Do you feel like you’re spending all your time picking up your house instead of relaxing in it? If you’re nodding your head, you’re not alone. While 10 percent of Americans are spending money on storage units each month, most people are just living with bursting closets, drawers that don’t close, and a garage filled with storage totes. Having a home filled to the brim with stuff is costing you time and money, but the good news is, with these 6 Creative Ways to Conquer Clutter, you can get your house, your time, and your money back!
Go Trash-Free in Ten Minutes
There’s no rule that says you have to clean out an entire room in one day, though! Instead of blocking out a few days to clean out an entire room, you can make a big impact in a small space.
Start in the bathroom and set a timer for ten minutes. In that time, you can toss out toiletries and cosmetics that haven’t been used in six months or more, throw away expired medicines or prescriptions you no longer need, and toss out loose cotton swabs and makeup sponges. Because there’s a part of you that knows time is limited, you won’t spend all your time over-thinking whether you should keep a three-year-old, half-empty bottle of lotion.
This 10-minute clean-up is great for pantries to throw out expired food or box up items to take to the food pantry. You can even use this method on kitchen cabinets where you can donate old corporate-logo coffee mugs, casserole dishes you’ve never used, and toss cracked or chipped dishes. You’ll be amazed at what you can do in 10 minutes!
Switch Your Subscriptions to Digital
Instead of keeping stacks of magazines that you may or may not read, switch your subscriptions to digital versions. You can take them everywhere and read them on your phone or tablet when you want to. This also keeps you from holding onto stacks of magazines telling yourself that you’ll get to them one day. Digital subscriptions are even more environmentally friendly, and you don’t have to worry about recycling!
Digitize Your Documents
Trying to find a home for bills, paperwork, and documents is impossible for most of us. Instead of having a messy drawer with bill statements you paid months ago, consider switching to getting your statements sent to your email or setting up online bill-pay.
Other documents that you need to keep up with, scan them and save them to cloud storage, like Dropbox. This lets you access them and print them anytime you need them, without having to dig through drawers or file cabinets.
Turn Your Clothes into Cash
Most of us only wear 20% of our wardrobe for 80% of our life, which means you probably have access to more closet space than you realize. If you’re holding on to clothes in the hope they’ll come back in style or you’re hoping you will fit back into them, try an online consignment like ThredUp or Swap. They send you a postage-paid bag, you fill it with your stuff and send it back in. The company sends you your money, and it’s a win-win!
Not sure what you wear and don’t? Try this popular trick: Turn all your hangers with the hooks facing you. When you wear an item and hang it back up, turn it the typical way. By the end of the season, anything you don’t wear can be consigned!
Get Clever with Shoe Storage
Over-the-door shoe storage is more versatile than you may think! Hang one over your bathroom door and keep razors, shave gel, makeup and bottles organized in the pockets, or use them to store cleaning supplies. In the kitchen, spice packets, small boxed goods, and other items that get lost in the cabinets and drawers are easy to see in the see-through pockets.
Use High Spaces
If you have books, DVD’s, or a beloved collection of shot glasses, install shelving closer to the ceiling (think just over a door or window frame). A high, wall-length shelf is a great visual piece, that adds functional storage. Anything you put up there is within easy reach while freeing up valuable floor space. To really maximize your space, install the shelf near your entryway to hang hooks for things like coats, hats, or handbags.