Live in the present moment wisely and earnestly

Housekeeping, Cleaning up a clean and, even better, inspiring space

I have to housekeep, clean up a good space again – clear improved less clutter compared to a year ago (:D Give myself a pat on the shoulder). Still, this can be further improved. I dream of a very clean, clear, minimalist,having just essential and, even better, inspiring space.

I am reading up to be inspired again.

Housekeeping Tips for Less Stress: Reduce the Stress of Housekeeping and Life

Simple Housekeeping Tips to Help You Create a Sanctuary from Stress


Updated September 30, 2012

Housekeeping Tips for Less Stress: Reduce the Stress of Housekeeping and Life

These simple housekeeping tips can help you relieve stress every day. ©

Most people don’t’ realize how much clutter causes stress, but it’s true that living in a mess can drain you of time, energy, and even money, creating significant amounts of additional stress. Unfortunately, a cluttered home is the norm. In fact, according to a poll on this site, most people live in a level of clutter that can cause additional stress. But while stressed, overscheduled people have little time to clean, given the value of having your home as a sanctuary from stress, as well as what you save by being organized, it makes sense to keep your house clean. The key is to be smart about cleaning, and clean in a way that causes little additional stress, or actually helps you reduce stress while you clean. The following low-stress housekeeping tips can help you do both:
Tip 1: Put On Some Music:
There are many proven benefits of music for stress relief, and music is even used to promote wellness in the form of music therapy. Music can actually calm you down or energize you, depending on what type of music you choose. You can harness the stress relieving and energy-inducing powers of music to help your cleaning efforts, so that you’re actually less stressed (or at least no more stressed and tired) when you’re finished, plus you’ll get a boost from the great feelings you get from your cleaner space.
Tip 2: Pare Down and Organize:
Toss or donate everything that you don’t need or love. Find a place for everything that’s left, so it’ll be easier to clean up. And don’t buy new things unless you absolutely need them. These simple guidelines will leave you with less stuff to clutter up your space, and make cleaning quicker and easier.
Tip 3: Make Small, Consistent Goals:
When creating new habits of any type, it’s good to make realistic goals, work toward them consistently, and reward yourself for even the smallest progress. This is also true with cleaning. If you set small, doable cleaning goals, such as 30 Second Chores, or the Daily Cleaning List that I’ll tell you about in a minute, you won’t get overwhelmed by the work.
Tip 4: Enjoy Your Results:
Clean a little bit every day, and you just may have the magic formula for a cleaner, stress-free living environment. Further your rewards and keep your motivation up by enjoying your home when your work is done! If you clean your bathroom, give yourself a regular home spa experience so you can really appreciate all of your hard work. Enjoy a candlelit dinner in your kitchen, burn essential oils to enjoy aromatherapy, and decorate in a way that really makes your heart smile. Once you get used to having your home as a sanctuary from stress instead of another cause of it, you’ll probably be hooked!
While these general guidelines can help you make cleaning less of a stressful experience, I’ve found some very useful and intelligent resources on About’s Housekeeping Site as well. Let me share these housekeeping tips with you so you can learn how to clean specific areas in your house more quickly and easily, know what to clean for maximum order every day, and find more resources to create a space that will continually soothe you from the stresses of daily life.

Wow, even defining clutter into different types by this blogger/writer!
Declutter Your Home-Discover Your Trash or Treasure

You may find as you declutter your home that it is really about new perspectives.

One way to begin to identify your clutter  is to ask what is treasure or trash to you and more importantly what level of clutter are you dealing with.

Unfortunately clutter can have a life force of it’s own and can quickly morph into bigger piles and  accumulate in unexpected places.

Depending on how many possessions you have, taking action to eliminate clutter can be a process of working through years of redundant stuff  and without a plan and good clutter free keys this can be difficult or even impossible.

That is why unwanted redundant stuff gets stored or kept for years taking up space, eating up your time and energy and costing your money.

Declutter Your Home and Rediscover Your Long Lost Treasures

At every level of clutter you will rediscover long lost treasures.

