Racine, Wis. (November 15, 2005) – Surrounding oneself with items of meaning is one thing. Having to maneuver past a jumble of shoes and toys to get to a paper-strewn table to answer the telephone is another.
It’s no surprise that while a cluttered home, car or bag may feel like the norm, it can be a frustrating experience for people faced with spaces teeming with stuff that has piled up over time. They may not be able to readily find items or may not be able to concentrate on a given task due to the sheer volume of things around them.
SC Johnson, a family company dedicated to finding solutions for today’s families, enlisted Betsy Fein, a professional organizer and owner of Clutterbusters Franchising, Inc. (www.clutterbusters.com) to help provide tips on controlling the mess. “It’s about managing the available space more efficiently, and adopting a philosophy not just for short-term results but for the long-term as well,” she explains.
“Clutter certainly takes its toll,” says Fein. “Whether every room in the house is cluttered or there is just one ‘junk drawer’ to deal with, an environment that is out of order can be overwhelming.”
The scope of clutter in one’s surroundings may vary – some people can’t even park their cars in their garages due to the mounds of tools, boxes, equipment and appliances, while others would simply like to cut back on their family’s paper volume. Either way, Fein says that a renewed commitment to getting organized can be rewarding and empowering.
“Spring is the perfect time to de-clutter,” she says. “In addition to the rite of spring cleaning, a cut-down of clutter also represents a fresh start that so many of us want.”
Fein recommends the following three strategies for organizing efficiently and effectively: Prepare to De-clutter, De-cluttering and Clutter Maintenance.
Prepare to De-clutter
Would I buy it? Envision your home as a prospective buyer might. An uncluttered house looks nicer and more appealing to the buyer. It also seems easier to clean and maintain. Also think about what you would or wouldn’t want them to see when going around the house – if you wouldn’t want them to see it, then you should focus on that area.
Would I want to move it? As you start to go through items be sure to ask yourself if you’d want to move it with you to another home. If the answer is definitely no, then you know to discard it, sell it or give it away.
End the paper chase. Papers are some of the first and most frequent materials to pile up. Keep on top of them by regularly sorting papers, recycling papers that are not needed and filing or organizing papers that are important and to be kept. Create a system that works best for your lifestyle and stick to it, instead of having the ever-growing piles on tabletops and counters.
Control the chaos. Mass merchandise stores, department stores and even supermarkets sell a variety of stylish storage systems from three-drawer plastic chests to basket-weaves to painted totes that can be used in home offices and other living spaces. So keep spaces picked-up and looking clean and crisp by taking advantage of contemporary storage cabinets and baskets that fit with your home décor.
Seek small solutions. Big things make big messes, but small items prove no less of a headache. Too many small toys like toy cars or mini action figures? Keep them in one place in Ziploc® Containers with Snap ‘n Seal Lids. Likewise, if a drawer is crammed with loose jewelry or several small items, separate them into individual Ziploc® Sandwich and Snack Bags, so they’re secured and you can still see them through the clear plastic. That way, unsightly clutter is literally contained.
Form follows function. Organize things by function or usage. Put sweaters and winter clothing into Ziploc® Big Bags to
protect against mildew and dust – store and stack nicely under the bed or tuck away in the closet. You can also use Ziploc® Big Bags to store larger items like sports equipment, camping gear and holiday decorations. Label accordingly and designate specific areas – like putting clothing in the closet and sports equipment in the garage or basement – instead of trying to manage it all over the house.
Top it off. Cover boxes and containers and seal bags whenever possible to prevent items from spilling out and piling up all over again. That’s true for things you want to store, like seasonal decorations, as well as for things that are used regularly, like cleaning supplies. Lids and tops are also ideal places for marking a box by function or name – i.e., “2005 Taxes” or “Mom’s earrings” or “Toy blocks.”
Get out of the way. It’s easy to let little things like DVDs and tapes pile up by the television, papers stack up on the desk and utensils line the kitchen countertops. Once a week, do a quick scan of each room and put whatever you can back into drawers or cabinets so they don’t become a visual distraction.
Seasonal shuffle. Go through all your clothing and shoes on a seasonal basis and pull out what you don’t need or want. Package clothing in flexible Ziploc® Big Bags that have convenient built-in handles for carrying and take to the closest goodwill store or give them away. Be sure to mark your calendars and stick to it!
Keep cords tidy. The no-fade fragrance of the Glade® PlugIns® Scented Oil Extra Outlets and Night Light make any room fresh and inviting, provides added light and now allows for extra outlet space. Each warmer unit contains two extra electrical outlets making it the perfect addition to any kitchen, bedroom or busy bathroom – places where a light is needed at night and outlets are needed by day!