You want a clean, fresh-looking, healthy home…so what’s stopping you? You’ve scheduled the time, rounded up your supplies and have a fool-proof plan for conquering every inch of the house…and yet you can’t seem to get past one, little annoying thing—the clutter!
Clutter can cause not only difficulty for cleaning, but it can also make your life seem more chaotic because things are piled up in every nook and cranny. Banishing clutter for good can be tough, but we’ve got 5 smart ways to de-clutter your home so you can live happy in the fresh, healthy sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of!
The Art of Decluttering
It’s hard to live clutter-free if you and your family don’t know how exactly to do it — and it’s kind of an art! With practice, you can instinctively teach yourself what things can be saved and what things need to go, saving you time and space.
For example, when your kids come home with arts and crafts, or miscellaneous papers, figure out what they really like (what you should save) and what can be tossed after a week-long display on the fridge. It’s all about knowing when to let go: whether it’s clothes, collections, crafts or other memorabilia. Figure out why you’re keeping things, and let go of things that don’t have many good reasons. Remember: If the only place you store it is in a box in the attic or garage, never to be seen again, it probably isn’t worth saving.
One Room at a Time
If the thought of tackling the gargantuan task of decluttering is causing a mini (or major) panic attack, de-stress yourself by promising to take just one room at a time. Room too big? Focus on a key area. Break it down! It’s overwhelming to face all of your clutter at one time, so choose a room a day and devote 30 uninterrupted minutes organizing, sorting and throwing out.
Depending on your time and commitment, you can probably declutter your home in about a week! Got junk? Host a garage sale, donate unwanted items to charity or organize a neighborhood swap, where your community gets first pick of your treasures.
Use Smart Storage
Storage can be key to eliminating the pile-ups, but think hard before something gets stowed away for years. Don’t buy more containers and boxes to store, just to have a spot for everything you own. This can actually take you one step back because the storage containers themselves can easily pile up, creating more clutter!
Only store items that need to be saved, but be mindful of how much that can accumulate if you’re not careful. You can also consider using vertical storage, like bookshelves or custom shelving units, which adds storage to the room without taking up your precious floor space. This simple trick gives the illusion of a cleaner, less-cluttered home!
Finished? Put it Away
When objects are left out instead of returned to their rightful space, it’s often the first step in creating clutter. It’s an issue for everyone in the family: kids putting their toys away, returning cooking supplies back to the pantry after a big meal, or your spouse throwing dirty clothes in a hamper at the end of the day instead of over the back of a chair.
After you use something in your home, immediately assess the area and put things away so that clutter has no chance to build up. This could mean folding a blanket you used or cleaning the dishes after you cook. Cleaning-as-you-go helps by simplifying and shortening the time for your overall cleaning later.
Do it Daily
You schedule in time for recreation, relaxation and other chores that need to be done…so why not schedule time to declutter? If every weekend, you took an hour to go around the house and pick up papers on the counter, dirty laundry, or toys, there won’t be huge messy piles of chaos waiting for you later. Taking the time each week to specifically schedule a routine decluttering helps you banish clutter from your home for good.