For as long as I can remember, I've been a bit over-the-top (some might say slightly OCD!) about being organized. My personal mantra has always been "less is more" and, though I realize that doesn't work for everyone, you can still maintain a clutter-free life even if you believe "more is better".
In my personal and professional life, I find that a clutter-free environment makes for clearer thinking, stress reduction and ease of task management. Here are some thoughts on how you might de-clutter your life.
1) Include clean up as part of your tasks, as opposed to making it a separate task. This will help maintain order in your household or work space.
2) Rethink your shopping needs. Always make lists beforehand and don't buy unnecessary items just because they're on sale or you get that "impulse". Especially in this economy, it's important not to shop just to shop. If you need it, buy it, but otherwise stop over-buying.
3) When you do buy something new, remove something old to keep a balance in your life. That way you will maintain control over the amount of "stuff" in your household.
4) Time and energy is consumed by "stuff" because it requires keeping it clean and tidy. Examine your belongings and determine if they are things you love and actually use. If they aren't loved or useful, donate or discard them. Keep a bag or basket set aside for those items and when it's full, immediately get rid of them by taking to a local charity. You'll be amazed at how wonderful it feels to give those unwanted or unneeded items away.
5) Nighttime tidying is a must. Take just a few minutes as part of your retiring routine to clean up around the house. If you have children, they need to include cleaning up their toys as part of their bedtime routine. Waking up to a clutter-free home will start your day off right!
What do you do to maintain a clutter-free life?