Declutter to ease stress

Check out these doable steps to help get rid of the mess

When we’re extra busy, it’s easy for extra clutter to pile up too. We don’t have time to take care of the mess — so it sits and grows. It may not bother everyone. But for some of us it adds to our stress.

The thought of tackling it all at once may feel overwhelming — especially when you already have so much to do. So instead, take small doable steps as you can. 

Bit by bit: Tips to clear the clutter

Just getting started may give you a better sense of control — and tidier spaces may help you feel happier and more productive. Try these little hacks to get on your way to less chaos and more calm:

1. Sort in spurts

Organize small, clutter-prone areas when you have a few free minutes. Or pick a number — and try to put away that many items at a time.

2. Make donating easier

Keep a box or bag in a handy place for items that you no longer need, use or enjoy. Visit a local donation center whenever it fills up.

3. Focus on just one thing at a time

Do stray shoes tend to pile up all over the house? Or do you stash pens in every desk drawer? Gather similar items together — and minimize multiples.

4. Deal with paper mail daily

Decide to act on it, trash or recycle it — maybe even as soon as you bring it in. For items that need more attention, store them in a bin or basket. Set aside a time each week to take care of them.

5. Do on-the-go organizing

Each time you use an item, decide whether it’s something you need daily. If not, store it away where it won’t add to the clutter.

6. Make a memento 

Holding on to an item you no longer need because it has sentimental value? Snap a photo of it. Then give it away. That way, you’ll keep the memory — but not the mess!

7. Carry on, carry on 

To help stay organized, adopt the classic motto: A place for everything and everything in its place. Get in the habit of putting keys, jackets, phones and other items where they belong when you’re finished with them.

And if you ever get off track again, no worries. You’ll know how to bust out these clutter-clearing moves.

What to do next

How about tackling digital clutter too! This three-week plan can help you organize all the excess on your smartphone and other devices.