Recently, I read a quote about how our homes are like our minds.   I must agree considering how we all want to feel comfortable, relaxed and able to locate your personal belongings in your home.
I teach an adult education course, “Declutter Your Life, Space and Prosper at a local community college not far from where I live.  I always teach that two of the five cardinal rules of feng shui is to 1) declutter and 2) surround yourself with things that you love. In this semester’s class, we discussed how if our homes are cluttered, so are our thoughts and overall happiness.
Unfortunately, when our homes are disorganized, we spend precious time running after lost items or struggling to fit all of our belongings in a crammed drawer while our minds are frantically all over the place trying to remember where we stashed our library books or car keys.  Thankfully, with a little mindfulness and proactive planning, we can de-clutter and achieve a balance in our homes which benefits our thinking and happiness while even saving us time and money in the process.
My students shared so many stories about their clutter challenges including those of whom they lived with.  Some of which were humorous and others were more troubling.     However, we all agreed on thing-  if our homes are cluttered, so are our thoughts and overall happiness.  I always teach that two  of the five cardinal rules of feng shui is to 1) declutter and 2) surround yourself with things that you love.
As we begin to set intentions for a more organized life and home in the New Year, take a few minutes to consider the following 5 home decluttering hacks that can ultimately save you time and money in 2018:
1) Reduce Clutter.
We all heard the saying, “Less is more”.  This timeless adage may actually have a lot of truth behind it.  Paring down your belongings in the long run will help you have less housework, less dusting, and less organizing.  Take a few minutes everyday to tackle an area of the house and go through cupboards, closets, and rooms to sort unused items.  Simple rule- if you have not used an item in 6 months to a year- toss! This will allow you to spend more time with your loved ones and doing things that bring you joy.  Place objects that you no longer need or want to keep into 3 piles:  keep, donate or sell.  For added efficiency, ask yourself if you love an item or really need it.

2) Purchase a programmable thermostat.

This simple upgrade will help us control our home’s thermostat with a tap of a few buttons and even our smartphones. This relieves some of the pressure off us to remember to turn down the heat or turn up the air conditioner while we are at work, on vacation, or sleeping. This little gadget will get us organized and save us valuable time or money to pursue the things we love or want to focus on. In fact, setting our temperature two degrees lower during the winter can save us a lot of green and can even reduce an estimated six percent of heating-related CO2 emissions. Who knew one little gadget could do so much?

3) Hook possessions up with a rightful home.

Many of us struggle to find adequate storage space or a rightful spot for all of our stuff. Take advantage of storage solutions, totes, baskets, and more to designate a place for every object we own. Afterwards, this will help clear our homes from unwanted clutter and help clear our minds by making more efficient use of our available space and allowing us to easily access objects while providing a more aesthetically pleasing environment. Take advantage of today’s unique storage solutions or put inexpensive adhesive hooks to work for us. Simply apply the adhesive hooks to the inside of cupboards to wrangle pot lids, curling irons, baskets, and even bags of wrapping paper.

4) Organize the linen closet.

Most of us have to store a lot of bedding and sheets. Unfortunately, keeping matching sets in neat piles together can be difficult for the best of us. Channel your inner Martha Stewart and store all sheets, pillowcases, and blankets in one of the corresponding pillowcases. This little hack will keep our linens organized, easy to access, and save our closets from looking like a real nightmare. On the inside of the door, hang your tablecloths over a towel rack to prevent them from creasing and wrinkling. You can also add an unwrapped bar of your favorite soap to add a subtle clean scent to your linens. A few tweaks to our closet can help ease everyday chores like making the bed so much easier!

5) Craft a digital charging station.

It’s no secret that we have a lot of devices and charge cords. In fact, most of us probably have a nest of neglected and tangled chargers hiding somewhere within our homes. Alleviate a lot of stress and fumbling with cords by designating one location to store and charge all devices. Reuse toilet paper or wrapping paper tubes by placing neatly wound wires and cords inside them. This will prevent them from becoming entwined and allow you to label the device they go to without damaging anything. Also, use a mail organizer or basket to set up each device with their own little cubicle and use a power strip to plug in each charger so you can plug them in with relative ease and a switch of one “on” button.

What time and money saving organizing or decluttering tips can you share? Stay tuned for a new program launching soon to help you create a life and design that will reduce ease and stress in your life.

Special thanks to Ashley Smith who contributed to this article.

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