5 Tips on Keeping up on Clutter AND Your Resolutions | JUNK TIPS

List off your new year's resolutions. Are they all about changes? "I want to lose a few pounds"; "kick that habit to the curb", "start a hobby." List them off again and think about it. How big of a change is required to meet each of those goals? "I want to lose weight." Lose weight? How much weight? Why? Health? To look better? What will you need to do? Change in diet? That can be easy, but it also might require a gym membership which means you have to then have time to go to the gym, which could drastically affect your schedule. "Oh well," you think, I don't need to spend the money, a lot of workouts I can do at home. It's true, you can be frugal about staying fit! There's still that pesky time thing. Well, you could start that new hobby! You've always wanted to take a crack at woodworking. To youtube!


Oh, wow this looks more complicated than you thought. You make a list of the tools you have. Or, maybe it's the list of tools you'll need and head over to the online market to see just what that'll cost you to start your first project. Oh...that's expensive. Then there's the waste. 'What waste?' Well, projects take practice, nothing is earned without practice and sometimes those beginner projects will be hard fought successes that take a lot of time with a lot of garbage left behind.


Okay, we'll be fair; not all resolutions are like this, but sometimes we bite off more than we can chew when we set goals for the new year. Goal setting is tough and has been studied endlessly to figure out why we miss the goals we set. We tend to overreach to the big resolutions and sometimes forget the potential and satisfying resolutions that could be right in front of us. The trick, in our experience, is to keep things manageable before they become unmanageable. Think smaller to think bigger.


Our junk removal teams see this all the time. No one intends for clutter to pile up, but it does. You start the day starry-eyed with the intent of getting things done, you might even list them off in your head. First I'll make breakfast, have some coffee then head to work. When you're done work, you've got a few small projects to take care of, including some light tidying up. Before you know it you've got a list of twenty or more tasks that doesn't leave much room for what you thought you'd be doing. Something at work boils over and then you get home and there are new messes, the kids need help with homework and out the window goes your list of things to do for the next starry-eyed 7am planning session in your head.


So here's what you could do:

Be specific.


Is your goal to lose weight? Great, but that's too vague goal to set. Set a target of how much and when, and leave it measurable. Clutter piling up? Take a look at which rooms pile up fastest, or which ones are more popular and prioritize. If a living room tends to pile up with excess junk on a consistent basis, the problem may be that a lot of things don't have a neat and tidy home. So take stock of the items that constantly pile up and make your next step to find homes for them and then make a habit of putting these in their proper home. Dad keeps putting his keys on the table? A key hook makes it easy to keep them in one place. Coats on chairs? Maybe there aren't enough hangers in the closet. Remotes everywhere? Clear the junk drawer and make it the remote drawer. Don't imagine the big picture end result first. Get granular and figure out why there's a problem with clutter to begin with and then treat each item as it's own little challenge.




One thing we suggest is turning these spur of the moment planning sessions into routine planning. Figure out the needs for each project or item that needs to be moved and compare that with the other things going on. Guests coming over? What rooms are most necessary to be cleaned considering a deadline? Do those first, and if you run out of time at least the most important things are done. After that? Well, your next clean will be a little less demanding.


Set times, then repeat.


Bumping into acquaintances in the store to chat a bit often ends with "We'll have to get together sometime." But why does it never happen? It's that word, "sometime", that ensures that you won't get together. It's the same with establishing new habits. It's easy in conversation to say "I'll do it later", but it's in "later" when clutter piles up more and more. Set a time to tidy up or clean so that you don't feel a rushed urge to pick stuff up before family is on their way over. Start with a window: On Sunday afternoons you'll quickly mop up those less trafficked hallways or wipe down the dust on windows. Mark a day in your calendar to go through old clothes to donate, or go through any items you haven't used in the last year.


Use Your Tech.


Sometimes it's tough to keep track of everything in those first steps, but there's loads of tech and apps available to help you. Calendars, notifications and even other tracking apps help keep you honest about your goals. Scheduling decluttering is easy, but what to do with the stuff once it needs to go? You can always work around your area's weekly pickups, but they don't always take everything that needs to go. Some associations, like the Diabetes Association, will do pickups, but those won't be on a whim. Using junk, furniture or appliance removal services is handy for anytime removals and can be booked easily on mobile devices which you can then pop into your calendar afterwards. Most of the info you need is online, but with your handy mobile device you can organize it all much quicker than you think!



Make it fun.


These don't need to be a slog. We've all been to a point when there is too much clutter to handle, but there's no need for frustration. It happens to a lot of us, but as they say: "the more, the merrier." Make it a family affair, everyone spends a scheduled time on a weeknight after work/school to tidy up their portion of the house before dinner and then reward yourselves with some time to catch up on that show you've been binging or play a new board game with the kids or go for a walk to the park before it gets to dark. It shouldn't all be on one person. Removing the element of surprise, turning decluttering and cleaning into a routine, using available tech and services ensures that the home can stay neat and tidy without all that extra frustration!