Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
At our house, it only takes a few days for things to get out of place. I have figured out an easy and quick way to get things back in order.
I take my big plastic dish pan and starting with the dining room table, as that is where most of the clutter begins, I put everything that's out of place into the pan.
I walk around the room and place what stays in that room where it belongs and anything else that does not belong in that room, I put it into the pan.
I go from room to room and in just a few minutes, I have everything back where it belongs and have saved myself lots of steps.
After going through this I am determined not to put my children through this hardship. I have been sorting through all the stuff my husband and I have accumulated over the years. I have sold things at flea markets, yard sales, and given to our local Salvation Army. I have earned money not only by selling but finding things I probably would have bought in the near future.
I am more aware of the stuff I bring into my home now. I weigh each purchase. The best is I save time by not having to move "piles" from one area to the next. We enjoy are home more because we are not always stepping over things and battling clutter. Home is a calmer more spacious place to be.
By Pat W. from Eastern PA
Do you have a frugal story to share with the ThriftyFun community? Submit your essay here: http://www.thriftyfun.com/post_myfrugallife.ldml
I hate clutter; probably because I dislike dirt. Clutter makes it far harder to just keep up, and to find things. I have even read that it can cause stress. For me, clutter means I can't find what I'm looking for, or hiding something I forgot I have. Whichever the case it may be time to get rid of a few things.
I like everything in my kitchen tidy; the cans facing all the same way, plates stacked neatly, pans where I can use them, etc. What happens is you get in a hurry, and everything get in disarray fast. I have discovered doing it right the first time saves time in the long run.
I live alone, so I have to check dates on canned foods, things in fridge and freezer to make sure they are still good. The best way to do this, is have all of your cans stacked in order neatly. For example: I have soups in one row or area, and vegetables in another. Keeping them separate makes it easier to rotate these items; making sure nothing goes to waste.
Keeping food in boxes take up a lot of space and can allow bugs. Unless you eat it up fast, I have found it best to take the contents out of the box, and store it in same-sized plastic lock containers. Having these containers keep everything fresher longer, and make everything easy to see. I have organic cereal which I don't eat a lot of, and it has been fresh for months. So in the kitchen, toss out the boxes. You can find these containers on sale, and even at thrift stores in great condition.
What I eat more of, I try to get on sale in bulk and freeze. If it's in the right container, it saves space and saves the food from freezer burn. Living thrifty means buying on sale. These containers are great for soups, and things that you make ahead of time and freeze. Bread is great to freeze. Make sure you put it into another bag (even plastic store bag helps), to prevent freezer burn. Date it, and don't put where it could be damaged before it freezes. Once it's frozen, depending on space, you can stack it.
Before you go out to the big sales, un-clutter. Examine the food you have and clean out freezer before buying more. It will save you money not to let what you may have forgotten go to waste. I weekly go through the inside the refrigerator to see what I may have forgotten. I check the dates on condiments, and make sure milk or other dairy products are good before buying other things. This saves money and time, and makes meals so much easier. Once a week, I plan my meals, and eat what's there or clean out what may not be good.
Take a minute to put away dishes, pots and pans neatly. The cabinets will have more room, and later you will get to what you need faster. If you have things you don't use donate it. Chances are if you haven't used it in 6 months you probably aren't going to. If you use the 6 month rule on most things (except china or holiday things) and rid yourself of it, you'll have more space and time.
I have very little drawer space. My towels, fiber cloths are neatly stacked in a basket in cabinet next to the sink. Having them in a nice basket helps me keep them looking nice and neat. It's OK to throw away or use for rags, the old holey dish towels. You can find them at dollar store, 2 for $1.00. Take inventory, and rotate so you aren't using same one over and over. They all will get equal use this way.
Sometimes being thrifty, we feel bad about buying anything extra. I loved the way my baskets looked when I bought new dish towels. A few years later they still look nice. Throw out the old rags, and make new rags with old towels.
In the kitchen I also got rid of the mixed silverware, and old plastic containers that I didn't need. It's surprising how fast saving used plastic containers stack up and are forgotten. In my tableware drawers, I got rid of what I didn't use, got the right dividers, and put them away correctly. It stays neat.
I don't eat out, but my son loved fast food. When he was here, he kept all of the plastic spoons and forks. They were everywhere. I didn't throw them away of course, they are in plastic bags. They are great for on the go (grab a yogurt). Those plastic containers I told you about are great for straws, plastic forks. Don't throw it the drawers.
