clutter

Imagine a perfectly organized home — everything in its place, all pretty and easy to find. No rummaging through drawers to find the extra batteries. No Monday morning panic as you toss out half your closet searching for the jacket you really want to wear. NO MESS. These 3 cleaning resolutions can make it happen.

1. “I will only keep what I use and love.”

This is the only step that actually takes work, but it makes the rest of your life easier.
We only really use a fraction of the stuff in our homes. The rest is crammed into cabinets, leaving no space for what we really need. (Perfect example: we know exactly where to find Grandmother’s fine china, but take 5 minutes to find the wine corkscrew.)

Make it easier: get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year, because if you didn’t need it then, you won’t need it now. Make three piles: throw, give away, or store. Feel guilty for tossing something expensive? Consider the price of real estate in Sydney – and how much that item is costing you in square inch of clutter.

You can keep some things for sentimental value, but curate your collection. And if you store something, label the box and place in higher shelves. Save the easy-access cabinets and shelves for stuff you use every day.

2. “I will create storage that works for me.”

Sick of rummaging through several drawers to find that one little thing you need? Aside from the usual office supply trays, boxes and pouches, you can get interlocking dividers that let you customize your spaces. Small boxes and pouches. Try thinking out of the box (pardon the pun): use ice cube trays to store earrings or extra buttons, or hanging shoe organisers for craft or kitchen tools.

Shopping tip: don’t buy organizers until you know what you’ll keep and where to keep it, and go to the store armed with your shelf or cabinet dimensions.

Make it easier: you know how they say the secret of a successful store is “Location, Location, Location” – well it’s the same for storage, too. Place extra batteries in the drawer near the TV remote. Keep a “catch-all” basket near the front door where you can empty pockets and drop keys, coins, ID cards, or whatever you’re likely to look for when you’re on your way out again.

3. “I will clean as I go.”

Instead of waiting for clutter to pile up, just do little “mini cleans” as you walk across the room. Sort out and toss the papers on your desk while waiting for your computer to power up. Wipe the kitchen sink while soup simmers on the stove. And while you’re dressing up and discover a shirt you hate or doesn’t fit, toss it into a ready box labeled “For Giving Away” instead of shoving it back into your closet.

Make it easierTo help you with your mini cleans, keep cleaning tools accessible! Don’t store all your mops and rags in a cabinet, only to be opened on dreaded Cleaning Day. Make it easy to spot-clean areas. It can be as simple (and as pretty) as three small wicker baskets, each filled with two rags and watered-down cleanser or disinfecting solution in small clear spray bottles. Keep one in the kitchen, the living room, and the bathroom. So, you can spritz or dust an area as you pass through it, or after you use it. Or, you can fill a tin pail with smaller bottles of your favorite products, rags, and a pair of gloves – easy to pick up when you’ve got a cleaning emergency.