Cut The Clutter the Cheap and Easy Way

By AMNW Intern

Professional Organizer, Tracy McCubbin, joined us to show us how to cut the clutter!

Click here to learn more about Tracy.

Kitchen Clutter

  • The kitchen is main gathering place in the home – not only for people, but also for junk. 
  • The name of the de-cluttering game is purge, purge, purge. 

 

TIPS:

 

Manage the mail - One of the biggest causes of clutter is over-retention.  So before you even bring that stack of mail into the house, toss all the junk mail into the recycling bin.  Also, I recommend that clients open their mail over the shredder.

 

Purge the pantry - How many times have you gone to the store and come back with a pile of food that you already had in the cabinet?  It happens all the time.  So take some time to purge your pantry.  Donate canned goods and non-perishable items that you don’t like or know you won’t eat any more.  Not only will it help you see what you actually need and don’t need, but it will also save you money so you’re not doubling up on items.

 

Free up space - If your coffee mugs look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, then wire shelves will be your new best friend.  They’re an easy and inexpensive way to give yourself more space and will help you keep your cabinets tidy.  An inexpensive plate rack is also a great solution for all those loose lids.  This works great for both larger lids from pots as well as smaller ones from food storage bowls.

 

Do the dishes - The best way to clear the clutter is to not let it build up.  Take 5 minutes at the end of the day to do the dishes.  A sink full of dishes is visual chaos and no one wants to wake up to that in the morning.

 

Conquering the closet

  • The closet can quite possibly be the biggest clutter trap for us all.  And while we may dream of a beautifully custom-built closet, it’s definitely not in everyone’s budget, but you can take what you have and work with it.
  • Rule of thumb: if you didn’t wear it last season, you’re not going to wear it this season. 
  • If you don’t love it, it doesn’t make you money or it doesn’t make you feel great. Lose it.
  • The fewer clothes you have, the fewer choices you have, which means you’ll be saving time in the morning!

TIPS:

Purge and Color Coordinate - First things first, create groupings in your closet, like with like:  pants with pants, skirts with skirts by color.  This cost-free tip will not only creates visual harmony, but it will also save you precious minutes in the morning.

 

Shore up the Shoes. - Shoes have a way of taking over the space, especially boots, which always want to flop over.  For about ten dollars you can buy boot shapers, or better yet, just roll up an old magazine (thicker is better) and insert them into your zipped up boots, they’ll be standing at attention immediately.

 

Out of Season, out of Sight  - Store out of season items in neatly labeled boxes on the top shelf of your closet.  When swimsuit season rolls around again you know exactly where your cover-up, hat and suit will be.

 

 

Overhauling the Office

 

  • Uncle Sam will soon be calling, so now is the time to get your files in order.  Talk to your tax consultant about what needs to stay and what needs to go. 
  • From old bills to dried up pens, the office is many times more of a cluttered space than a workspace. 

 

TIPS:

 

Splurge on a Shredder - Shredders aren’t necessarily cheap, but they are a necessity.  It immediately cuts down on paper clutter, plus you’ll save yourself thousands of dollars by keeping your identity safe.

 

Find a Filing System - Filing systems are great, but you don’t need a fancy cabinet to keep your affairs in order.  If you’re short on time and budget purchase twelve inexpensive plastic 9”x11” envelopes.  Next, label each envelope by month and file your receipts and bills appropriately.  Voila!  When tax time comes, you'll know exactly where to find everything.

 

Ditch the Junk Drawer - Instead of going out and buying a desk organizing system, grab a few of the boxes your checks came in – these make perfect drawer dividers and best of all – it’s free!

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