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Clutter Control: 10 Ways to Avoid Procrastinating Clutter Cleanup

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Clutter Control—As part of this clutter control series, we’ll be discussing ways to free yourself from a cluttered home and uncover simple organization tips that you can follow to live in a more organized and functional home. Today’s rule is all about ways to not procrastinate with your clutter.

Clutter Control Rule # 11: Don't do things "later."


Let's say you just spent an hour picking up in the family room. The room is now in impeccable shape—splendidly uncluttered by things that don't belong there. You know only too well that it can be turned into a war zone by the family in minutes: discarded clothes, food, dirty dishes, shoes, toys (kids', dogs', and cats'), soft drink and/or beer cans, dirty ashtrays, school papers, newspapers, magazines, cups, and glasses.

10 Simple Ways to Tackle Clutter and Avoid Procrastinating

The following are ways to tackle clutter, avoid procrastinating, and leave a room the way you found it:

  1. Take items out of a room if you brought it into the room. Be sure to do this the very next time you leave that room (after you're done with it, of course).
  2. Take things upstairs if you are going there anyway.
  3. Take things downstairs if you are going there anyway.
  4. Take everything out of the car that was added this trip.
  5. Pick up things when they drop.
  6. Wipe up spills when they happen.
  7. Vacuum up messes when they occur.
  8. Wash dirty dishes and wipe off the counters before the food dries on them.
  9. Fold clothes when they emerge from the dryer.
  10. Iron clothes while they are still slightly damp.

A lot of clutter in your home will disappear if you follow this rule. The basic premise is that you need to leave a room the way you found it. For example, If there wasn't toothpaste spread on the sink before you came into the room, there shouldn't be any there when you leave it.

This rule solves clutter problems without adding one second of time or one ounce of work to anyone's overwhelmed schedule. It doesn't involve any extra time to take dirty dishes to the kitchen if you're going there anyway to get a glass of water. It doesn't take any extra time to carry your shoes to your bedroom if you're going up there anyway to do your homework.

What habits have you developed to avoid procrastinating when it comes to clutter cleanup? What steps do you take to make sure you leave a room the way you found it?

To follow along in this series, please be sure to check out the previous clutter control tips and tricks:

Debbie Sardone Debbie Sardone is the founder of Cleaning For a Reason which provides free cleaning services to women who are touched by cancer.  She also owns a Dallas cleaning service.

Her long-time passion for teaching cleaning and organizational has lead her to continue the legacy of Speed Cleaning and the use of green cleaning products.

She can be followed as @DebbieSardone on Twitter.

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