Your house may be clean and organized, but it still looks cluttered. Discover the 5 home organizing mistakes you may be making and which organization ideas you can use to have truly clutter free home.
How can I make my house look less cluttered?
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Home Organizing Mistake #1—I’ll Fix It!
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression:
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
People with too much clutter need to practice this expression:
If it’s broke, don’t fix it.
People with too much clutter often save anything that breaks. We have the best intentions that we will fix it or repurpose it.
Now don’t get me wrong, restoring an item back to working order certainly has it’s place. If my 3 year old washing machine breaks then I’m most likely going to want to repair versus replace.
What I’m talking about are all those broken things that start to pile up, cause clutter and guilt, and sabotage our home organization efforts.
Just a few of the damaged things I was holding onto:
- Dress pants with a broken zipper (I love to sew but I’ve never gotten the hang of zippers)
- Coffee maker that mysteriously stopped working after I cleaned it (thought I’d fix it and keep it to be a back up…like I could fix a coffee maker!)
- Lamp that needed a new cord
- Handbag that one of the twins drew on with a permanent marker (tried everything to remove the marker and thought that someday I would cover the ‘drawing’ with an applique or something)
- Several kid’s books that had finally started to lose their pages (was going to tape it all back together)
- 2 pairs of kid’s pants that needed patched (the kids had outgrown the pants by the time I stumbled upon the holey pants)
Consumer Reports says we should not spend more than 50% of the cost of a new product when repairing the old one.
So the dress pants with a busted zipper...
Let’s say it would cost $50 to buy a new pair of pants. If we can replace the broken zipper for less than twenty five bucks, it’s worth it to make the repair.
A new zipper and thread is less than $10 and it would take probably 4 hours for me to learn to replace the zipper and actually make the repair. (If not longer with the distractions from the twins)
And there’s a very real risk that this zipper replacement won’t go as planned and I end up without repaired pants AND out the cost of:
- zipper ($6)
- thread ($4)
- 4 hours of my time ($100)
So I’ve cluttered space in my home by saving a pair of pants that I’m never really going to fix.
How do we solve this clutter problem?
By making decisions immediately.
Start to think about what it would really take to fix the broken item–and don’t forget to factor in your time involved.
Time is valuable!!
Make a designated place for items you will repair—Create a ‘fix it’ basket so the family knows where to put broken things.
CLICK TO READ: How to Survive on One Income with These Money Saving Tips
Home Organizing Mistake #2—I’m saving it for a special occasion!
I’ll be first to admit:
I’ve definitely gotten much better, but in the past I had cabinets and drawers stuffed full of items that were waiting for a special occasion.
- plates, stemware, silverware (these take up A LOT of space to only come out at Thanksgiving)
- candles (to use when having guests…except I would forget that I have them!)
- clothes (I’ve had clothes go out of style while waiting on that special day!)
Use it or lose it!
Let’s get out our fancy stuff and make each day a special occasion!
Stop waiting for the perfect moment to find it’s way to you…
Create the moment!
Not only will you find joy in using your special items, you will free up lots of storage space and your home will look less cluttered.
Home Organizing Mistake #3—Not keeping things close to where you actually use them
Much of the clutter in our home emerges from one simple problem:
…when it’s too inconvenient to return things to their home.
Store items in logical places—close to where you actually use them.
Don’t store the extra toilet paper under the bed or the extra shampoo in the kitchen. Store your household items as close as possible to the place you’ll be using them.
CLICK TO READ: 7 Home Cleaning Hacks to Make Cleaning Faster and Easier
How can I better organize my home?
Keep like items together.
Store the hammer and nails in the same place so you don’t waste time searching for the hammer then looking everywhere for the nails.
Your home will stay more organized and clutter free when you can quickly retrieve the things you need.
Home Organizing Mistake #4—Not putting things away
This is one of the most simple tips for clearing the clutter and getting your home organized, but it’s one of the most challenging for most of us.
It always starts out so innocently for me.
Maybe I need to hang a picture.
It’ll only take a minute…I know exactly where I want to hang it. All I’ll need is a hammer and a nail…
Before I know it I have brought out a hammer, a container of picture hanging hardware, a stud finder, ladder, level, and painter’s tape.
Fifteen minutes later the picture is successfully on the wall, but it looks like a remodel is about to take place with all of the tools everywhere!
I take a look at my completed task and realize…
Something is missing…
A wreath on each side of the picture would look adorable!
I’ve got to get dinner started.
I’ll just leave all of my tools out and hang the wreaths after dinner….
………Six days later.
I finally drag everything back to the tool closet.
But guess what?
I didn’t even hang the wreaths!
Every single day for almost a week I felt stress due to that clutter!
All because I didn’t want to take THREE minutes to put everything away.
It would have only taken 3 minutes to get everything back out when I was ready to actually use it.
So 6 minutes could have prevented 6 days of clutter-stress.
How do you get rid of clutter for good?
Put things up immediately after you use them.
Home Organizing Mistake #5—Don’t be a Prove it-Pack Rat
Are you guilty of being a ‘prove it-pack rat’?
Do you hold onto things to prove you did it?
Just can’t let go of the size 2 jeans?…to prove you were fit and trim before all the babies.
Don’t hold onto possessions hoping to someday prove something.
I had boxes of notebooks with handwritten notes from the countless hours I spent researching…desperate for an answer for Beckem’s medical problems.
Beckem is one of my twin boys that was born with an extremely rare genetic condition called KAT6A syndrome.
Before he was diagnosed, I spent every spare moment digging for answers and treatments for his bizarre symptoms and struggles.
I had such a tough time letting go of those boxes.
I knew I no longer needed all of that information but it was evidence of the time I had devoted.
But, when I finally went through the boxes and only kept the information that might actually be useful to me or someone else, I felt like a weight had been lifted.
It also created a lot of extra storage space!
What would you add? What else is making your home look cluttered?
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