Clutter can be anywhere, with anything. My answer is the 6 month rule, and having the right containers. Buying all of the right plastic container helped so much in every area of the kitchen. Being organized will take so much stress out of your life. It is just easier when everything has its place. Donate it, have a garage sale, or toss it if it's not good. I have found everything is better when everything is neat, orderly, clean, and less money is wasted.
Source: Life. I was always a clean nut. But until my son left, I had no idea what he had in the back of my cabinets, closets, drawers, etc. I learned that less is usually best for me.
By Luana M. from San Diego, CA
One thing I noticed in a movie based in Iceland that I just saw, is that there was a noticeable lack of extra STUFF in their homes and other places. We as Americans have so much extra stuff, but I am trying to use that vision of a stripped-down environment to inspire me.
If you're like me you can get overwhelmed with the clutter. I found this tip in a magazine it works really well. Clear out 30 bags of junk in 30 days. I just fill a handbag from all over the house as I'm cleaning each day, and the clutter is going down.
I am a pack rat by nature and I save everything: Broken jewelry and bits of china, ribbon pieces to be used in future craft projects; clothing that is a decade out of style but just too nice to throw away. It is a compulsion and a bad habit that with some practice can be reformed.
Cleaning closets and clutter have been the largest project taken on this past week-end. I've renewed my determination to ask myself these questions before I bring anything of significance into this house.
Since so many of us have a lot of time off for Thanksgiving, it's a good time to go through stuff and see all you've been blessed with.
Using an old wooden breadbox to store misc. items has really improved the everyday kitchen clutter that I used to have laying around or stuck to the fridge with magnets.
To get rid of clutter, I usually start on a small project. If I start with a small junk drawer and get it all cleaned out, I feel a sense of accomplishment that makes me want to do more.
When company is coming, take your clutter items and box them up for sorting at a later time. This saves me time when I am rushed for cleaning, as I can sort through the box while watching TV or a good rainy day project.
I moved to a smaller house and had so many things that wouldn't fit into the new house. After I had stored a lot of it in boxes for a year, I went through it all again and found that these things no longer had as much sentimental "pull".
Controlling clutter with kids is not an easy task! To try to control the clutter in the living room, kitchen, and dining room, we have to do a walk-through everyday (or at least every other day).
If you are cleaning your closets, basement, or garage now, consider donating your unwanted items to the Goodwill, Amvets, Salvation Army, or some other worthy charity.
Keep a basket in each room for clutter. Have the family help clean out the baskets once a week. When unexpected company arrives, simply put the baskets in the closet.
Clearing up clutter is a step by step process. I have learned that I can accomplish anything if I break it up into 15 minute increments.
It's always a good idea to inventory and evaluate. There are items which are priceless, earning their keep over and over again. Then, there are those which only weigh us down with debt. How many items do you have which are earning their keep, and how many do you own which are weighing you down?
I don't know if anyone has mentioned it, but along with getting rid of clutter, "stop buying more stuff!". That's how you got clutter in the first place.
Spring is here and so comes the traditional spring cleaning. This year, due to my retirement, I really have the time to do a thorough cleaning of closets and cupboards. I've been discovering long lost "treasures" and duplicate grocery items.
To avoid clutter do what I do, whenever I buy something new, I have to get rid of one of my old ones. It's a deal I had to make with my husband to keep him from griping.
One way to keep clutter down is to provide dedicated space/containers, baskets, shelf space, plastic tubs, hangers, and hooks, for items which tend to accumulate.
What works for me is to take control the minute clutter comes in the door, in any form. When the mail is brought in, sort it right then.
When it comes to clutter and being organized I have a rule: When going through old things every year, when I find an item that someone just had to have for christmas, birthday, etc. If that item or items is sitting and not being used...
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
Clutter control tips from our readers. Post your ideas!
Turn your "clutter" into cash by selling clothes, collectibles, etc on ebay! Too much trouble? Set a goal of a major garage sale at least once a year and donate remainder to charity. I make a LOT of money selling "junk" each year.
When shopping, live by the mantra "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without".
