5 Causes of Clutter and How to Kick Them to the Curb
If you find yourself de-cluttering often, or setting big decluttering goals every New Year's Day or Spring Cleaning Season, it may be time for a better solution. Sometimes getting to the root of why you have a problem in the first place is the best way to start solving it.
Keep reading for 5 of the biggest causes of clutter, and what you can do about them.
1. Lifestyle or schedule changes
When your life changes, the organization in your home has to change too. If you have recently gone through a change in schedule or a major shift like children moving out of the house, retiring, beginning to work from home, or welcoming a new member into the household, it's time to rethink the things you have and where you keep them.
New schedules and new lifestyles bring with them new habits. Pay attention to the clutter that is consistent: maybe your keys and mail are always set in a certain spot (not in a good way), or you notice that sports gear is always dropped in the living room now that your kids are athletes. Whatever your clutter pain points, make note of the lifestyle changes that have led to the building up of that particular pile of stuff.
2. Lack of an organization system
After making note of the stuff that needs a home, take the time to develop systems. Running out to the store to buy lots of baskets and bins is not the same thing as having an organizational system in place.
You will be most likely to stick to a system if it closely resembles your current habits. For example, if you always drop the mail on the dining room table when you walk in, choose a basket or folder the mail can belong in that can call the dining room home. Deciding you are going to immediately open, sort, and shred your mail or take it to the office to file it is likely too big a leap to be a sustainable solution.
3. Emotional attachment
We know this one can sting, but many people hold on to clutter because of sentimentality when an item isn't serving any other purpose. There is nothing wrong with keeping things that have sentimental value, but make sure the emotional price you are paying by being stressed out by clutter isn't more than the warm fuzzies you get from holding on to these items.
If you are not ready to part with everything, but know that decluttering requires taking it out of your house, consider which sentimental items can be preserved digitally. Maybe instead of keeping all those elementary school projects, you can scan them all and have a book made of all the photos.
4. Hobbies without a home
Hobby supplies are one of the biggest sources of clutter. This does not mean you should not have a hobby, but it does mean every hobby needs a home. You may not have an art studio or a craft room or a home gym, but you likely have the space to store your hobby supplies in a box or bin.
It doesn't have to be complicated, but identifying a home for your hobby supplies will keep them from becoming coffee table clutter or that annoying mess you have to clear before using your dining room.
5. Insufficient storage
Lots of people will quickly blame the clutter in their home on a lack of storage, but this is a little different from what we're saying. Even if your home is limited in closets, cabinetry, or attic space, you can find attractive and functional ways to add storage in.
Armoires, baskets, garage bins on ceiling mounted shelving, and hooks are just some of the creative and affordable ways you can add storage into the house without hiring someone to add a built-in bookshelf or new closet.
Before buying any new storage systems, make sure you have identified what exactly needs a home to avoid buying the wrong solution.
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