You know how it goes.
You come home carrying the stress of a long day… as well as your purse or briefcase, keys, mail, bags, and more.
You kick your shoes off, drop your coat on the nearest chair, and dump what you’re carrying on the nearest table.
You’ll deal with it later, right?
But later, you’re just plain tired. At 9 p.m. you have no motivation to retrace your steps and clean-up after 5 p.m. you.
Instead, you get ready for bed. Throwing your clothes on the chair that sits in the corner of your room that’s become more like a second, super messy closet.
The same routine repeats itself the next day, and the day after that, until your house becomes a haven for clutter.
Sound familiar? Keep reading for tips on how to fix your habits and ditch dumping grounds for good.
What are dumping grounds?
A dumping ground can be any spot in your house that acts as the landing area for stuff you either couldn’t be bothered to put away in the moment, or stuff that has no other place in your home.
Dumping grounds usually accumulate on flat surfaces like kitchen counters, dressers, tables, and chairs but can also be the basement, attic or garage.
Because dumping grounds offer an easy alternative to tidying up in the moment, they soon become part of your home – earning their spot just like your kitchen or bathroom would.
What items do you usually find in a dumping ground?
Dumping grounds usually become home to the following items:
- Mail, paperwork, and receipts
- Books, magazines and newspapers
- Scissors and pens
- Children’s school work and artwork
- Keys and coins
- Clothes, shoes, and bags
How can you ditch the dumping ground?
While it’s understandable how these areas of clutter build up in our homes, they can become very overwhelming.
What started as a way to save time in your day soon becomes a much greater source of stress that lingers in the back of your mind as a major item on your never-ending to-do list.
Taking control and freeing your house of these areas for good can take a huge weight off your shoulders.
Plan for success
Successful organization is the direct result of proper planning – and it’s essential if you want to avoid common decluttering mistakes.
Schedule a time and date where you and your family will tackle your dumping grounds and commit to it.
Better yet, create a “tidying up” routine for the family that involves clearing out dumping areas before heading to bed.
After a while, tidying up will become a habit for your family and dumping areas less frequent.
Don’t hold on to anything you don’t need
The goal is to create space in your home, not cram more spaces with stuff. This will only lead to more clutter.
If you don’t need the item in your home, throw it out or donate it. You can even scan papers that you want a copy of but don’t need taking up physical space in your home.
Don’t put off…
Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today. Make a habit of dealing with your car keys, your bag, your books etc. right away. Don’t set it down and tell yourself you’ll deal with it later because chances are, you won’t.
Create a home for items you want to keep
Go through each item that regularly winds up in your dumping ground and if it really needs to stay in your home, commit to immediately returning the item to space where it belongs, or create a space for it if it doesn’t have one.
Always drop your keys on the dining room table? Install a key holder near your front door and make a habit to place it there as soon as you get home.
Prone to leaving your clothes in a pile on the chair in your bedroom? Consider moving the chair for a few weeks until you’ve taught yourself that your clothes only have two places to go: the closet or the laundry hamper.
Overtime, your hard work will pay off in the form of a clutter and stress-free home!
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