As you declutter your home and the process unfolds, clearing away the junk and cobwebs often leads you to forgotten talents and exciting revelations.

Anyone who seriously begins the process of reducing clutter is choosing a creative life path.

Not only are you physically decluttering your home , you are mentally clearing  layers to find inspiration, creativity, contentment and purpose as you identify and eliminate clutter to organize what you love to own and use .

The Big Question?

The big question in this decluttering process is what you personally define as trash and what you consider treasure.

This can be different for everyone and is why every clutter free journey is an individualized process.

Trash is the stuff that creates work, makes functioning in your home difficult and has a negative energy because it  doesn’t make life easier or better.

Treasure is all your possessions that make life easier, add quality to your home life and are a joy to look at and use.

This may mean a radical shift in the way you  perceive your environment and your possessions but this shift can make decluttering your home much easier.

Plus different levels of clutter require different time frames, decluttering methods and removal strategies. With the right information and tools it is easy to do.

Identifying what type of clutter you want to clear will give you the tools to clear it effectively and quickly so you can get into a better balance with your life and possessions.

The Five Levels of Clutter You Must Know About

Clutter is different. Some stuff is easy to throw out and other stuff is sticky and difficult. Knowing what level of clutter you are dealing with can give you the key to making a foolproof  to let it go.

This knowledge makes it easier to excavate longterm clutter from it’s home.

Surface Clutter

This type of clutter gets thrown on all flat surfaces such as tables, counter tops and floors. It is the stuff that you trip over and dump in piles. It usually doesn’t have a home or indicates that drawers, closets and storage spaces or too full so it isn’t easy to put away.  It is also all those things that don’t get put away and float around your house.This clutter makes your home look disorganized and messy and creates a neagative mindset because it is difficult to find a place to put away.

Superficial Clutter

Superficial clutter is all the stuff you need but have too much of. It is the doubles and multiples of same things you haven’t faced. It makes your home feel crowded and stuffed as every storage space is bursting at the seams. It makes a clutter problem because there is too much to put away and when it is your can’t see it because the storage space is too full.

Reducing this clutter creates significant shifts in how you function and feel in your home.

Small Clutter

As you declutter your home you will discover the third type of clutter is small clutter. This is all the small bits and pieces inside of cupboards and drawers and scattered over shelves and windowsills. It disappears and reappears on a daily basis and gets everyone on edge as small things can never be found when you desperately need them. Misplacing keys, glasses, homework, receipts, phone numbers are all part of this problem.

Deep Clutter

The fourth layer of clutter is deep clutter. This is the problem clutter that is hard to let go of. Often you hang on to it with the clutter excuses and can often feel overwelming.

This is long term unused stuff that invisibly blends into the scrambled mix of possessions in the backs of closets and drawers.

It’s this clutter that makes decision making a nightmare while it takes up space, drains your energy and eats up your time even if you are unaware of it.

Deep clutter is what makes decluttering your house difficult and is where most people give up.  Holding on to this clutter takes up a lot of space and energy.

Hidden Clutter

The final category of clutter is hidden clutter. This includes everything you have packed in boxes and stored away.

Look for furniture in the garage, wedding gifts, memorabilia, and excess clothes.

Usually you look at it once a year, say “oh”, close the lid and put it away again. This stuff can be found in attics, basements and garages, but I have seen it in closets, kitchens, under beds, and behind doors. It’s all the excess that is never appreciated, valued or used and is packed away and over time becomes a burden to keep.

The longer your clutter has sat around the heavier it feels and the clearer your intention needs to be to remove it.

Identifying the level and type of clutter you want to clear  while keeping a lookout for those long lost treasures gives you the information you need to make an effective plan as to time, method, decluttering tools and the strategies.

This is the most powerful step you can take to keep what you love in your home and do what you love in your life.

As you declutter your home  treasures that are lost are found.

Energy and creativity re-emerge for that dream or project you have always wished to do.  The clutter excuses fade away so you can declutter and organize your home and your life giving you direction, focus and achievement.

