Is it just me, or does it seem like every time you turn around there’s another pile of clutter in your home that just doesn’t belong there– a pile of clothes on the couch, stack of mail on the kitchen counter, heap of toys on the floor, etc. It’s so easy for clutter to accumulate in our homes. It just adds up so quickly, and before you know it, it’s out of control and you just don’t have the time and patience to deal with it. Having a clutter-free home can feel like an impossible goal to achieve!
But the truth of the matter is, our homes aren’t meant to be storage spaces–they’re meant to be living spaces! And we don’t need to be constantly tripping over clothes and toys and shoes. Luckily, there is a way to break those habits and get the clutter under control! Just like we got into the habit of accumulating and ignoring clutter, we can get into the habit of cleaning up the clutter. These are simple steps that you can start implementing today to create a clutter-free home once and for all!
8 Essential Habits for a Clutter-Free Home
1. Create a place for everything, and put everything in its place.
My mom used to tell us this, and as it turns out, she was right (that’ll be our little secret though, ok?). This is one of the MOST IMPORTANT WAYS to taking control of clutter in your home. EVERYTHING in your home should have a place it belongs–a place where you can put it when you’re finished using it so it’s not in the way.
Look around your home and find the areas where things pile up fast, and tackle those problem areas first. Tables and counters in particular always seem to turn into clutter magnets. Coats, books, toys, shoes, mail, and paperwork in particular are things that we don’t always have a designated place for, so they end up getting thrown aside once we’re done using them.
Create a place for everything, and when you’re done using it, put it back where it belongs right away! Don’t set it down somewhere and tell yourself you’ll get to it later. Do it as soon as you’re done using it so you don’t forget. In the beginning, you might have to remind yourself to do this, but as this becomes a habit, it will become second nature and you won’t even need to think about it.
2. Don’t buy things without a plan or purpose.
This is a tough habit to break, but it’s well worth it, because not only will it help you cut down on the clutter in your home, but it will save you money! Think twice before buying something because it’s on sale or seems like too great a deal to pass up. Unless it’s an item that you actually need and will use, chances are it’s just going to add to the clutter in your home.
Before you buy something, ask yourself these questions: Is this something I actually need? Will I really use this item? Do I have room for this item in my home? Do I already have something similar at home that would serve the same purpose? If you feel like you still need the item after answering the questions, then feel free to buy it. But if not, think really hard about whether or not it will be worth it to spend your hard-earned money on something that might just end up in a junk pile once the novelty has worn off.
3. Give your home a good decluttering on a regular basis.
If there’s simply not enough room for everything in your home, MAKE room! You’d be surprised at all the things you won’t even miss once they’re gone. Give your home a good decluttering to get rid of things you no longer need and use. This will help you dramatically cut down on the clutter in your home.
Think you don’t have time to declutter your entire home, or it’s too much of an ordeal to be worth it? It’s actually possible to declutter your entire home in ONE weekend! So no excuses, mark it down in your calendar and take control of your home this weekend!
4. Learn to be content with what you already have.
Today, we’re constantly on the search for more. We think we’d be happy if we only had the latest accessory to match our wardrobe or the newest gadget for our kitchen. But the truth is, once we get those things, there will be yet another thing that we just have to have in order to be “happy.”
Believe it or not, being happy with your current possessions is a habit that you can form. Turn off and tune out the endless commercials and media streams that tell you the things you have aren’t good enough. Once you quiet those voices, you’ll be much less tempted to go out and buy the latest thing. Not only will this help keep the clutter in your home to a minimum, but it will save you money and help you to be happy and at peace. Does it get any better than that?
5. Spend 10 minutes at the end of the day putting things away.
As much as you might have the good intention of putting things away the second you’re done using them, the truth is that sometimes life gets hectic and we simply don’t have time or it slips our mind. That doesn’t mean that all hope is lost, though! Simply spend 10 minutes at the end of the day cleaning up things that were left sitting out so clutter doesn’t accumulate.
Pick a time that works best for you at the end of the day and spend a few minutes putting things back where they belong. This will ensure you start the next day with a clutter-free home. And (hopefully) this habit will even help you avoid the last-minute morning scramble of looking for lost shoes, etc.
6. For every item you bring into the home, discard one.
It’s so easy for clutter to creep into our lives. Even the little things can add up fast! Make it a habit of getting rid of one thing for everything that comes into the home. This way, even if you buy something new, you won’t be adding any additional clutter to the home.
This is especially important for not only things you buy, but also gifts you receive. Things can really get out of control after holidays with lots of gift-giving (hence why January is such a popular organizing and decluttering time). So keep your home decluttered and under control by ensuring that for every item that comes into the home, one leaves in its place.
7. Cut down on the decor.
I know this is a tough one, but hear me out… you can still create a beautifully decorated home without going overboard and having so much decor that it takes up valuable space or is always in the way. A few tastefully placed decorations make a bigger statement and will draw more attention than having so many things that there is no focus or cohesion to the home.
Plus, less decorations means less things to clean, pick up after, rearrange, and store when the seasons change. Take a few minutes to clear out some of the extra decorations you have lying around such as throw pillows and blankets, knick knacks on tables and shelves, decorative books and magazines, etc. You’ll find your home actually has a little more room to breathe with less things sitting around.
8. Get the family involved.
As important as it is for you to create your own healthy habits for a clutter-free home, it’s equally important for all of the members of your household to do so, too. Otherwise, you will find yourself overwhelmed trying to keep up with the clutter from everyone in your home. (And you’re not doing anyone a favor if they can’t learn to pick up after themselves, anyways!)
Don’t let the responsibility fall squarely on your shoulders. Get your family involved, so that they too can get into the habit of picking up after themselves. Make it a fun game for kids to see who can clean up the most stuff the fastest or offer an incentive. Once everyone in the household gets in the habit of picking up after themselves, you’ll find it much easier to keep the clutter under control and keep your home nice and tidy.
Creating a beautiful, clutter-free home might take a little time, but if you work at it every day and implement a few of these steps, I think you’ll find it’s actually a really achievable goal. You’d be amazed at what a difference a few little changes can make!
So if you’re ready to get your clutter under control and create a clutter-free home once and for all, sound off in the comments. And if you enjoyed this post, you’ll love my newsletter. Sign up below for weekly craft, DIY, and home projects and tips!