Ask a House Cleaner, Unclutter, Savvy Cleaner

Unclutter Your Life – Best Tips for 2018

Unclutter, declutter, organizing, which is it?

Today on Ask a House Cleaner we look at ways to unclutter your life by creating a system for each item. It is minimalist living at its finest. Unclutter by living on purpose.

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says the secret to decluttering is by organizing your life. Pick one item, clean out the excess, organize that item in your life. Create new rules for that item and other minimalist top tips for 2018.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: Unclutter Your Life – Best Tips for 2018

 Today’s question comes from somebody who is seeking some tips. She says, “My house is full of clutter, and I’m going to start uncluttering my house. But I have no idea where to start. What do you suggest? What do you recommend?”

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Answer: Unclutter Your Life – Best Tips for 2018

Alright, well uncluttering is an interesting topic. Because lots of us have clutter even if we’re unaware.

Clutter comes in many shapes and sizes. So the easiest place to start if your uncluttering is to pick one item to focus on.

Don’t go in and try to unclutter the whole house. Because you’ll get confused and overwhelmed. And you won’t have an idea of where you’re supposed to put stuff.

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Create a System

Your house has clutter because you don’t have a system in place. You don’t have a place for your things and your things are not in their place. 

So, to create a system, we have to start with the basics, which is creating a system for each item.

One Item a Week

Unclutter with clarity black dresses vs. red dressesI know this sounds overwhelming, but if you take one item a week, you can focus on that one item for your entire house.

It’s like when you go shopping for a little black dress. When you go inside the department store, you don’t look at all the racks of clothes. Your eyes focus in on the one rack that has black dresses. Because that’s all you are looking for. 

So, if you focus on one item per week, it creates a laser focus and it makes it easy for you to do.

Unclutter DVDs 

Unclutter one item at a time, dvd collectionSo, for example, you probably have some DVDs in your house. We used to collect them. People had bookshelves of DVD movies that they could watch at home.

But now technology has changed. And all those movies that we have stored in our house, are also in the cloud.

You can rent them on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or a different service that has videos on demand.

And so no longer do we need bookshelves and boxes and closets full of DVDs. It just not necessary. 

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A System for DVDs

So, one of the systems that you might create is a new rule for yourself. Starting today, you will never buy DVDs again.

All the movies that we’re going to watch will either be live streamed or rented from the system. 

So no longer will we have boxes of DVDs. Once you make that rule clear and you even tell your friends they’ll stop giving you DVDs for Christmas.

Once people know what the rules are, they can comply. 

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What Will You Do With Your DVD’s?

Then you want to go through and collect all the DVDs from all the rooms in your house. 

And then figure out where you’re going to put them. Are you going to donate them? Are you going to sell them? Or you going to swap them out on a buy and sell swap site like on Facebook for example?

Figure out how to get rid of those and once you have the new rule in place it makes the job pretty easy.

Unclutter Shoes

Unclutter one shoe collection at a timeAnother example is shoes. Lots of us have lots of shoes.

If you have 5 or 6 pairs of shoes that you wear on a regular basis, those are your “go-to” shoes. The rest of them are just collecting dust.

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A System for Shoes

And so, make a new rule for the shoes. Starting today, you will only buy shoes in October. Or whenever it is that you decide you’re going to buy the shoes. Make the shoes that you have last for the entire rest of the year.

Once you have a system in place you won’t wander into a store and say “Oh look, this pair of shoes is on sale. I think I’ll buy them.” You won’t be doing that because it’s not October.

So, whatever the new rule is that helps you put a system in place to end the clutter in your life.

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What Will You Do with Your Shoes?

Now the same rules for the shoes apply that we used for the DVDs. 

You want to take a week and pull all the shoes out of your house. And ask yourself, “When is the last time I wore this pair of shoes?” And if you don’t wear them often then guess what? Get rid of them.

Give them away, trade them, sell them, donate them, toss them, I don’t care what you do with them, but get rid of them. If you have shoes that you’re not wearing, get rid of them.

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Stick to Your System

And then make a rule that you’re not going to buy shoes until October. You might need two pairs of dress shoes, a pair of work shoes, and a pair of house shoes or part of jogging shoes.

Whatever the rule is, stick with that rule. And no longer will you have a house full of excess shoes that you no longer use.

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Unclutter Cleaning Chemicals

Cleaning chemicals are one of those things that we accumulate. If you pull out all your cleaning chemicals you will see.

Lots of us have fallen into traps set by fancy advertising! We like to buy cleaning products that will clean well with little effort.  And so, we run to the grocery store and we buy these cleaning supplies.

If you open your bathroom cupboards, you’re going to find lots of supplies you forgot that you have. 

When these cleaning chemicals are out of sight, they are out of mind. You don’t use them if you don’t know that you have them. 

If you don’t use them, you don’t need them. You only need things that you use. 

Pull Them All Out and Create a System

Unclutter with cleaning chemicals. All purpose, cleanser, paper towels, garbage and spongeSo, pull all those cleaning chemicals out and put them all in one consolidated space. Then create a new rule. 

For example, your new rule for decluttering might be under every bathroom cupboard there get to be 5 things. 

1. a garbage bag or a garbage can 

2. a container of cleanser – for example: Ajax, Bar Keepers Friend, Bon-Ami, Comet 

3. a non-scratch scrub sponge – so that you can clean out toilets, basins of sinks and the tub.  

4. an all-purpose spray – could be Windex for the mirrors and the vanities.

5. a roll of paper towels. Those are the five things that would be underneath every single sink in your house.

This system would make cleaning quick and efficient. 

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Stick to the System

Those would be the only chemicals that would be under your bathroom sink. And every sink is consistent. 

No longer will you open up your cupboards to find all kinds of crazy chemicals.

Remember, if you never use them, you don’t need them. What is the reason for storing them?

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Sentimental Clutter

Unclutter vs. declutter – everything has it’s place or does it?

For example, I know lots of people who store boxes of their kid’s  school work. There’s sentimental value to those, so we can’t get rid of those, right? 

Well, guess what? You don’t need them. You’re not using them and when you give them to your kids at 40 years old, they don’t want them either. They have boxes that they’re saving from their own kids. They don’t want homework from 30 years ago. Nobody wins by doing that.

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Create a System

How to get organized? You’ve got to create a new system for all the schoolwork you’ve stored will be to take a photo of every item. Go through the box, look at the item, enjoy the sentimental value, and snap a picture of it.

When you’re done, toss the originals. Because they take up space and nobody wants them. Let’s be honest, you don’t want them either. But now you have an electronic file that can be stored on a hard drive or in the cloud. And you can share that file with your kids and your grandkids.

And you can go in there and look at them at any time you want.

Now you have an electronic file that takes up almost no space instead of the boxes that you have been storing. You can now say goodbye to these with no reservations or guilt because you still have copies of all the items. 

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You Can Do It! 

So, every different thing that you have in your house is going to have a new method and a new set of rules.

But if you’ll take one item per week, you will find that your life starts turning around. And you become an organized and systematic person.

And soon you’ll find that your life is completely balanced and in harmony. You’ll know where everything is. Everything has a place and everything is in its place.

Alright, so that’s my tip for today. Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources from This Episode

The Complete Book of Home Organization: 200+ Tips and Projects –

Decluttering: 25 Amazing Tips to Declutter Your Home –  

365 Days of Decluttering and Organizing Your Home –

Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking –

Less Mess Less Stress: Minimalist Routines to Declutter Your Environment, Unload Your Mind and Optimize Your Day –

Clutter-Free –

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