Jane Alais

I like the title of the blog 365 less things and even offer statements and mini mission to apply.
Long Term Effective Decluttering
posted by  66 Comments

I have often included statements or advice in my post such as…

  • Decluttering will get you nowhere if you reclutter while you declutter.
  • Declutter excess __(insert item here)___.
  • Not desiring stuff is a wonderful freedom.
  • Reducing supply and demand of products is good for the environment.
  • Keeping items “just in case” is futile if the items were never really necessary in the first place.

…and the list goes on. I make these statements and give this advice because most people declutter by skimming the surface of their belongings only removing the obvious things that are no longer wanted. This creates enough space for them to continue on with the same habit of replacing that clutter with the next thing that takes their fancy in the stores or through clever advertising and the cycle begins again. Clutter, declutter, reclutter, declutter, reclutter… I know this because I have been there and done that.

I have always prided myself on the fact that my home has always been a clean and tidy environment. On a regular basis as the children grew and my husband and I ungraded items in our home or fell out of like with clothing, decor, hobbies etc I would do a declutter. I would either have a garage sale, a flea market stall or donate items to charity and feel good about myself because I redeemed a few dollars, helped a charity and lightened the load of belongings in our home. But this was a temporary status.

You will notice I mentioned the words “grew, upgraded and fell out of like” all of which suggest that the clutter removed was being or had already been replaced with something else. So essentially all we were doing was making room for the next round of clutter and decluttering was just a cycle not a realisation that we had too much, were always wanting more stuff and were constantly wasting our money on stuff. Polluting the environment along the way. Granted I bought a lot of stuff secondhand at flea markets and garage sales but stuff is stuff and acquiring it is like a drug no matter how little one pays for it.

This time around for us decluttering is a lifestyle choice. Wrapped up in that is a newfound higher respect for the environment, a newfound freedom from the desire to always want new stuff, a freeing up of finances that can be better used on more worthwhile pursuits and permanent way to reduce and simplify household chores.

I feel like a rebel at times and I love it. Take that companies who manufacture endless products of no real worth or necessity. Take that advertising agencies who get paid to convince people to buy crap they don’t need. Take that credit card interest rates. Take that high cost and high rental on houses bigger than I need. Take that plastic organising tubs I will never need again. Take that storage unit companies whose services I have never and will never need to store my excess stuff…

The message here is if you like decluttering over and over again, wasting your hard earned money, maintaining stuff you rarely use, need a larger home for your stuff not your family to fit in, enjoy paying credit card interest on stuff you never needed in the first place or don’t care about the state of the environment, then by all means stay on the hamster wheel that is consumerism and ignore everything I write about here at 365 Less Things.

However if you don’t like the sound of that then effective long term decluttering requires the following list of changes

  1. Get rid of your excesses. Not just the things you don’t use but things you have a greater variety of than you really need.
  2. Know the difference between need and want. This is important when confronting those “I might need it one day” items. Ask yourself did I ever really “need” them in the first place.
  3. Cut back on shopping for things you don’t need, won’t get good use out of and especially thing that are just novelty items.
  4. Upgrading only needs to happen when the item you are replacing no longer performs to your needs (not your wants) or when the item breaks down. When upgrading does happen don’t keep the old item “just in case”.
  5. Be thoughtful of the environment with every purchase you make.

So are you happy to stay on the hamster wheel or are you weaning yourself off it or are you like me and have left it behind some time ago?

Today’s Mini Mission

Round up your shoes ~ Do you have shoes in the car, shoes in your bedroom, shoes at both the front and back doors? Why not find a simple solution to keep the bulk of them in one area.

Today’s Declutter Item

Over the two and a half years of my decluttering mission my son has managed to do a little “natural progression decluttering” of some old motorbike gear that had been unused for many years. First he slid out in the rain one day and tore up one of my husbands old bike jackets from the 80′s. Luckily he didn’t injure himself or do much damage to the bike. He is now wearing one of his dad’s other 1980′s bike jackets. Then he had an accident at Christmas that wasn’t his fault in which he broke his arm and damaged his gloves. He then started wearing the old pair of gloves below but due to age and frequent use one of the fingers has worn through. So now he is wearing yet another old pair of gloves.

