I’ve been thinking a lot about clutter lately. I am always trying to “de-clutter” my apartment. It’s a constant battle because it’s so easy for items to pile up. Newspapers, magazines, flyers, mail, those are just the obvious items. Lately I’ve really amped up my efforts to get rid of clutter and it’s paying off. For instance, it finally occurred to me that rather than keeping a huge pile of magazines because each one contained an article I wanted to save, I should just cut out the particular articles, put them in my filing cabinet and send the magazines off to the recycling box. I know it’s not exactly groundbreaking but I love being able to clear more space.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot and here are some tips that I’ve gathered that have really helped me:

1. Get rid of items that you don’t need as soon as possible. For instance, my flyers come in the mail in a little bag. I keep the ones for the stores I actually shop at and toss the rest.

2. Don’t stock up too much. I came to this conclusion after realizing that I had about 40 razor blade refills courtesy of my mom who shops at Costco a lot. There is no way I can get through them that quickly and they are taking up a lot of space. So my new rule is to not keep too much of any one item. For example recently I bought some new shaving cream but I only bought two cans because I know that it will take me a while to get through them and in the meantime, there is no point in having 10 cans of shaving cream taking up space in my bathroom.

3. Always check back for more. Unless you go through every item of your house on a daily basis there is probably always more stuff you can sort through and you will find items that you no longer need or want. I’ve realized that my purse collection has gotten a bit out of hand so that is yet another area where I will probably be able to get rid of whatever I don’t use and give it to charity.

4. This is my last tip and it’s not really about de-cluttering but when you do finally sort through your belongings, it helps to put like with like. I just got a new desk which of course required me to clear out my old desk. I organized everything so now I have one drawer for greeting cards, one drawer for typewriter paper and ribbon, one drawer for writing utensils, etc. Once everything is organized and has a proper designation it feels like it all falls together neatly.

I find that as long as I keep following my own tips over and over I am actually able to keep my apartment very clean and organized. And it might sound cheesy but getting rid of all the extra junk actually gives me a light airy feeling, as if a weight has been pulled off my shoulders.