahead of many common causes of clutter, the same can't always be said about life. Sometimes it's necessary to let it run its own course. Then, once things have settled, we can tackle the clutter.
Would you like to live a more organized life? Contact us today to get started!
I'm Jen, a professional organizer ready to help you take charge of your space, free up your time, and lead a more organized life! (Read more about me here)