We always need fresh ways to pick up our homes, perk up our spaces and make more room for the things that really count and quit being frustrated by all the to-do lists that never get done. If you are still looking to “Spark Joy” à la Marie Kondo to “spark” some quick relief for a fresher, neater home, look no further. By just taking a few minutes every day to attend to little things, we can trounce the elephants that come trampling in our homes, stirring up messes. Instead of procrastinating those annoying chores that pile up, just “DO IT.” I have six ideas that might help those clutter bugs disappear.
Praise The Pantry
If you are like me, I am always preparing for the unexpected and I stock up pantry goods for the new dish that I never cook, extra towels for the surprise guests that never appear, and piles of paper towels and laundry soap when it is on sale. Extra stuff=extra clutter, so if your pantry and storage cabinets are overflowing, purge the urge to buy and purchase only what fits and is essential. Periodically, give your pantry some breathing room and throw or give away out of date items or that jar of something you can’t pronounce, let alone use. Spices, too, get old after a year or so and I have no idea why spices come in large jars- a marketing ploy for the spice merchants. As your restock with one thing, throw one thing away or plan to use the extras soon to preserve a clear view.
Enforce The 10 Second Rule
Whenever anything can be put away within 10 seconds, do it when you are thinking about it to prevent all those 10 seconds from piling up into an hour of scattered work. Little things do mount up and anything that just takes 10 seconds to complete really can keep you ahead of the game in maintaining a tidy home. Enlist your children and spouse to adhere to the ten second rule and get them in the habit of helping in small chores.
Ban Some Books
I still love real books and for me a new book is a rare treasure to unfold, but there are always a few books that hit the dustbin that I just don’t like or ones that even though were a good read, I don’t need to keep. I save my “faves,” but force myself to keep a basket of the “maybes” and I periodically go through the titles and either give away or stow back on my bookshelves. For a book lover like me, this is one of my most difficult tasks in clearing clutter and a task I have finally, but haltingly embraced.
Raise The View
Anytime I get the chance to recommend a short-cut to make home living effortless, I cheer for motorized blinds. With a flick of a button on a remote device, your blinds quickly and easily can be raised or lowered with no dangling cords or getting on a stool or reaching over a bed to struggle with your window coverings. Day and night comfort is quickly adjusted to your needs. Even better is our own Blindsgalore Neo Hub that allows you to control your blinds from a computer, a tablet or your mobile phone, at home or away, as your schedule dictates. Yes, motorization is available on almost all of our window treatments-rollers, solars, cellulars, sheers, romans, woven woods, outdoor awnings, faux and real wood blinds. Your windows will be sharper looking, but best of all, you save time so you can enjoy doing what you like best. I believe a home without motorized blinds really is living in the dark ages.
Cherish Children’s Art
Not every piece of artwork or schoolwork is a masterpiece. Curate your children’s artwork. Always display the current favorites in a special spot and do a critical sweep monthly and safely protect the ones you like. Be mindful of the fragility and nostalgia of these precious pieces as I stored all the early years of the artwork of my children and we had a fire and all I had left was a pile of ashes. Check out Artkive, a digital solution that allows you to save these keepsakes. With this app, you can snap photos to save them or create a photo book of these special art treasures, safeguarding them forever from fading, tearing or loss.
Can The Containers
For me, it is really not the containers, but the lids that never match. They must go in the same place where socks without matches go (wherever that is?). Since my kitchen storage space is limited, I have to stack the lids separately from the containers or I would have a leaning tower of glass dishes. Inevitably, I can never seem to find the right size lid and ransack the shelves furiously and end up using plastic wrap. To avoid such frustration and clear the clutter, I fearlessly attack this problem and match them up and toss out any lids or containers that do not go together – not a perfect solution but I don’t have a perfect kitchen.
With so many important things to do in life, if you sort out every day into tiny bits, the piles that clutter up your home can be more easily attacked. Just be brave and bold and don’t look back.
Use your extra saved time to do what matters.
“There will always be the infinity of things to do. We can never get our life or our business or our kitchen running exactly the way we want it to run. No matter how we envision it, it can’t be that way. Life is not predetermined to the point that we can get to some stage and then see how it all works. What happens is that we have a better and better understanding of things, we have more clarity and ability to deal with things as they arise. But they keep arising, endlessly. The empty sky is always creating new clouds, the pot is always boiling.”
– Kōshō Uchiyama