MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
Lori Madden, MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
Email: [email protected]

Getting a Handle on the Household Clutter

by Lori Madden 06/30/2019

The car, entryway, stairs, hallways, bedrooms, closets and cupboards—wherever you look, there it is. Clutter! You dream of life minus the piles, boxes, and bags of stuff. Onto the internet, you go to find that magic formula, the perfect system to tame that clutter chaos. Once in place, you believe your life will be one smooth ride. Four hours later, you have tons of information and pictures of neat ideas, and you are; overwhelmed. Mentally throwing in the towel, you move on with your day and wish the clutter would sort and organize itself.

Reality Bites

Well, welcome to the real world with your glorious clutter. Don’t despair. You CAN tame the piles of papers, clothing, bags and other items. You will need to break it down into smaller bits and pieces. Everyone loves a dramatic overhaul that, through time-lapse camera work, happens almost instantly. In reality, changing the clutter habits that created the chaos takes time and strategy. Start in a couple of areas that irritate you the most. 

Start small

Pick one or two places clutter accumulates to start the decluttering adventure. For example, place a basket near the entryway to catch the keys as people enter. It will eliminate the jumble of keys in other places around the house and also the frantic looking for keys as you try to leave the house. Another idea is placing a small trash bin where people come in from outside so any trash they have, such as fast food wrappers, cups or junk mail, can go straight into the garbage. No system will succeed if you don’t have the cooperation of those who contribute to the clutter. Have a brief discussion with the other household members about the desire for a more organized and tidier environment. Enlist their help in finding ideas that can reduce clutter. When you involve them, they are more likely to find changing their habits easier.

Real life rhythms

Only keep systems and routines that work over the long run. Remember to keep it simple and low or no maintenance. The goal is to create order and increase enjoyment of your space. Consider the whole household and how you all function on a daily level. Each person has individual habits, and a household its own rhythm. Each system you implement must fit your household rhythm. So, think of the big picture when putting your anti-clutter routines together. As the new systems begin to become habit make sure to celebrate your efforts to tame the clutter chaos. Make sure to check out ideas for clutter reduction when you browse through your next open house.

About the Author
Author

Lori Madden

As a Florida native growing up in Sarasota, I have seen my hometown grow from a sleepy coastal town to a highly sought-after destination along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. After working in Chicago for 5 years, I returned to Sarasota and saw it through a new lens and really began to appreciate what makes Sarasota so desirable, including temperatures that allow for year round outdoor activities including tennis (a personal favorite), golf, boating, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, or just relaxing and/or shelling on our pristine sandy shores, including Dr. Beach’s #1 beach in the United States for 2017, Siesta Key! Sarasota’s cultural amenities are many and diverse, appealing to a wide range of arts lovers. Downtown Sarasota has become a destination in itself, drawing many new developments for those who want to be within walking distance of Main Street's offerings and the picturesque bayfront and marina. Foodies will find an eclectic mix of locally owned and operated restaurants offering something for everyone, and there are now Farmers Markets every day of the week in various locations throughout Sarasota, but the Saturday morning Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota draws the biggest crowds. Since 1988, my passion has been selling real estate, representing both buyers and sellers. I have been recognized by my clients and customers for an uncompromising work ethic and dedication to helping them achieve their real estate goals. Relying on my experience as a real estate paralegal and being highly organized, I am able to help make the transition between contract and closing a smooth one for my clients. With an eye for interior and landscape design, I've been known to pitch in and help Sellers minimize and/or reorganize their belongings in order to stage their home to maximize its sale potential. I specialize in out of state buyers looking for their piece of paradise along the Gulf Coast and make it a priority to keep them up to date on our quickly changing local real estate market. I welcome the opportunity to share with you all Sarasota and her surrounding islands have to offer!