8 Ways Clutter Affects You and Your Family

As an organizer I have seen first hand how a disorganized environment can wreak havoc on a family. Many people minimize how clutter not only affects you but the people around you.

My mission is to motivate and inspire people to clear the clutter and help them enjoy a simpler life.

These are eight ways clutter can affect your life. Do any of these sound familiar?

Marriage

Has your bedroom become a storage area for items that don’t have a place anywhere else in the home? It is difficult to have a romantic relationship when your bedroom is full of clutter? Remove toys, unused exercise equipment, school projects, pictures that were never hung and piles of paperwork.

In my opinion your bedroom should be a place that you look forward to coming home to at the end of a busy day. A place for peace, solitude and romance. Clutter breeds the exact opposite and the master bedroom should be one of the first areas in your home where serenity begins. Once you have purged and you are enjoying your new space it will encourage you to move on to others areas in your home.

Children

Kids learn by example. Once the environment is free of clutter you will be surprised the positive affects it will have on your family. Children actually enjoy knowing that everything has a place and being organized teaches them skills they will need in their adult life.

Time for Yourself

This is one that people don’t realize until I point it out. When you elevate clutter it gives you time to do the things you enjoy without feeling guilty. Making time for yourself needs to be scheduled like anything else on your calendar to ensure it will be done.

Depression

Clutter causes depression! When you clear the clutter and simplify your life you feel motivated and inspired. No one can honestly say they enjoy a cluttered house. Start with one area in your home and you will feel the difference every time you pass by what was once a cluttered room.

Overwhelmed

When clutter is out of control people feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. If you have reached  this stage and you are feeling overwhelmed don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a professional organizer. Sometimes all you need is a little help to get the process started.

Feeling Defeated

When you live in a house full of clutter one of the feelings that always surfaces is the feeling of failure. I should be able to do this myself, what is wrong with me? My answer is NOTHING! People start out with the best intentions and then life, work, kids and school take over. Make purging a priority and keep your surroundings simple!

Over Buying

How often do you hear yourself say “I was looking for that”.  How much money do you spend on buying more of what you already own because you couldn’t find something or see it? Simplifying, keeping like things together and having a place for everything will prevent clutter and over buying.

Health Issues

Living in a house with clutter can affect a persons health and most people don’t realize it until the clutter is gone. It can create dust, mites, bugs, mildew, trigger asthma and cause sinus problems and allergies. When you clean around clutter you are not really cleaning. The things you own should never be more important than the surroundings you are living in.

Clearing the clutter and getting organized will eliminate stress for you and your family and the results will be life changing!

 

 

Tips to Clear the Clutter When The Nest Is Empty

Are you an empty nester or about to be one soon?

Many parents feel that once their children have moved on to the next chapter of their lives they are obligated to keep everything exactly how it was including childhood memorabilia hanging on the walls.

Parents feel guilt when they want to change the space to an area in their home they can enjoy.

When the kids leave they generally leave behind what they don’t want. It is up to you to purge and refresh the space and make it a place both you and your adult child will enjoy.

Purge, Sort and Label Memorabilia

Invest in clear containers, purge items that you no longer need, sort what you are keeping and label the container so you will know what you have.

Update the Room With a Fresh Coat of Paint

A fresh coat of paint will make the space feel new and even your adult child will appreciate a bit of sprucing.

Purge the Closet and Use the Space as Extra Storage

Remove everything out of the closet and only put back what your child will need and utilize when they are home. Use the remainder of the space to store travel items or off season winter clothing. Make use of the space don’t memorialize it!

Purge the Bathroom and Keep Just the Essential Items

Once they are off to school it is a good time to do a thorough cleaning by removing expired items including medications and keep only the basic essentials they will need when they come home.

Invest in New Linens

If you are going to going to keep the room as a bedroom invest in new linens in a neutral color. You can add a desk and utilize the space as a small home office.

Instead of looking at this time in your life as empty look at it as a new beginning. Take the time to purge and make the necessary changes for yourself and your home.

 

Is it Sentimental Clutter or just Clutter?

Sentimental clutter is by my far one of the biggest issues I deal with when working with clients. There are different types of sentimental clutter but each one has the same emotion attached to it GUILT!

These are the five types of sentimental clutter I see the when organizing homes. Do any of these sound familiar?

Items You Have Inherited 

These are things you did not necessarily ask for but were given to you. Some you may want but most of the time I find these items boxed up in garages or in closets just taking up space. They can’t bare the guilt they would feel getting rid of them, even though they don’t want them and don’t have the space in the their home to store them.

Most people think their children will want them so they hold onto them and from my experience they never do! Don’t love Grandmas china? Keep one piece and sell the rest here.  Items you inherit should not cause you clutter and stress.

Photos and Videos

Old school photos and videos are still an issue even though photos are digital now. Storing and organizing photos can be overwhelming and the easiest way to organize photos is sort, date and label.

What to toss? Doubles, out of focus photos, pictures of people you don’t recognize and all photos that you no longer want! The thought process is the same when organizing  photos label and keep it simple.

Children’s Memorabilia

This type has definitely become a bit easier because of the computer but there are still items they bring home from school, sports and various activities that you need to stay on top of. A simple way to keep track of your kids memorabilia is keeping labeled containers.

I like to use file boxes with hanging file folders and label each file by school year. When they bring something home you date the back and drop it in the folder. If you are already overwhelmed and everything is mixed together in one big pile start by purging and then sort each child’s item in labeled containers. Its like playing cards pick one up and put it in the appropriate container.

What to keep? In my opinion anything with hand or footprints and any notes they have written to you. You can have albums made of all their art work at the end of the year or frame them in frames that can be changed frequently like these. Take a photo of the rest and let it go.

Keeping every single thing from your child will eventually lead to unwanted clutter.

Personal Items That Were Given to You by Friends and Family

An example of these items are notes that were written to you, concert tickets or sentimental trinkets from important times in your life. If it means something to you display it!

Frame a handwritten note and every time you look at it it will bring back wonderful memories. Keep all notes and cards in a decorative container on a book shelf. When you receive a note that is special to you put it in the box.

One rainy afternoon you will grab that container and read the history of your life. Don’t hide the memories display them if they are important to you!

Collections

I have seen more collections than you can imagine and everyone thinks theirs is worth a lot of money.

Some items may have value but you need to do you homework to find out. There are many resources available to sell and consign your items. I always mention to my clients make sure its worth the amount of time it will take and the headache it may cause for the amount of money you will receive. Sometimes its just easier to let it go!

Keeping things out of guilt is robbing you of space in your home that could be used for something you will really enjoy!

I know this may seem overwhelming at first but once you get rid of the guilt you will get rid of the clutter.

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