How to Get Rid of Clutter on Tables and Counters to Live an Organized and Decluttered Lifestyle
Flat surfaces can be a blessing and a curse. Isn’t it nice to see a cleaned off table – just think of all the things we could do; we could set the table for a big family meal, we could sit and use it for crafts, we could let children use it for their homework or drawings, there are so many possibilities! Unfortunately as soon as we have a flat surface cleared we usually start putting things back onto it. It’s almost like the side table, kitchen counter, entryway table, coffee table, bathroom counter, and every other flat surface has a clutter magnet on it! There’s no arguing here – keeping these surfaces clear is tough for anyone. A good way to deal with these is to go through the normal decluttering process and get to the clean surface. Once you have done that take a look at what you want and what you like on that surface. Does it have a lamp that you use? Is there a picture that you want to display? Figure out what you like the best and how many items this is – we want to limit the number to something reasonable, but we also want to be comfortable with what we choose. Once we have this figured out you will know how many things should be there. When you start to see how this can help you maintain a decluttered environment this should become second nature.
If we let some things sneak back onto a surface, don’t worry too much about it. Set a time when you will go over the area and pick things up and put them back where they belong. We can’t have a spotless and organized house one hundred percent of the time – we would go crazy even trying! The idea is to get used to regularly keeping things under control. This might mean putting your books away every night, cleaning up when you get home from work, or taking Saturday afternoon to pick up after yourself. It is certainly a give and takes – you don’t want to spend so much time picking up that you start hating spending the time doing it, but you don’t want to wait so long that it becomes a huge project again! We want to find what works best for ourselves. It takes time and a little trial and error. After a few weeks, it should be fairly evident what works best for you. If by the end of three weeks you can’t seem to get a good system going on a regular schedule I suggest setting aside five or ten minutes three nights a week to pick up and clean off your surfaces. Write them down, make a checklist, or set an alarm – just make sure that you are following through and sticking to a schedule. It is like many other habits – you have to keep doing them for it to be effective, the first few weeks can be the most trying but it does become much easier after that.