6 On Your Side Answers: Ways to cut clutter

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Is there post-holiday excess lingering in your home? Are you overwhelmed by just a little too much clutter?

If your closets, garage, attic, and office are filled to the rafters, it might be time for a reset.

Don Dare shows you some ways to kick the clutter habit out.

If you want to cut through your material clutter, here are three questions for you to consider:

  • Ask yourself, do you love the item?  Is there a sentimental value?
  • Next, do you ever use it? Or, will you ever use it?
  • Finally, will I ever need it? Like I did 20 years ago?
  • If your response to each of these questions is “no,” pass the item along and let it find a new home.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff that most of us live with. 

  • Instead of burning out quickly, focus on one area at a time.
  • Start with the easiest areas first. Declutter a chest of drawers or a hall closet.
  • How about one kitchen cupboard or a single drawer in your desk.
  • Then, move on to the next spot. Make a list of all the clutter “hot spots” that need attention and check each one off as you calm the chaos. 

If taming the clutter seems like an impossible task, start slowly.

  • Decide to rid yourself of just a single item per day.
  • As the weeks and months pass, you’ll begin to notice and enjoy the extra elbow room your efforts have created.    
  • Build on your success by accelerating the clutter-busting schedule and letting go of two or three items each day.

Now, to achieve and maintain a clutter-free home, adopt a zero-accumulation habit. 

  • For every new item that comes into your space, make sure one item goes out. 
  • Donate or sell usable items and toss out what’s left.
  • For a more aggressive approach, try a one-in, two-out rule.    

Here is a way to approach your project, think inside the four-box method. 

  • It will help you get a handle on large amounts of clutter while ensuring that each item is consciously considered. 
  • To begin, get four large boxes and assign each box one of these labels: Donate, number one. Or Sell number two.
  • The third box is trashing or recycling. 
  • And finally, keep, but relocate. 

This system will prevent you from just moving piles around, and help you sort what’s needed from what’s not.


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