I get it, you have a very busy life. And keeping your home clean on a daily basis can be tricky, even for those who are stay-at-home parents or work from home. Most every home is challenged with “clutter-control” issues. Stacked up old magazines, kid’s projects, or even garage items that you never throw away…all lend itself to a visually messy-looking home.
If you think that decluttering your living space has to be time consuming, it doesn’t. By spending just a few minutes a day, reducing home clutter can become a way of life. The long-term benefits will save you time and energy…and your day will be less stressful.
Daily deep cleaning everyday isn’t necessary. Instead, choose small steps each day to make the burden lighter.
Follow this top 10 countdown to reduce your home clutter with minimal amount of effort!
Choose one room at a time: sort, throw away, donate, and sell items that are not used or needed in that room. Each day, choose a different room. Before a week is up, you will have purged your entire home. Collect items in one area to be used for a garage sale or for a donation to a local church or charity.
Have a place for everything and arm your family with storage options. These days you can purchase affordable, fashionable plastic containers, wicker baskets or storage bins for things to be hidden away or organized out in the open. Find a system that works for you and your family. Baskets for loose magazines, clear toy bins for kids, and labeled filing boxes for the home office. Choose to stack them in a closet behind closed doors, or lined up nicely under a coffee table.
Teach your family to declutter. When your children bring home arts and crafts, ask them what they like the most. Create a space to display only a handful of items. Store the remainder masterpieces in a keepsake bin. Older clutter items that may be taking real estate on countertops and work tables can either be placed into sorting baskets or disposed of. It may take some time, but eventually the organization gene will kick in and the whole family will be on board.
Instead of trying to use every square inch of your floor space, use vertical storage. Shelving and vertical storage solutions will help you optimize more floor space yet keep everything in plain sight. Vertical shelving is great for laundry rooms, basements or the garage. Use the highest shelve for seldom used seasonal items, so you don’t have to climb a ladder or step stool often.
Become a habitual putter-awayer. Make decluttering part of your schedule and lifestyle. Parents especially have a habit of reminding children to put their toys away. But that simple rule works in the kitchen, bathroom and the other heavily-used living areas of your home. Every weekend, looked for items that are no longer valid or used, this will keep down clutter tremendously. Magazine subscriptions, old newspapers, stacks of bills and mail are all items that should be filed or disposed of weekly.
A clean home will make you feel great, no doubt about it. Living amongst clutter can make you feel less productive, more irritable and less likely to want to spend meaningful time in the space. Put the scissor back in the drawer when you are done using it, hang up the clothes you decided not to wear, and place the hairbrushes in a basket under the bathroom sink. Making these simple tasks a part of your routine will brighten your spirits and comfort level in your own home.
Let’s face it, if organizing was more fun… every home would be clutter free! Figure out what motivates you to declutter? New organization bins, file cabinets, or repainting the home office are a great incentive to take stock of your stuff and determine how badly you need to keep it. Make basketball hoops over your kid’s laundry hamper, if that’s what it takes to keep dirtly clothes off the floor.
Junk mail and bills can pile up quickly. Placing a basket right by the front door keeps them neatly in one place until you can get to them. Most companies and businesses offer a paperless option which means no more paper bills mailed to your home. Scanning important documents may seem like a daunting task, but once you’re done, they can be stored in an app (like Evernote).
Realize that life is about experiences, not things. We’re constantly bombarded with advertisements that try to convince us that a happy life is all about buying the latest stuff. But things in our lives don’t always make us happy: it’s our experiences that we treasure most. So the next time you’re tempted to buy more stuff, ask yourself if the money wouldn’t be better spent on a vacation or a nice night out. Bonus: you won’t have to find a space for these things in your cabinets.
You’ll have times when keeping the clutter at bay will start to fall by the wayside. Forgive yourself and try again, nobody’s home is perfect. Even the homes you see in the magazines aren’t perfect — it took a whole team of stylists to make them that way. So if you have an off week, or two weeks, or month, and suddenly your house is a disaster, don’t panic. It’s never too late to try again.