Piles, and Baskets and Bins...Oh My!!!
What do we do when we have too much clutter? Buy more containers to store it in and tuck it out of sight, right? No!
I'm always amazed when stores advertise that the best way to win the battle of clutter is to buy more storage containers. Just pop your piles into a basket or storage bin and voilà your done! Well..... your clutter/papers/stuff might be out of sight, but probably not out of your of mind and most likely just tucked away in the back of a closet, basement or attic.
When you have piles of stuff growing in your house, it's a sign that your organizational systems are not working in your home and you are delaying making decisions on what to do with those items. No one is perfect, and life happens, but now is a great time to start, one pile/basket/bin at a time, and do some detective work and find out why these piles are there in the first place!
Go to any pile and see what's in it. Is it old mail, schoolwork, laundry, unfinished projects? It could be a pile of totally random things. Sort your piles into categories, donate useable items that you don't want anymore and toss any trash. With the remainder, think to yourself, "Where would a guest look for these in my home?" and there is your answer of where they need to "live". Take the items to their "proper home" and put them away. Most "like" items should live together in your home so you can easily see what you already have, and not have to re-purchase more of something just because you can't find the original one.
For paper piles, an upright file holder could act as a small mail center. Label the slots "To File", "To Do" and "Bob"....(or whoever it belongs to😉) or whatever broad categories makes sense to you. Before you put down the mail, decided if it is trash and throw it away or something to keep and put it in the holder.
Soon, you will find that your piles of stuff, turn into piles of empty baskets and bins that you no longer need. Instead of using garbage bags and cardboard boxes to donate things you no longer need or want, fill those baskets and bins with your donations and donate it all together.
After your piles have been taken care of, keep them from growing again by creating a system of putting things in their "home" right when they enter the house or after each time you use that item. When you have something in your hand, try to remember the acronym "O-H-I-O", Only Handle It Once to remind you to correctly put it away, right away. It only takes a couple minutes to maintain your space instead of hours or days to gain it back.
Now is the time to say goodbye to those piles, baskets, bags and bins of delayed decisions and decide to banish them for good.