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9 Ways to Eliminate Clutter and Remove Stress in Less Than 5 Minutes

Updated on July 17, 2012

Psychology Today published an article called 10 Tips to Beat Clutter in 5 Minutes what provided great suggestions to decluttering and removing stress from your life. I am always amazed at how many people don't understand the importance of removing distractions when looking to become more effective and clutter is one of the largest distractions you will have.

I would add the following tips:

1. Plan ahead for any stored files so you know when and how they will be disposed of. When the files are no longer needed it will take almost no time to eliminate them if you plan ahead.

2. Sort your postal mail as soon as it arrives and immediately dispose of any junk mail or advertisements you don't need. Doing this you do not need to look at the additional items more than one time.

3. If possible pay bills when they arrive, or even before. By scheduling payments on-line for your most frequent bills you can immediately file any hard copies when they arrive after a brief review of the balances.

4. Follow a one touch rule that if you touch an item you need to take immediate action on the item. It is amazing how few things take less than 5 minutes if you don't put them off for another day.

5. If possible go paperless with your bills. Most credit card companies and utilities will allow you to receive e-mail notices of balances and provide online access to statements. This will remove the paper clutter entirely from your home and if you trust your service provider to maintain your statements online you don't need to store the electronic files either.

6. Eliminate your newspapers and books, there are plenty of online sources for current news and eReaders can help eliminate the clutter or the hard copies.

7. Avoid creating bills or consolidate the ones you have to minimize the distractions of having numerous statements to review and payments to make.

8. Do more frequent and smaller loads of laundry. While this may be pushing the 5 minute limits a little but starting a small load of laundry, folding it, and putting it away is far less daunting than doing laundry once per week.

9. The same goes for dishes. Doing dishes after each meal keeps the task more manageable and eliminates the stress of clutter in the sink.

As a general rule if you want to eliminate clutter you need to minimize what comes in, act on items as soon as you become aware of them, and plan ahead for how you will handle what is coming. What tips do you have to beat clutter quickly?

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    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Great ideas!