In my study of happiness, one thing that has surprised me is the disproportionate effect of clutter. In the context of a happy life, clutter seems trivial — yet over and over, I see how drained I am by the presence of clutter, and how cheered I am when I get clutter under control.
One of my Secrets of Adulthood for clutter is: Put things away near where they want to be.
When I find myself moving an item from Point A to Point C, over and over, it’s time to figure out if we can store it at Point A or at least at Point B. Instead of storing my husband’s overnight bag with the rest of the luggage, which was inconvenient, we decided that it “belonged” in the bedroom closet. Instead of sitting out in the hallway for days at a time, for various family members to trip over, it gets stowed without delay.