While we’re living through one of the most stressful times of our lives, your home doesn’t have to be a place that adds even more stress to your plate!
I am here to give you some great tips for keeping your home tidy and clutter-free, even with kids. This article will teach you the steps to take to create a clutter-free space and keep it that way!
What it Means to Live Clutter-Free
Living clutter-free is a conscious decision to be mindful of how many material things you own and how you organize those things. It’s a daily practice of observing your shopping habits, noticing when your home is starting to feel too cluttered, dedicating the time to sort through unused items, and finding a home for all the ones you do use regularly.
A clean and organized space can help you feel calm and at peace and when items are thoughtfully stored away it allows you to locate them with ease.
This lifestyle is formed through the building of new habits and like all new habits, it takes time and practice for them to become the norm.
Read on to learn more about the specific steps you can take to create a clutter-free zone in your home.
15 Tips for Living Clutter-Free
1. Take Inventory Of Your Belongings
Take the time to go through each room of the house, each closet, cabinet, and stowed away box.
Decluttering can feel overwhelming, especially when deciding whether to keep items that once had sentimental value. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself; this can be a long-term project broken up into smaller projects over a period of time.
2. Keep, Maybe, Toss Piles
As you sift through each part of your home, employ a sorting method; have a keep, maybe and toss pile or bags for each. You will find there are items that feel like a no brainer to keep or toss, while some may be harder to part with. Revisit that maybe pile toward the end of your clean-out. You may even find some items that can be resold or donated.
3. Create Categories For Your Things
As you start to organize the remaining items around your home ask yourself a few questions:
Which room is this item most used in? Do I own items with similar use or purpose to this one?
Try to group your items by use and find a place for them in the room where they’ll be used most. For example, you may want to dedicate a cabinet in the bathroom or kitchen to all your cleaning supplies including sprays, sponges, trash bags, and scrub brushes.
Creating logical categories and having a set place for that group, can help you easily locate items later.
4. Everything Has A Place
An important rule to follow when de-cluttering and organizing is that everything should have its own place in your home. You want to ensure everything can be tucked or put away somewhere.
This could be in a drawer, on a bookshelf, in a storage bin, or even a basket. You should have enough space to find a home for everything you own. If you’ve run out of space, you can either create more or you may want to take another pass at getting rid of items.
5. Tackle The Closets
Closets are one of the easiest places to accumulate clutter, especially if you aren’t in the habit of keeping it organized. Try on items that you haven’t worn in a while and plan to get rid of what doesn’t fit.
Check on the condition of your items, do they have holes or stains? Toss ‘em!
As you go through, it may be a good idea to use the one–year rule: if you haven’t worn it in a year or more, it’s time to toss, or better yet, donate, if it’s still in good condition. Repeat this process with the kids’ closets and family closets.
Hall closets used for items other than clothes can be organized by assigning shelves to specific categories of items or with labeled storage bins.
6. Tackle The Toys And Pet Supplies
Inevitably, the more people and pets living in your household, the quicker clutter can accumulate. As many moms know, this can happen in a matter of hours.
For pet toys, collars, leashes, and grooming tools an easy solution is a basket in the corner of the main room where at the end of each day, everything gets put back.
For kid’s toys, it could be a good idea to categorize first, for example art supplies, outside toys, dolls, building toys, etc. Using bins, a labeling system, and a shelving or stacking system, you can find organization for your kid’s toys in no time!
Make it a habit to sort through toys at least once a year to determine what’s no longer being used and rehome, if possible.
7. Sort Through Beauty Products
For the ladies that know all too well how easy it is to accumulate unused beauty products, such as skincare and makeup, it’s time to go through all of those too. Many make–up products expire within 3 to 6 months from the time they’re opened. Any product that hasn’t been used within this time frame should be thrown out.
For beauty products that remain unopened, ask friends and family if they’d like to give them a try! If there are no takers, it’s best to get rid of these too.
Always check expiration dates, when given, since expired products can cause adverse skin reactions.
