The Best Decluttering Advice We've Heard
This is your year to finally get—and stay—organized. Here, experts reveal their best tips, tricks and strategies for keeping a clutter-proof home.
6. Memorize this Acronym for a Clean House
Until further notice, do not go out and buy anything new and unnecessary—no retail therapy, no "great deals" and no sales! Instead, purge as much clutter as possible as quickly as you can using the F.A.S.T. method. Here's a step-by-step breakdown on how to clean house and get organized.
F: Fix a time. Schedule a time that suits everyone involved. Cleaning up is a family affair, so get everyone on board by scheduling your kick start at a time that works for everyone and make attendance mandatory! Set aside a Saturday or a Sunday, or a few hours every day, to start the process.
A: Anything not used in 12 months. Face it: If you haven't used an item in the last year, it is highly unlikely you really need it or that you are going to ever get enough use out of it to justify it cluttering up your home. Take the plunge and get rid of it! Ask yourself these questions as you encounter each piece of clutter:
• Do I use this?
• How long has it been since I've used it?
• Will I use it again?
• Is it worth the space it takes up in my house?
Remember: The objective is to get stuff out of your home, not to move it into another room. You will be amazed by the sheer volume of unused and unneeded items in your home. Don't spend time inventing reasons to keep these things.
S: Someone else's stuff. It's bad enough when clutter is your own, but it is totally crazy when the clutter belongs to someone else. Your house should not contain anything that doesn't belong to you. If it's something you've borrowed, give it back. If you've ended a relationship or gotten a divorce, now's the time to let your ex's belongings go. If your kids have established their own households, it's time for them to pick their stuff up.
T: Trash. The trash can is your friend. It is your very hungry friend. Take pride in how much you throw away and make it fun. Compete with your family members to see who tosses the most or award a prize to the best purger. Remember the goal: You only want to keep the amount of stuff that makes sense for your space.
— Peter Walsh