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Clutter. Nobody really likes it, but it still seems to be a consistent problem in people’s lives. From messy desks and closets to garages that are more like a graveyard for forgotten household items than a part of the home, clutter just seems to happen. Even if you are a tidy person, chances are high that there is a shed, storage space or garage filled with things that you do not need anymore.

We get it, it can be difficult to get rid of the clutter, and not just because of the time and energy it can take. It is often hardest to simply know where to start when it comes time to declutter your space. Today we are going to talk about a few tips that can help you tackle clutter and get rid of that junk finally!

1. Do not let things pile up

Sure, it might be too late for this one, but once you do conquer those piles of junk, you will want to focus on maintenance. By keeping things from piling up you can avoid the mental trap that comes with any big task – procrastination. Make it a habit to regularly get rid of things you no longer need, like old clothes, small kitchen appliances, books and toys and anything else that tends to accumulate over time. Select a time frame, like monthly or quarterly, to check closets, storage areas and garages for things that need to go. If you make this a habit, you can avoid stockpiles of junk accumulating in hiding.

2. Have a donation pile and know where to take donated items

Not everything you do not need is junk, some of it may have a second life with someone else. This not only helps others but may satisfy that part of your brain that does not want to let things go to waste. A straightforward way of doing this is to have a box or dedicated space where you put items for donation. This gets them out of your normal space and gets them ready to pack up and take when you are ready. Next, select a couple of locations that accept donations so that you do not have “I don’t know where to take them” as an excuse for letting things stack up.

3. Consider the “one in, one out” rule

Have you ever bought something only to find two other versions of it at home? Or have you fallen into the pattern of buying things for the future, even when they are not useful to you now? Many people overbuy, go to thrift stores, or garage sales and find themselves with a lot of things that do not really add value to their life. A way to mitigate this is to follow the one in, one out rule. For everything you buy and bring home, you need to remove the same number of things from your home. It does not need to be the same type of thing; the idea is to simply keep the number of things within the home at balance by removing as many things as you add.

4. Do not buy extra storage containers

Is clutter really clutter if it is neatly tucked inside a storage bin? The answer is “yes!” but we know that many people fall into this trap as well. The solution for clutter should not be to simply buy more storage containers to hide it. So instead of “fixing” your clutter issue by buying new ways to store it, put a ban on buying more storage containers. Instead, get rid of enough things that your current storage containers do the job. Next, challenge yourself to reduce the number of items in each storage container until you can reduce those as well! Finally, do not forget that if you do have a pile of clutter and just need it gone, call for help! We can get that mess out of sight quickly so you can start over, clutter-free!