Three uncluttering projects you can probably do right now

Getting started with the uncluttering process may feel overwhelming. If you’re new to uncluttering, you may feel like there is too much to do and the process will take too much time. You might have a lot to do, and it may take awhile to get through everything, but the end result is worth it and the process isn’t difficult.

A few simple and quick uncluttering projects might be all you need to get you moving:

  1. The front of your refrigerator. If you have a magnetic refrigerator, the front of it might be covered with expired coupons, old school lunch menus, damaged pictures, and broken magnets. Quickly pull everything off your refrigerator and only put back those things that belong on your refrigerator. Anything that is expired, out of date, broken, or damaged certainly shouldn’t go back up, but you’ll have to decide what else does. Maybe nothing will be returned and keeping the front of your refrigerator clear will be your new normal?
  2. A bulletin board. Whether you’re at home or work, uncluttering a bulletin board can be a great little project. Very similar to the front of the refrigerator, bulletin boards are where old extension and phone trees linger, warped pictures, and memos from 2007. Get rid of all the clutter and keep only the things that really belong on the bulletin board. When you’re hanging items back on the board, be sure not to overlap any vital information and put things where you can actually see them when you need them.
  3. Stray item roundup. Pens, shoes, pony tail holders, or paperclips may be items strewn about your office or home. Whatever item seems to be out of place everywhere, round up all the same item and put it in its proper place. At the end of a workday, I might have 10 different pens on my desk, so I do a daily pen roundup.

Remember the aphorism: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Take on a few simple and quick uncluttering projects each day, and eventually your office and home will be clutter free.

12 Comments for “Three uncluttering projects you can probably do right now”

  1. posted by Keri on

    Great tips, especially number 3! I always find that if I just tell myself I’m just doing one small task, I end up doing more. It’s kind of silly how easy it is to “trick” myself into cleaning, once I figure out how. =)

  2. posted by *m* on

    Hi Erin — So true that even a small uncluttering project can make a big difference — in your outlook as well as in your home’s appearance.

    I am a busy mom who doesn’t often find time to comment, but I just want to say that I really enjoy and admire your blog and all the good ideas you share. Thanks and keep it up!

  3. posted by DawnF on

    Don’t forget the car, too!

    Grab the pens, spare change, junk mail, etc. out of the front seats of the car the next time you get out. Then the next time, do the back seat. Then the next time, do the trunk. If you’re tight on time doing it in stages might help.

  4. posted by shanoboy on

    #3 is the worse for us at home.

    After a week of so without actively trying to put things where they belong we always end up with tons of jewelry, pens, hair clips, small tools, gadgets, etc… EVERYWHERE!

  5. posted by Irvineite on

    I made a jewelry and hair clips and elastics organizer for my 8 year old daughter. it works really well, now every time I find these items laying around, I clip or hang them back on the organizer.
    it also means she knows where to find them.

    although it took me time and effort to make the organizer in the first place, it actually saves me time, and I feel organized. such a great and rare thing for a very busy mom with little time.

  6. posted by ETM on

    I have been following your blog/site for a few months now and like “m” above, I don’t have alot of comment time, but I just want you to know that I read it everyday and absolutely love the information. Also, FYI, last weeks “Bookshelf Porn” was a riot. I do love my books.~ETM~

  7. posted by Zen friend on

    Great ideas! Thanks, Erin – and Dawn F.

  8. posted by laura m. on

    I don’t have anything tacked to the frige, or a bulletin board. I write appointments on my calendar in the kitchen. Many businesses give out pens; I round up extra’s and give them to childrens group homes near me. Extra extension cords, towels, and other things I have too many of get donated.

  9. posted by Kaz in Oz on

    Thanks. Me and a garbage bag are about to do the rounds of the house.

  10. posted by Kat on

    I do the daily (or hourly when I’m home) roundup of mostly my children’s things. I have a round vase that looks more like a fish bowl on a high shelf in the kitchen and I am constantly filling it with little toys, tiny hair clips, stray game pieces – whatever I find on the floor of the kitchen and can’t bear to just throw away (though sometimes I’d like to). My kids can see that I’ve confiscated some of their treasures so they occasionally ask if we can “do the bowl” which means they do liitle chores and earn the right to pick through the bowl for one item at a time. The only rule is that they may only take what was originally theirs (Elise can not take Franky’s bouncy ball…)

    I have similar containers in the laundry room and my bedroom, but this mostly applies to kid stuff – not my own. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. posted by Annie on

    Wow!! This is a wonderful site and I feel it’s possible to get control of the house again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kat- Thank you for your tip/idea. “The treasure bowl” will work great for our family!(me included) ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. posted by Gotham Organizers on

    “Do the bowl!” I LOVE the fishbowl idea – I will definitely share that with my clients who have kids (and “dropper” spouses). Brilliant Kat! Great touch that the container is clear, so they can see the items they’ve “lost” to disorganization, yet out of reach, so they need to earn them back.

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