Are you frustrated by the surface clutter that accumulates in your home? It doesn’t take long for piles to develop. And if you turn your back on them they start to grow. Here are five habits that will help you outsmart the mess.
1) Only handle papers once. It’s sometimes called the OHIO rule (only handle it once.) Don’t set things down “for a minute.” That’s where the trouble starts. It’s too easy to be distracted by a project, person or phone call. Once you walk away from it, you may forget to put it away.
2) Create a place for anticipated clutter. My kids bring home a lot of forms, newsletters and calendars. I have a place to put them. When the bills arrive, I‘ve got a spot. If you have a place set up, putting paper away is a snap.
3) Don’t leave the room empty-handed. Grab abandoned items and put them away. Once this simple step becomes a habit it doesn’t feel like a chore… because you’re just going in that direction anyway.
4) Fifteen minutes a day keeps the clutter away. If you find a few minutes in the morning or in the evening to put things away, clutter won‘t have a chance to stack up.
5) If it only takes a minute to complete a task, do it right away. Take action when you receive an invitation. If you are planning to attend a party, RSVP right away. If you need to sign a permission slip for your child, sign it and put it in the backpack. If you don’t have time to deal with it immediately, have an action bin where you can collect anything that requires your attention.