5 Quick Fixes: Uncluttering Tips from Erin Rooney Doland
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Since so many of us are strapped for time, we thought we'd ask expert organizer Erin Rooney Doland (author of the blog Unclutterer and the book Unclutter Your Life in One Week ) to share five quick fixes for making a clean start to the New Year. Her suggestions: Above: An array of inspiring housewares products from Baileys Home & Garden in the UK. Know Thyself. When it comes to keeping clutter under control in your space, it's best to be honest with yourself about your preferences and your energy levels. Are you good about putting things away? Do you have the energy it takes to maintain a complicated filing system? Most of us like to do the least amount of work possible when it comes to keeping our places uncluttered and organized. When organizing your things, make things as simple as possible. Frustration First. What in your home bothers you the most? Whatever space makes you curse under your breath whenever you see it is the best place to start to unclutter and organize. You will get such a rush of joy from having this one area under control that it will help propel you through your smaller projects. Make It Work. If you have multiple unfinished projects cluttering up your space, now is the time to get them finished. Either pick up the phone and call in a professional, or actually finish the project. If the work you've sworn you're going to do yourself isn't done in two weeks, have someone else do it. Unfinished projects cause stress and anxiety, and there is no reason for you to carry those negative feelings with you through all of 2012. Always Accessible. Have a trash can, recycling bin, and shredder near the main point of entry to your home so you can keep clutter (like junk mail) from ever coming into your house beyond the foyer. Have a clothes hamper in your bathroom, bedroom, and closet to catch your dirty clothes where you remove them. If your home has more than one level, keep a vacuum, broom, dust pan, dust rag, paper towels, and all-purpose spray cleaner on every floor so these items don't require much effort to use. Keep a donation box in your laundry room and one in your closet so you can quickly deposit items to go to charity. Happy to Help. Make cleanup time fun by playing music with a quick tempo that everyone can sing along to while they work. Make a game out of chores by seeing how much you can get done before a 30-minute playlist ends. Also, try not to work for more than 30 minutes an evening doing cleanup around the house—you might not get all of the work done in one night, but doing a little each day will guarantee that eventually you will get it all done.