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What are "Dumping Grounds" and How Do I Get Rid of Them??

September 2, 2019

dump·ing ground /ˈdəmpiNG ɡround/ (noun) - a place where garbage or unwanted material is left.

Where are the dumping grounds in your house? Maybe one is the pile of mail next to your front door. Perhaps one is building on your kitchen table. I will bet all of the money in my wallet right now that you have one in the form of clothes somewhere on the floor in your room or closet.

 

Dumping grounds are a part of life - but there are ways to manage them and minimize them. 

 

  1. Make them known. In a perfect world, everything coming into your house would already have a home and you would just immediately put them away - but that isn't a reality. So stop beating yourself up and start getting curious. Where do things get dumped and why and when???

  2. Make them pretty. Soon after moving in with my partner, I noticed that he threw all of his clothes in one particular spot in our room - against the wall near the foot of our bed. I have absolutely no desire to ask him to tidy up after himself - what I do have is a nice wooden crate. One day I put said crate in the exact spot where he always carelessly throws his clothes and VIOLA - the floor is clear of clothes! He still throws his clothes in the same spot, but the crate catches them! I'm a genius! I honestly still don't know if he even notices that his clothes are now in a wooden crate rather than just a pile on the floor...

  3. Make time for them. Okay - so now we have all of these gorgeous wooden crates and fun bins all over our house instead of ugly piles of random stuff. So what - NOW ITS OVERFLOWING!! The final piece of the puzzle is to make time to go through them. Once a week is probably fine, maybe you need more or less. It is more productive to sit with all of your mail once a week and just open it all at once. Just find a way to hold yourself accountable! 

  4. BONUS TIP: Have fewer surfaces. Fewer surfaces means fewer places available to set stuff down. Maybe this means having less furniture, maybe this means having more plants. You decide. 

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