Don't let clutter get you down. Decimate it. Learn a few quick and easy tips for decluttering your home and keeping the clutter from coming back--the how-tos for organizing clutter are easier than you think.
Set a Decluttering Timetable
You can't declutter your house at once. It might seem like the best way, but you need to be honest with yourself. It's not going to happen. Even the most determined of cleaners will putter out eventually. Set up a cleaning schedule for decluttering and organizing your home. For example, if you only have one day a week to set aside for organization and declutter, schedule time that day for decluttering. Keep going until your entire house is clean.
Define Clutter Hotspots
Not every room in your house is a clutter explosion. But you have hotspots you need to tackle first. Create a list of clutter hotspots in your home. This could be the family closet or your packrat husband's den. With these firmly on your list, rank them from 1-5. The 1s will be the first rooms you tackle, while the 5s can be put off for longer.
Tackle One Space at a Time
Just like a marathon runner only does one mile at a time, you need to do one room at a time based on the timetable you've set. For example, you have the goal of decluttering one room a week. Start with the rooms with the most clutter and work your way down. A word of warning; you're going to find this addicting and want to do more. But you don't want to putter out either. So, try to stick to your timetable.
Assess Your Space
When it comes to sorting clutter, how do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of? That's the question that plagues us all. Thankfully, there are a few things you can consider when deciding what to remove to be clutter-free.
Are they damaged or unusable? Sometimes we keep things for sentimental reasons, but it serves no real purpose. When it comes to these items, you need to assess where they fit in your home.
When was the last time you used or wore the item? One source of clutter is old shoes, purses, and clothing. It's not unusual for women to carry a favorite purse and replace it periodically. Unless you have a purse for every outfit and swap it out regularly, you likely have a collection of clutches hogging space somewhere. If you haven't used or worn an item in more than two years, it may be time to donate it.
Do you have seasonal clutter? Seasonal clutter is popular in most households. This could be Christmas lights up until February or Halloween decorations you didn't put away.
Purging is one of the main steps of decluttering. You'll be surprised by how much stuff you have in your home you don't need. That doesn't mean that someone doesn't need it, though. Rather than just throw everything away, it's essential to create different boxes for purging.
- Broken items can be thrown away or recycled.
- Useable items like clothing, purses, shoes, etc., can be donated or sold in a garage sale.
Get a Dumpster
You don't have to get a dumpster if you have just a small space or apartment to declutter. For homes with a packrat or children, a dumpster can make decluttering easier. However, this does mean your declutter timetable needs to be shorter. Only consider this method if you have a few days free to declutter, have a lot of help, or have large items you need to get rid of.
Create Homes for Your Stuff
As you are decluttering a room, you need to create homes for your stuff. You are going to base these homes on the frequency of use. The things you use the most need to be accessible and easy to put away. For example, if you are decluttering your kitchen, the things you find on the counter are things you use often. Create a functional junk drawer out of the drawer with the easiest to access. This ensures everyone can easily grab what they need and put it away.
Create a Catch-All Basket
You are going to have things around your home that get left out a lot. Why? Because you use them every day. Use the catch-all basket in every room to stop the clutter from laying around the counter, end tables, desks, etc. At the end of the night, you can quickly and easily put the things in the catch-all basket in their homes. Baskets are great for remote controls or chargers. It keeps them in one place and not lying around your home.
Use Easy Organization Systems
Clutter accumulates because life gets in the way. To keep clutter at bay, you need to have some solid organization tools in place. And these must be easy enough for your kids, roommates, and spouse to be able to do. Using an easy organization technique for your closet or small room can keep you from having to declutter again in a month or two. Organization is essential for those large areas of your home prone to clutter, like a garage.
Go Paper Free
Paper clutters up everything. Go paper-free to remove it from your home. Switch your bills over to email to save paper. Scan in your mail or records and send all that paper through the shredder. You can find several apps for your phone or computer to keep paper out of your life.
Try Drawer Organizers
Drawers are a commonplace clutter creeps into your home. Have organizers in your drawers to keep everything in its place. It stops all your drawers from becoming cluttered with junk and gives everything in your home a place.
Make Necessary Clutter Visually Appealing
It's not possible to put everything on your counter or coffee table away. Rather than let it be an eyesore, make necessary clutter appealing. For example, you can put soap and hand sanitizer in decorative dispensers. You can have a beautiful basket on your coffee table to hold children's books and magazines or a shadowbox on your counter to hold loose change.
Label Your Organizers
When it comes to decluttering your home, labels are your best friend. Why? Because they make things easy to find and easier to put away. Kids know exactly where to put their dolls, where the floss goes, or where to find their charger. They also know where it goes when it comes time to put things away. While labels might seem like they will make things less decorative, it's simply not true. You just need a few calligraphy pens and some glitter.
Harness Hidden Spaces
Your home is full of unused space. Harnessing those hidden drawers, shelves, and cabinets for storage and organization ensures clutter doesn't take over. You can use these hidden spaces to hold items you don't use much. For example, you can put meaningful items without value on a corner shelf or in a cabinet above the refrigerator.
Create a Space for Seasonal Clutter
Create a space in your closet, attic, or garage for seasonal storage only. Label your storage bins for the season that the decorations belong in. Make it reasonably accessible and set aside specific days in your calendar to pack and unpack seasonal clutter.
Tips to Maintain a Clutter-Free Life
Staying clutter-free requires vigilance. Without proper maintenance, clutter quickly makes its way back into your home, and your work is lost. Use these tips to stay decluttered.
- Purge often - You can add this to your cleaning schedule to help you stay on top of it.
- Avoid frivolous purchases - Your home only has so much space. Only buying what you need keeps the clutter down.
- Put stuff away - Putting stuff away needs to become a habit. Make picking up and putting things away a nightly routine for your whole family.
- Use smart storage - Everything should be stored in the room you use it in. This makes things easier to put away correctly.
- Keep trying - It's hard to keep up on clutter. So don't be too upset if it makes its way back into your house. Just try again.
Easy Ways to Organize Clutter
Clutter finds its way into every house. Have a solid plan in place to keep it out. Happy decluttering! And may your home be clutter-free.