Every Fourth of July we celebrate America’s birthday and the glorious freedoms we enjoy living in the land of the free. Celebrations take the form of barbeques, parades, speeches, neighborhood gatherings and fireworks displays that light up the night.
While most celebrations focus on the bigger picture of independence, if you find yourself unwillingly living under the tyranny of clutter in your home, July 4th is the perfect time to declare freedom from clutter! Take a lesson from our founding fathers and change up the landscape in a big way.
Here are seven tips to declare your independence from the tyranny of clutter.
One: Admit there is a problem
It’s true that Martha Stewart has set the bar pretty high on keeping a neat home, but perfection is not really what you’re going for. With an active family, including pets, jobs and feeding everyone, there’s going to be the stuff of life everywhere. If you find yourself constantly moving things around to get anything done, you probably have a problem with clutter. Call it what it is…CLUTTER…and determine to make a difference.
Two: Get the family on board
This means a family of one or a family of 10. Sign your own Declaration of Unclutter, and set the new rules that will govern everyone’s behavior moving forward. These classic “home rules” can get you started:
If you sleep on it…make it
If you wear it…hang it up
If you drop it…pick it up
If you eat (or drink) out of it…wash it
If you step on it…pick it up
If you open it…close it
Three: Purge unnecessary items from every room
Make a tour of your home, removing everything that doesn’t belong in each room and relocate to where it does belong, or toss it. For example, abandoned shoes should go into closets, return books and magazines to bookshelves, random dishes to the kitchen, discarded clothing items to bedrooms and old mail and catalogs into the trash. Just by removing the top layer of clutter, you’ll begin to see some clear surfaces and start to get excited at the prospect of no clutter! Don’t let clutter get so out of control you resort to drastic measures: “Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.” ― Wendell Berry, author
Four: Assess storage needs in the general areas
- Does the family room need organization and storage solutions to accommodate movies, gaming elements, puzzles, blankets, etc.?
- Is the kitchen pantry an ineffective pile of food, appliances, cleaning supplies and random storage?
- Is the dining room table covered with books and papers and projects leaving no room to sit down to dinner as a family?
- Does the laundry room need organizational help to manage dirty clothes, laundry day and clean clothes?
- Is the entryway or mudroom a messy depository for family litter?
Maximizing space in each of these areas is the quickest way to eliminate clutter. The old adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place,” is a sure way to stay organized.
Five: Attack the closets
This includes bedroom closets, hallway closets, linen closets and storage closets. Unless you’ve made a concentrated effort with custom closet organization systems, chances are you are not utilizing your closets to their fullest potential. Taking one closet at a time, go through the contents, purging anything that is no longer useful, including clothing, bed linens, hats, coats, memorabilia and tools. I guarantee you’ll be surprised at what you find in some of those deep, dark closet corners!
Six: Oh my gosh…the garage
If clutter has become a way of life, your garage will probably be the greatest offender of all. Garages are notorious for becoming a dumping ground for whatever doesn’t have its own place in the house. Haphazard organization attempts can be stacked bins and boxes, spindly shelves and throwing a tarp over a really bad corner, but there is a much better way to utilize all that glorious garage space! Custom garage storage cabinets that capture vertical space are the first step to de-cluttering the garage.
Seven: Call your local Tailored Living designer
Now that you’ve identified where your home most needs some organizational TLC, the professionals at Tailored Living can help you create a game plan for custom storage solutions that will make every area of your home clutter-free. We can help with custom closet design, home offices, laundry rooms, pantries, media and family rooms, garages and more. Having storage designed for your specific needs and lifestyle will make living clutter-free the new norm for your family!
Call 866-641-8958 (US) or 866-973-8221 (CAN) today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find a designer near you. Check out our online Design Solutions Guide for inspiration and begin to imagine the possibilities for your own home.
“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” — Erma Bombeck, author