How to Prevent Future Clutter Pileups

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One day your home is clean and organized, the next you’re wondering how so much stuff accumulated so quickly. Clutter has a way of sneaking up on you. Before you know it, you’re dealing with something right out of “Fibber McGee.”  By making a few simple habits and mindset shifts now, you can avoid fighting an uphill battle against clutter overload in the future. 

Schedule Regular Purges  

If you’re about to move, you are most likely getting rid of excess stuff anyway; however, a key trick to staying organized is to dedicate a bit of time each week to decluttering. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Start with a drawer, cabinet, or closet. Once you’ve conquered the small spaces, you’ll have the momentum and inspiration to take on bigger ones. 

Go room by room and get rid of anything you don’t need or use. Revisit one area or one drawer each week – and be conscientious about putting things back in their place right away. 

Toss, Donate, Recycle 

Over time, items that used to be go-tos have may have shifted to the bottom of a drawer, the back of a closet or even found their way into the garage or attic. Before you start decluttering, have a donation box, recycling bin and trash bag on hand. A general rule of thumb: If it’s been more than a year since you used or even thought about them, they’re just clutter. This includes: 

  • Clothes, shoes, accessories you no longer wear 
  • Knickknacks, décor items, old bestsellers 
  • Worn out towels and linens  
  • Single-use appliances (bread makers, pasta machines and such) 
  • Toys and games your kids have outgrown 

If you feel a bit guilty about tossing items into the trash, see if you can donate them or give them to a neighbor. Also, check out our tips for hosting a successful garage sale

Items such as old phones, computers, and small electronic devices shouldn’t go out with the regular trash. Check with local authorities for guidance. Plastic, glass, paper, and cardboard items can go in your recycling bin or local recycling center.  

Have a Place for Everything  

If you’re serious about decluttering, “A place for everything and everything in its place” is a great mantra to adopt. Have a designated drop spot for keys, bags, umbrellas and anything else you carry in. Create a charging station for all your electronics.  

For the kitchen, use matching containers for snacks, utensils, and pantry staples. In the bathroom, caddies, trays and drawer organizers will keep all your grooming gear and products neat. 

Have dedicated spaces for out-of-season clothing, gear, decorations, and anything else you don’t use every day. Does your dry cleaner offer free storage for out-of-season articles like sweaters or coats? Take advantage of it. 

Say “No” to Clutter Before It Enters Your Home 

It’s much easier to stop clutter at the door than declutter a space that’s already bursting at the seams. Free pens, magnets, calendars and the like might tempt you, but they’ll probably just add to the clutter. And if it’s something you’ll only use only once or twice, see if you can borrow it from a friend or rent it from the local garden center. Unsubscribe from mailing lists to avoid a pile of junk mail. And resist the urge to stick items in a drawer and forget about them. 

We hope your journey to Finding Home is smooth and successful. And remember, no matter where you happen to be in the moving process, you can count on Mayflower to be with you Every Step of the Way®. 

Moving or about to move? Get a no-obligation quote from Mayflower. 

Want more tips and advice? Check out our state and city guides, decorating ideas and a wealth of other helpful, time-saving information.  

Oh, and did you know Mayflower has a channel on Spotify? Move and groove to tunes that get you to your new place — and settled in — in style. 

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