Do you have areas in your home that are always full of clutter? No matter how many times you try to tidy them up, they’re always accumulating more.
It cant just be me, can it……..?
Those areas are what I call the clutter hotspots. Despite tidying and organising my home for many years now, I can always get frustarted by these areas. In our house, the hotspots are the sideboard in the entrance way, the playroom, and the kitchen counters. I don’t know about you but some days I finish tidying and then 10 seconds later, I turn around and they are messy again!
Now let’s be realists here: Hotspots just aren’t going to go away. Instead of wasting our energy being frustrated, we need to find an easy way to get these areas as useful as they can be, simply maintained and find ways to minimise the daily destruction of them.
So without further ado, here is the system that has saved me from my daily chaos:
How to Conquer Clutter Hotspots
Take eveything (I mean everything) out of the dreaded hotspot. Now this is scary as it will look terribly messy at first. But stick with it, its the only way to see everything that is there fully and have your area cleared. Start with a blank slate.
Be ruthless. Purge like crazy. I find that the 5 pile strategy works wonders (Throw, Keep, Sell, Donate & Reserve) Anything that shouldn’t belong in that location, put to one side to relocate once you are finished.
The more you can get rid of, the less cluttered your space will feel. Your blank space will look so beautiful you will only want to put back what is absolutely necessary.
It pays to do this more than once. Don’t panic – i don’t mean in the same day! After your first round of clearing, come back to it in a month or two and do it again. You will be surprised how much more you will eliminate. You will have either accumulated more things over time or you will realise the things you thought you needed, you actually didn’t!
Now that you are left with all the necessary items for the hotspot, group like items together. Lay it all flat in front of you so you can get your creative juices flowing about how you can store these appropriately.
Find suitable storage bins/containers around your house (admit it – you have plenty that are not being used!) and place your categorised items in a neat and easily accessible way. The easier you make it for yourself, the easier it is to maintain. By doing this you are creating a home for the items, so when you come across these things lying around the house or in your clutter hotspot, you know exactly where to put them. This has a double benefit:
- You can put them back in the correct place immediately, making it much easier to tidy
- You always know where to find things. No more running around the house trying to find sellotape or safety pins!
Now this is optional. I personally don’t do this on everything, but I know some of you crafty people out there love getting your label makers out! There are so many options out there, but make or buy some labels to help you locate items much quicker. You can label the items or even a list of the contents when it comes to bigger containers.
Now return your newly sorted items back to the original location. Try and be very pragmatic at this stage. Anything that you frequently use, place near the front/top of your bins so it is easily accessible. Keep going until everything has a home.
Voila! So this is the system I follow not just for my hotspot locations, but for just about every project I do. It has stood the test of time so far.
Instead of feeling stressed and overwhelmed when it comes to your cluttered areas try to step back, take a deep breath and commit to bringing it back to order.
Start small, and take it slow. Follow these simple steps and you cannot go wrong. As I say you may find yourself going back to it every so often, but don’t let that stress you out.
We live in the real world, where decluttering & organisation is not a one time event.
It is something we need to maintain and by taking these first steps you will see progress quicker than you think! The satisfaction it gives you will motivate you to keep going.
So what you waiting for?
Where are the hotspots in your home?