Motorbike Gloves

Something I Am Grateful For Today

An ebay parcel I posted cost $5 less than I expected.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.

I love the title Becoming a Minimalist! Another blog/writing that offers practical, do-able, little steps from physical to the state of mind. Thanks for the advice.

10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home

by joshua becker

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” —Dale Carnegie

The idea of living a simplified, uncluttered life with less stuff sounds attractive to many. They have considered the benefits of owning fewer possessions: less to clean, less debt, less to organize, less stress, more money and energy for their greatest passions. They are ready to declutter but some get quickly tripped up by the very next question… where in the world do I begin?

Many begin to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and defeated around the idea of decluttering their homes. That’s too bad. The decluttering journey doesn’t need to be as painful as some make it out to be. In fact, there are a variety of people who have come up with some pretty fun, creative ways to get started.

Consider this list of 10 creative ways to declutter your home:

1. Give yourself 5 solid minutes. Leo Babauta at Zen Habits recommends 18 different 5-minute decluttering tips. Pick one today that sounds appealing. Or better yet, pick a random number 1-18, read the specific tip, and commit 5 minutes to completing it.

2. Give away one item each day. Colleen Madsen at 365 Less Things gives away one item each day. Over the past several years, she has experienced quite a transformation simply reducing her stuff one day at a time.

3. Fill one trash bag. Early in our journey towards simplicity, one of my favorite decluttering techniques was to grab a simple large trash bag and see how quickly I could fill it. While much of what I collected was trash, this could also be used to fill a bag for Goodwill.

4. Try the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment. While this idea didn’t originate with Oprah, she was the one to help give it notoriety. To identify wardrobe pieces to clear out, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After six months, you’ll have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard. This experiment could also be applied to a number of clutter areas in your home (cleaners, toys, linens, tools, hobbies and craft items).

5. Make a list. Dana Byers recommends creating a list of places/areas in your home to declutter beginning with the easiest… which doesn’t sound all that creative until she adds this note, “When you’re done with one area, STOP.” This list could be made as easy or difficult as you desire based upon what areas of your home make up the list (drawers/closets/rooms). And could easily fit into any schedule.

6. Take the 12-12-12 Challenge. A simple task of locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize 36 things in your house. On more than one occasion, this challenge actually became a quick competition between my wife and I… and your kids don’t have to be too old to participate as well.

7. Change your perspective. Unclutterer offers a powerful approach to decluttering when they offer a number of strategies to help you change your perspective and begin to notice some clutter you may have missed. Among their ideas: take photos of your house, invite over a toddler, or ask the boss to meet in your office. With all of the examples, the hope is to cause you to see your home in a new light.

8. Experiment with numbers. For example, Courtney Carver invented Project 333 to challenge people to wear only 33 articles of clothing for 3 months. If 33 articles of clothing seems too little, adjust the rules as you need by picking a new number. The important thing is to challenge yourself to live with less and see what you learn from the experiment.

9. Use your imagination. Psychology Today recommends using your imagination to help declutter objects that may seem difficult to remove. Try asking yourself unique questions like, “If I was just buying this now, how much would I pay?” These creative techniques may prove to be very helpful for some with difficulties removing unneeded clutter.

10.The Four-Box Method. As we first set out on our journey to minimalism, this was the technique most often used in our home. As I set out to declutter an area, I brought four boxes: trash, give away, keep, or relocate. Each item in every room was placed into one of the four categories. No item was passed over. Each was considered individually. Some projects took an hour… others took days or weeks. But the technique and principles remained the same.

No matter what you choose to help you get started – whether it be one of these ten or one of countless others – the goal is to take your first step with excitement behind it. There is a beautiful world of freedom and fresh breath hiding behind that clutter. How you remove it is up to you.


Thank you, Bloggers/Writers for the inspiration and practical steps. Let’s start cleaning upand throwing again … inspiration: Mnimalist, have what is essential, and set space that inspires Creativity and can maximise time and effort without nitty critty stuff! I CAN! I love myself 🙂



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