With published research stating that clutter causes anxiety, confusion, and depression, it’s no wonder that participants in a recent survey conducted by the green cleaning leader, Maid Brigade, say that an organized and clutter-free home is the #2 factor influencing their overall well-being.
For me, just knowing the clutter is there bothers me. And seeing it up close and personal? Let’s just say I have fantasies about grabbing my family, running out the door and leaving it all behind for a brand-new empty house where we can just start over. Clutter is hard to deal with, especially once it piles up (under beds, in closets, in spare rooms … the list goes on).
In fact 80 percent of people said they declutter weekly. (I wish I could say I’m one of those people. I’d LIKE to be one of those people.) Participants also rated the home office and children’s bedrooms as the top two areas for accumulated clutter. The playroom, kitchen and family room are also at the top of the clutter list.
Read more about the Maid Brigade survey results.
Here are five clutter buster tips from Marie Stegner, Consumer Health Advocate for Maid Brigade to help you keep chaos away.
1. Spend 15 minutes per day picking up clutter before it becomes overwhelming.
2. Add furniture that does double duty such as a coffee table that also serves as a storage chest to contain items in the room where they’re used.
3. Create a “magic triangle” in your kitchen between the stove, refrigerator, and sink and keep frequently used kitchen items there.
4. Avoid randomly buying storage containers to hold things you don’t use or need. It just adds to the clutter. And, those containers take up space.
5. Practice the “in-out” rule. For every new item, discard an old one.
You can also get kids involved in decluttering by providing rewards and making it fun. It’s even easier if you label four boxes or bags that everyone in the household can use to declutter: Keep, Donate, Trash, Hold. (If you haven’t touched the things in the hold box in one year, their time has come.)
My ultimate declutter fantasy
I’ll leave you with my top decluttering fantasy—and yes, I’m aware how OCD that sounds—that I hope to make happen sometime this summer. Please tell me if you agree this is an AWESOME idea (and if you think I’m crazy, you can go ahead and keep that to yourself).
My fantasy goes something like this: I take a week off work, or a long weekend, if a week isn’t feasible. Send the kids to Grandma’s. Tackle each major clutter zone of my house, top to bottom. Fill as many white garbage bags as I can with trash, black bags with donations for Good Will, and take them out to the curb and donation dropoff place. Hubs can handle the dropoff/trash duties.
With the items that remain, organize, contain and label it up appropriately. Create systems I know we can all use and stick to, such as toys arranged by like toys and ability to rotate them between “active play” and “store for later.” Winter stuff gets put away until winter, but is easy to retrieve when the chill creeps in during fall.
Finally, get the house deep cleaned (combination cleaning service and steam-vacuum our disgusting carpeted areas). During this time, I get a full-body massage, mani/pedi and possibly treat myself to a glass of red wine and a good book. Hubs can also get a break from his crazy, clutter-clearing wife.
When all is done—really, really done—Hubs picks up the kids, and they come home to a decluttered, organized, clean house and a happy, relaxed mom and wife who looks something like this. May all our decluttering fantasies come true, my friends …
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14 thoughts on “Clutter: Fantasies and Realities”
Ha! Your de-clutter fantasy sounds exactly like mine! I literally say this all the time! It is currently my dream vacation! It is IMPOSSIBLE to get things like this done with kiddos around!
Whenever my husband asks what I want to do for my birthday, that’s what I ask for! He just looks at me like I am crazy! Needless to say, I still haven’t gotten to do my organizing dream. Maybe one day…… I can see how it would improve your well-being.
Where can I find the desk/coffee table/storage table? I clicked on the picture and it took me to amazon.com. They showed similar one but not THAT one. Thanks
I really really want to know where to get that exact coffee table!!!
Great article! My family would LOVE it if I could reduce the clutter in our home. Thanks for the tips!
Yes! I too have the exact same fantasy and need to know where to find that coffee table!
Did anyone get the answer to where to get that coffee table?
This is a fantasy I’ve had for as long as I can remember, and I don’t even have kids yet!
My fantasy is so like yours! It takes more than a week, though. My kids go to my moms for 5 days each summer (they came home today) and I tackle their room and the play room. De-clutter, sell, donate, rearrange and clean every inch. Day one is ALWAYS decompression time. I need to work in a massage next year!
Not sure I agree with the suggestion to avoid the storage bins. They have really helped me get organized and you might say I am a bit of a basket case. I have cute Banana Leaf baskets in my living room for my sons toys. Its so easy to scoop them up and have a clean living room each night. All in all I love this article and this site- I’m so glad I stumbled on it!
Asia, I am TOTALLY in favor of storage bins. Just not randomly buying them. If you know WHAT you need, and where it will go, that helps direct your shopping to the right bins that will actually help you stay organized! (Glad you found us, too 🙂 )
Where does the coffee table come from?
Has anyone figured out where that coffee table is from?!?!
Hi! I just saw the coffee table/desk that you posted long ago and am wondering where I could find one. Thanks. Marsha