I have a long icky story that I won't bore you all with, but I am in a bit of a pickle. I have made huge strides in de-cluttering and clearing my home. I began 3 weeks ago with the easy stuff, garbage, old magazines, papers, etc. that were most visible and I knew would make the "visual" impact that would keep me motivated.
Now I am at the hard stuff. Let me give you a scenario. I have a ______ (enter "box, closet, room, container, etc") containing the following: letters, books, important papers, pictures, office supplies, crafts, samples, toys, kitchen items, bathroom items, shoes, etc.
My question is, what do I do first? Sort and put things where they are supposed to go? or purge? (do the emotional part of deciding to toss, ie., do I need this, do I have another one just like it, does it work, does it make me sad, happy, etc.).
I'm going to call you Econo for short 'cuz your user name is too long for me to memorize as I scroll down the page to respond. :) Congrats for the first step! I'm like you, the visual improvement motivates me to continue the de-cluttering process. Just be aware that it can also cause a false sense of achievement! (Been there, still dealing with that!)
My best suggestion involves eight bins or bags with eight different labels:
1) Keep - Put back where it belongs.
2) Donate - Items must be clean and functional
3) Recycle - Plastic, paper, etc.
4) Trash - Trash, soiled, broken, dysfunctional, 'Nuf said
5) Sell - The garage/yard sell stuff
6) Sell - the more valuable E-Bay/auction stuff
7) Repurpose - Wood, fabric, etc.
8) Keep - Sentimental
As soon as the #1 bin (put back where it belongs), the #2) bin (donate), the #3 bin (recycle) or the #4 bin (trash) gets full, deal with them: put up, donate, recycle or trash at each days end.
Bins # 5, 6, 7, & 8, as they fill up, will need to move into another area for later action. (These will be the toughest to deal with and you will feel better by giving yourself a second, slightly delayed, opportunity to validate your original quick sort decision.) Honestly, however, by allowing yourself a second chance to go through these items you will probably find more and more items to eliminate via the trash, donate, recycle options. You will feel more confident in these choices as you give yourself the opportunity to think through it twice!
For most, the room by room method works best, but for others, it's drawer by drawer, or wall by wall. Just keep your system flexible enough that if you get stuck ("what do I do with this?") you can forgive yourself for not tackling it immediately and move on to another area that helps you keep up the momentum.
Be realistic as to how many hours per week you can actually devote to de-cluttering. Even if you get behind schedule, never beat yourself up as long as you are making significant progress on a routine basis.
I got into my own cluttered life style because a) I'm sentimental - my grandparents and parents were all gone before I was 33 years old and I inherited a lot of their stuff, b) I'm frugal, borderline cheap, and can tell you within a dollar how much I spent on every item in my home, not wanting to part with a dime and c) I can't stand throwing away anything that still has a useful purpose, even if I don't have a useful purpose for that item. (In part, that's why I use so many bins.)
I'm getting out of my cluttered life style because I'm weary of being the caretaker of "stuff"! Wishing you the same sense of sanity and best of luck with the process.
Tips for reducing clutter in your home. Post your ideas.
FlyLady is great. Also, we live in a location where we have to evacuate periodically for hurricanes. Seeing a Category 5 storm headed toward your house helps you realize what is important and what is not. Would you be heartbroken if a particular item was lost to a natural or other type of disaster? If your entire house were gone, what would you really miss or want to replace? If you only had 12 hours to pack up and leave, would you be able to find the things that are most important to you? I went through my entire house and asked myself those questions about everything. That helped me throw out, give away, sell, donate or recycle a lot of excess stuff. It is a great relief to have space to breathe!
I am trying to get rid of clutter, but am not quite sure as how to get started. Any ideas?
Start one thing at a time. I would suggest getting boxes ready to put things in and making arrangements to have those items removed before you do anything else. Than decide on one item that you are going to go through and get rid of the extra.
Get every book that is in your house and find a home for it, get rid of the ones you decide to not keep. Than go through your kitchen drawers, get rid of duplicate items. Go through your kitchen cupboards one at a time and only keep what you have used in the last year.
Go through dresser drawers and closets. Get rid of those items that you can not wear any more. Keep only the current size that you wear plus one size up and one size down from your current size. Fix any buttons or holes and put those things away or get rid of them.
Call your friends and ask if they need the extra or post to craigslist or have Goodwill come and take it all.
That is a start. Now I guess I have to go do my kitchen drawers and cupboards since you made me think about it.