We’ve all been there. You’re standing in the middle of your messy house wondering how it went from being neat and tidy to looking like a train wreck in just such a short amount of time.
It is so easy for a house to become cluttered these days. We come home from our hectic, busy lives, drop everything in our hands and crash. The mail stack accumulates on the kitchen table. The dishes pile high. The stack of unread magazines becomes so large that you have to begin a new stack somewhere else.
The good news? It doesn’t have to be this way. You can live simply. You can live clutter-free.
If you’re thinking that it’s impossible, think again. There are small steps you can take to avoid accumulating clutter in your home.
5 Secrets to Keeping Your Home De-Cluttered
- Create a “home” for your items. Many of our belongings don’t have one place in our house that they truly belong. Or, if they do, we don’t adhere to that spot in the name of laziness or inconvenience. Create a named place for each of your belongings. Where do you want all of your shoes to go? Where should you keep the bills? Is this the best place for the cleaning supplies?Asking yourself these questions and creating a home for these household items will help you to know exactly where everything goes when you are trying to clean up.
- Take care of your mail immediately. Piles of spare papers, pre-ripped envelopes and grocery store coupons can accumulate fast if you don’t keep up with your mail. Separate it into: important, reading material, keepsakes and throwaway. For example, bills would be important because they need immediate action. Reading material would be magazines or newsletters you’ve subscribed to. A keepsake might be a save-the-date or a thank you note from a friend. And, we all have a throwaway pile. If you can take care of this right away and put each of the mail pieces in the “home” you’ve created for them, you’re doing great!
- Create a daily pick-up time. This will be different for everyone. If you’re a morning person, you may want to do this after breakfast before you begin getting ready. Or maybe you have an urge to get the house tidy before bedtime. Nevertheless, it’s important to insert this into your daily routine. Normal, busy schedules result in the house becoming a bit cluttered throughout the day with various items: dog leashes, mail, water bottles, backpacks, shoes, etc. The idea is to take 5-10 minutes and just put anything that is out of place back in place. Everyone has an extra 5 minutes.
- Try to get rid of 5 items once a month.This will allow you to assess what you possess. We could probably do this more often than we think. Go through your draws, cabinets and closets. Take stock of your games, clothes, cups, coffee mugs, books, movies, etc. Ask yourself if you’ve used it within the last year. If the answer is no, there is a good chance that you don’t need it anymore. Put the items that you want to donate in a box and bring it directly to your car in order to get the items out of the house. If you can get rid of more than 5 things, great!
- Make it a point of going through your closet twice a year.You may want to do this in opposite seasons: Spring and Fall or Summer and Winter. We acquire more clothing and accessories than we realize. Going through your closet, and any other closets in your home for that matter, twice a year will allow you to keep what you truly are wearing/using and de-clutter by donating what you aren’t.
If this list stresses you out, don’t let it. It may take a bit of work, or a while to get used to your new routine, but it’ll be worth it. If you discipline yourself to do these things now, you will thank yourself later.