- Go paperless. Arrange for electronic delivery of all your bills and bank statements. Organize important papers into a filing system. Gather anything you want to keep for future reference and scan it to a computer. Shred or recycle the rest.
- Look out for clutter magnets, those areas of your home or office that become enticements for clutter: the kitchen counters, the dining-room table, the chest in the hallway, a chair in the bedroom, and the ‘floordrobe.’ Place a crate near your closet where discarded garments can land until they can be sorted.
- Turn down freebies. Before taking commemorative swag at a conference or nabbing hotel toiletries, consider if they’re things you’ll actually use or if they’ll become yet other objects that you’ll have to make space for.
- Have a spot for everything. Store related objects together—that’ll spare you the pain of figuring out where things should go, and you can see if there’re already two or more of each item.
- Institute a 15-minute quick tidy-up routine every night. Clear the kitchen counter, fold and put away laundry, and toss out the garbage. Save a whole lot of time when it comes to the weekend or deep-cleaning days.
Bonus: Clean-as-you-go throughout the day. Little clean-up routines can make your mind clearer and the time you spend with your loved ones less fraught.