What is your clutter control ability? Do you regularly balance what comes into your space with what leaves your space or do you spend more time on energy on accumulating stuff than you do on getting rid of clutter?

While creating a place for everything and putting everything in its place is one of the cardinal habits of the organized population it is only one half of the equation. You also have to achieve a balance between what is coming in and what is going out of your space.

Your clutter results from an imbalance between what comes into and what goes out of your space. If this equation is not balanced you will end up with more stuff that you can store. The net results will be clutter.

Lack of space is not the reason you accumulate clutter. Many people live in small spaces without accumulating more stuff than their space can handle. You accumulate clutter because you are not in control of the stuff coming into and going out of your space, however, large or small that may be. It really is that simple.

You may prefer to put energy into creating new spaces to put things in order to get organized but this is not the solution to clutter. It is actually getting rid of clutter that requires the most energy, effort, and discipline. Without attention to this part of the clutter control equation you cannot achieve control.

Suggestions for clutter control include ideas for getting rid of clutter as well as suggestions for how to prevent it from accumulating in the first place.

Declutter Regularly

Part of a regular routine in any household has to be getting rid of clutter that has accumulated over time. Many people call this "spring cleaning" but you can do it at any time of the year. If you do not have a regular schedule of going through your belongings and purging, then set one up for each room of the house and put it on the calendar.

Busy spaces like the entryway or the kitchen should be attended to more frequently than rooms that are not used as often.

Donation Box

Set up a donation box and make sure everyone in the family knows where it is. Anytime you need to get rid of a clothing or household item simply place it in the box. Make regular trips to the charity stores with your donations.

Fix It Box

This idea is for people who cannot get rid of anything that they think they might repair for future use. You know the person I am referring to because you have heard him say " I can't get rid of that it only needs a new ....(blank)"

Set up a box for items that need repair. Broken items should be labeled with the date and placed in the box. Every six months go through this box and get rid of anything with a date that is six months or older. Let's face it, if you have not used it for six months it is not an item that is in regular use in your house. Get rid of it! You will never miss it.

Don't Bring it Home

There is no rule that says you must accept every free item that is offered to you. Politely decline offers of free lamps, appliances, or other items that family and friends are getting rid of. Your home is not a station for wayward and orphaned stuff. The more you accept the more people will offer because they know you will take it and they want to get rid of it! The more you accept the more you will be viewed by others as a personal collection service for unwanted stuff. Saying no more often will reduce the amount of stuff coming into your space.

Set Priorities

If you learn how to set priorities that place needs ahead of wants, you will not accumulate as much stuff in your life. You could probably eliminate a full 80% of the stuff in your life and still have a good quality life.

Few people would argue that material goods are more important than human relationships, yet far more energy and time is devoted to securing, accumulating and managing stuff than creating and managing quality relationships.

Being mindful of the accumulation of stuff and improving your clutter control ability with a few of these simple suggestions might just provide you with some room in your life to spend on those more important things like people.

Author's Bio: 

Beverly OMalley is a nurse who is passionate about examining the various influences on organizing behaviour as well as the influences of the organized environment on human health and well being. She has identified several of these influences at www.organization-makes-sense.com where you can also read more about the clutter control formula.