Most busy people struggle to keep household clutter down. When you let it go for too long, it can become stressful to manage.
Stacks of bills, children’s toys, piles of clothes, and more can fill up your home and affect your affect your mood. Finding the time to get clutter under control is hard, but getting organized can save you time and reduce your stress level.
With a little hard work and determination, you can reduce clutter, lift your mood, and improve the look of your home. Here are 7 tips to help you declutter your home and gain peace of mind.
1. Donate and Sell
Keep a couple of plastic bins in the garage, basement, or extra closet. Have one bin for items you can donate and one for items you can sell.
When you come across toys, clothing, or household items that you no longer need, throw them in a bin. Put a reminder on your calendar to drop items off at a charity or thrift store every few months.
You will be amazed at how this helps keep clutter to a minimum. Throw away items that are of no use to anyone.
For items you donate, remember to get a tax receipt. You can sell items on Craig’s List or Facebook for a little extra money.
It may surprise you to see how many people will want items you no longer want or need.
2. One Room at a Time
Decluttering an entire house can feel overwhelming. You may run around from room to room but feel you’re not making a dent in the clutter.
A good approach is to do one room at a time and remember you can’t do it all in a day. Choose a day where you have a few hours to declutter and tackle one room.
Be willing to donate, sell, and toss items you no longer need. As you go through closets and drawers, ask yourself if you truly need the item.
If the answer is no, get rid of it. Organize your closets and drawers so that everything you need has a home. This will help you stay organized and save you time looking for items as you need them.
Some DIY closet organizers are helpful for organizing handbags and shoes. If you feel overwhelmed or are just too busy to invest the time to declutter, hire a service to do it for you. View here for more on hiring a professional organizer.
3. Keep Counters Clean
It’s great to have organized closets and drawers, but clean countertops enhance the look of your home and keep you from piling up junk. It’s easy to let your countertops become the dumping grounds for everything from mail, receipts, magazines, school work, and more.
To avoid this problem, handle paper items as they come into your home. Toss anything you don’t need, file or pay bills as they come in, and encourage your kids to organize school papers.
When you walk in your house at the end of a busy workday, it’s stressful to see your countertops or kitchen table piled with things you need to attend to. Instead, stay on top of the mess, and you will love the look of your kitchen.
4. Include the Family
Unless you live alone, you shouldn’t be the only one to keep your home organized. Instead, get the family involved in the effort.
Teach your kids to put away their toys and clothes and pick up after themselves. Provide bins and baskets to help make this process easier.
Teaching them responsibility helps keep things neat and tidy but also teaches them how to care for their possessions in the future. Every busy family will have some clutter now and then, but tackling it on a daily basis is the best way to keep it under control.
5. A Place for Everything
Are you always losing your keys or wallet? That’s easy to do if you don’t have a designated place for them.
We’ve all had that mad scramble trying to get out the door and suddenly you can’t find your keys, glasses, or another important item. You can avoid this with a little effort.
Have a place for everything – your keys, wallet, mail, office supplies, etc. When you get in the habit of putting these items in the same place each day, you save yourself a lot of time and headaches searching for them.
6. Buy and Purge
Everyone likes to get something new now and then. But too often, when we buy new things, we add to our clutter.
If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of something each time you buy something new.
If you buy some new clothes, give away some old ones. If you only buy and never purge, your clutter will only get worse.
A cluttered home can affect your mood and stress level, so when you bring one new item in, send something else out the door.
7. Start Small to Reduce Clutter
If you feel like you’re drowning in clutter, it can seem overwhelming. It took a long time to collect so much stuff, so you can’t expect to get rid of it in one day.
It’s okay to start small and work around your schedule to reduce clutter. If you only have ten minutes a day, you can accomplish a lot in those ten minutes.
If you have things you can’t get rid of right now, store them away in bins in your garage, attic, or basement. That will get it out of your way but provide easy access when you need it.
Try not to pay for storage units, if possible. Having extra storage space will encourage you to keep collecting clutter. It’s better to organize your home, get rid of unneeded items, and make decluttering an everyday habit.
Clear the Clutter
Get the whole family involved because a clutter-free home can impact your health and happiness too. Rather than trying to clear out the clutter once or twice a year, make it an ongoing priority.
You and your family will love the result. A cleaner and more organized space is good for your peace of mind.
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