Whether you live alone or have a bunch of kids running around, your house can potentially be invaded by clutter. This dreaded development can start slow but ultimately take over the entire residence until seemingly no surface is left untouched. In these situations, many people are puzzled over where to begin when it comes to containing the clutter. But with these handy hacks and clever strategies, it’s easy to get things back under control.
1. Make It A Daily Ritual.
Guess what? Habits aren’t formed out of nowhere. It takes you doing something over and over again to make it a part of your routine. So just like you’ve gotten in the habit of throwing your mail on the kitchen counter every day, it’ll take practice to get in the habit of sorting it right away instead. Here are some other ideas for little daily habits that can de-clutter your home:
- Always put bathroom items (toothpaste, tweezers, etc.) back in the medicine cabinet after using them.
- Put dishes directly in the dishwasher rather than leaving them in the sink.
- Devote 10 minutes to straightening up cluttered areas as soon as you get home from work each evening.
- Create a daily calendar with one thing to do each day so tasks don’t pile up: Mondays file paperwork, Tuesdays clean bedroom, etc.
- Every morning, make sure the coffee table is clear of any clutter from the previous day.
- Have kids put away their toys each night before going to bed.
This might seem like a lot to take on at once. That’s why you should start out by choosing one thing to lessen the clutter in your home. Work on doing it every day until it becomes a habit, then add a new task. You can repeat this process until a bunch of your regular organization tasks become second-nature.
2. Find A Place For Everything.
This one is a lot easier said than done, right? Many people find that they just don’t know where they can even put things as the clutter continues to add up. If you feel like you’re running out of space, consider some unusual options for storage. Items that aren’t used regularly can be placed up high (like on top of kitchen cabinets) or down low (like under beds and couches). If those spaces are full along with your closets and cupboards, then the place for your things is out of the house; donate or sell items that don’t fall under the “essential” category until the clutter is under control.
Besides pure storage, however, you can also use this rule to create a more visually appealing clutter-free space. For example, maybe the dog leash lays on the floor by the door when not in use. Doesn’t it look a little more organized to hang it on a hook? Meanwhile, the fridge is a mess of random foods strewn about, a problem which can easily be solved with a couple plastic bins and a few food storage containers. Don’t discount these kinds of simple and affordable aesthetic fixes in your home. Even when the same number of items is in play, having a cleaner, more organized appearance can help it look less cluttered and messy.
3. Get Rid Of Distractions
Clutter can also come in the form of sound and visual displays. Sometimes, you just need fewer things in your line of sight in order to get that calm, organized feeling in your home. Fortunately, there are several ways you can accomplish this without having to disrupt the entire household. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Turn off all notifications on your smartphone except phone calls. If it’s an emergency, they’ll call. If not, a text can wait (as can emails, Facebook notifications, Instagram likes, etc.).
- Keep TV volume low. If you can’t concentrate on anything else while the TV is on, it’s time to turn it down. Figure out the appropriate max volume number on your TV set, and get the whole family to agree to keeping it at or below that level at all times.
- Take unnecessary items off of surfaces. Pens can be kept in your desk drawer rather than in a cup on top. Take everything off the fridge doors except items that are absolutely necessary, and put extra magnets out of sight. Don’t display books, magazines or other odds and ends on the coffee table.
- Lower the lights to pleasing levels. Put dimmer switches in where you can so you can enjoy less to strain on your eyes and adjust the lights throughout the day.
- Limit your décor. Try putting away several extraneous items you have out on shelves, mantles, bookcases, etc. Keeping things simpler in appearance can be less overwhelming if clutter tends to stress you out.
Remember that clutter comes in many forms, which makes the process of de-cluttering all the more satisfying. Plus, you’ll learn some frugal habits when you pare things down to the essentials. Use these tips for easier cleaning and organization in your everyday life.