Specialized Clutter Boxes
One personality trait that causes clutter is procrastination. Most people at one point in their lives used a space in their houses just to “age” clutter. This might have been a drawer, table, or even a pile on the floor, where clutter patiently awaited a time when we’d make a decision about what to do with it. Unfortunately, the larger that pile got, the less we wanted to do something about it.
This can be avoided by forcing ourselves to make decisions about clutter as soon as it is produced. Instead of one big pile of “decision pending” items, use separate boxes for “move,” “sell,” and “store.” These boxes force a decision about the item: either it goes in one of the boxes, or it goes in the trash. No matter what, it will not be put in a pile just to age, like a bad wine, until a decision is finally made.
The “Penicillin” Method
This method takes a lot of willpower. It comes down to making hard and fast rules about household clutter. The central rule is that one an area has been de-cluttered once, it is considered “inoculated” and may never be cluttered again. This rule acts like penicillin, preventing the infection of clutter from moving around in your home. Inoculate your home piece by piece until everything is clutter-free.
Give Away One Item Per Day
There is actually a whole blog about this, http://www.365lessthings.com/. It’s not necessary to actually get rid of one thing per day; instead, just put it aside to be given away in a weekly or biweekly event. Charities such as the Salvation Army and the Diabetes Clothesline will take virtually anything off your hands. You may also want to contact local charitable housing programs, as they are often in desperate need of furniture. Instead of cluttering up your home, doing nothing for nobody except annoying you, your items and furniture can help people get a fresh start in life.
The Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment
This is a simple and brilliant way to reduce clutter in your closet. First, turn all your hangers in your closet backwards, facing away. When you wear an item of clothing, return it to your closet facing the correct way. After six months, give away any clothing still facing backwards.
Family Clutter Patrol
Set aside 10 minutes each night for the whole family to go through the whole house, room by room. Each family member must pick up and put away any of his/her items. This not only causes a great drop in the amount of clutter, but also encourages family members to not create the clutter in the first place.