8. What To Do With Extra Linens
Extra linens such as towels, sheets, and blankets can be stored in a few ways depending on your space. You can assign a shelf or drawer to these items and keep them neatly folded or you can use storage bins and tuck them under a bed or on the top shelf of a closet.
In the next section, I discuss functional furniture, which is also a great way to store extra sheets and blankets.
9. Functional Furniture
If you live in a small space, or if you’ve run out of space while reorganizing, you may want to consider functional furniture that doubles as storage. There are many stylish options and price
ranges to choose from. Some of the most popular are benches, ottomans or coffee tables that open to reveal storage space inside.
Entryway benches that double as shoe racks are also a popular way to organize and style this part of your home. Some bed frames also come with built-in drawers which can be a great way to save space in a small bedroom.
10. Books Shelves And Shelves
These aren’t just for books! Shelving units come in many different styles and sizes. From utility size to decorative, there are many options to choose from. Shelving units can be a great way to stack storage boxes.
Bookshelves give a home to your books, trophies, picture frames, and more. The same goes for shelves; picture frames, knick-knacks, artwork, and plants can all be stored and displayed in this way. There are many creative ways to utilize shelves for storage but also for décor, have fun with it!
11. Storage Containers and Organizing Solutions
I’ve mentioned storage bins a few times already and I’d be remiss if I didn’t dedicate a section to this point. Storage bins and baskets can be your best friend if used efficiently. Those blankets and extra cushions on your couch?
Fold and store them in a stylish wicker basket that sits near your couch. You can organize your drawers with fabric organizers. Use hanging shoe storage not just for shoes but for every–day items like beauty supplies and purses.
Plastic bins come in all types of sizes and price ranges, and while these don’t always look ‘cool’, they are one of the most practical ways to store groups of items such as tools, gardening supplies, linens, holiday decorations, art supplies and more!
12. Avoid Impulse Buys
Now that you’ve learned how to physically declutter your space, it’s time to face some of the behaviors that lead to clutter in the first place. One way this happens is through our shopping habits.
In a world of fast fashion, it’s far too easy to purchase a $30 dress you’ll only wear once. When you stand at checkout lines you’re easily tempted by the little extras as you wait your turn. Try to become a more intentional shopper and consider the following questions:
Do I really need/want this? Will it last me a long time? Will I use it often?
Stopping to pause before making a purchase can help avoid excess buying and clutter down the line.
13. For Every New Item, Get Rid Of An Old One
Now that you’re shopping more intentionally, consider getting rid of an item if you’re bringing a new one into your home. The easiest to do this with is clothes. If you buy a new item of clothing, get rid of an old item of clothing.
If you are buying a new set of sheets, get rid of an old set, and so on. It may not always be possible to find a corresponding item but challenge yourself to find something old in your home that you don’t mind parting ways with. This will help maintain a more stable average of how many things you own.
14. Nothing Stays On The Floor
This is a good household rule to have as it can help manage expectations of orderliness. Shoes should go on a rack, toys get put away, bags or backpacks could be hung on hooks.
If something has been on the floor for a while, make it a point to find a place for it, or throw it out. A clean and clutter-free floor space goes a long way in making a home look organized.
15. Commit To Living A Clutter-Free Lifestyle.
Now that you’ve learned all the steps for living a clutter-free lifestyle, it’s time to commit to it. Living by a certain standard takes a daily commitment; both in the way you think about material objects and the way you dedicate time to organizing them.
It takes weekly, monthly, and yearly maintenance to continue to live in a clutter-free way. Remember how good it feels to live this way and let that be your motivator to continue to develop your new habit of living clutter-free!
Living a clutter-free lifestyle take practice but it’s a skill and habit anyone can learn.
The benefits of living this way include a more relaxed and focused state of mind, it becomes easier to find items you need, and plus; keeping your home clean and organized, can help reduce the presence of dust and allergens, leading to better health. It’s a win/win all around!