Your mail is piling up, you can’t locate the scissors and you just can’t remember where you put those receipts for your taxes. Are you getting tired of your cluttered life? Here are 5 keys to helping you declutter your cluttered life.
Everything Has a Place
Just the other day I was searching all over the house for furniture sliders. I finally asked my Mom had she seen them. She walked into our laundry room and opened one of the cabinets and handed them to me. I said to her “That’s their place!” Once I finished using them, I placed them right back where they now always belong!
Every item in your household needs to have a permanent place. More importantly, it needs to always make its way back to this place. A cluttered life is just placing an item down once you finished using it. But a decluttered life places an item back where it belongs to be easily found when it is time to use it again. Pick a place for all your household items and remember to put it back when you are done using it.
The Dreaded Mailbox
The Post Office no longer delivers to us any wanted mail. Almost all of our fun communications come via messages, phone or text. Your parents and even grandparents are on Facebook now! Most of our bills come to us electronically and we pay them online. When was the last time you purchased a stamp? So why is our home mailbox constantly full?
You arrive home, check your mailbox and then lay all the items on the counter because they are not important and you can get to them later.. Tomorrow you will repeat the same process until by the end of the week your counter is cluttered. Friday is here, the weekend is coming and you just can’t be bothered with it!
Ninety percent of mail is now junk and in most cities, it can be recycled. It will take you less than five minutes each standing by your trash can or recycle bin and start tossing it out. Your counter will stay decluttered and your weekend a lot less stressful.
Minimize That Closest
How many items have you ever rediscovered in your closet when you decided to clean and organize it? Then it gets hung back up to be forgotten again. Here is a key to minimizing your wardrobe closet when you are having a hard time deciding what to let go of.
The first step in this process is to clean and organize the items in your closet. The second step in this process is re-hanging and sorting all your items back into your closet. You should sort items by type and color. An example of this step is all white shirts should be hung together. The third and critical step in this process is to place the hanger in the opposite direction. The reason for this step is to find out after a year the items of clothing you are regularly wearing in a year.
Why a year? You will have seasonal clothing items you don’t want to discard so give yourself an entire year. Once a complete year has gone by, where the hanger position has not been changed is the clothes you need to consider selling, donating or discarding.
How Many Years Do I Need To Keep a Document?
One of the most frustrating and cluttered areas of our life are the important documents we need to keep. From tax documents to bank statements, they can pile up. It is important to have an organized filing system for your important documents and knowing how long to keep those documents. If you don’t have a filing system, I recommend you purchase one. It can be as simple as a file box or a big as a file cabinet. It is important to label and file your documents. Below is the recommended time frame for keeping important documents:
The IRS recommends your keep 7 years of your tax filings
Pay stubs and bank statements keep for a year.
Home purchase, sale or improvement documents keep for 6 years.
Medical records and bills keep for at least 1 year
Utility and phone bills for 1 month.
Focus On One Thing at a Time
Are you really multi-tasking? Researches continue to state this is a myth. Technology has allowed us to do more tasks faster, but our brain is wired to switch from doing only one task at a time.
The best way to keep your cluttered life decluttered is to focus on one task at a time. Based on the four items above, you should prioritize your task by day, week, month or annually and complete them from start to finish. If your daily task is the mail, then you should collect it from the mailbox, sort through it, throw away the junk and file the important documents. You shouldn’t leave one of these tasks like filing to another day unless it can become a regular weekly task.
I hope these 5 keys to a decluttered life inspires you. If you have any tips or suggestions on how you decluttered your life, please share them with us. Thanks for reading!
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