How to Keep Your Home Clutter-Free Even When You Are Busy
Whether you are too busy or too lazy to clear the clutter, I can relate. Let’s face it, decluttering can be a pain. It’s hands-down the easiest chore to put off.
And that’s often the reason why clutter snowballs and gets worse over time. As someone who hates having to organize items or declutter, the worst thing you can do is procrastinate.
That’s why I want to share the little baby steps I take every day to keep a clutter-free home. Here are small steps you can take to prevent and remove clutter without too much effort.
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How to Keep Your Home Clutter-Free Even When You Are Busy
Minimize or prevent clutter
First things first, the best solution for keeping a clutter-free home is to simply own less stuff. Every time you are about to purchase something, think carefully as to whether you actually will use it.
The less you have, the less clutter and mess you (or your children) will create. On the other hand, the more stuff you own, the more time you need to organize and declutter regularly.
You will find yourself having to organize things you don’t really need just because it’s there. I like to think of prevention as being mindful to not accumulate clutter. And the outcome of that will be a tidier and organized home.
Don’t ruin all your hard work by bringing in more clutter. Ask yourself if you absolutely need or love something before you purchase it.
Try the bookend method
Do you love to read books? Skip this if you don’t read books. If you are a bookworm though, books can accumulate in your drawers and desk pretty fast.
Here is a tip. Use a bookend to keep no more than 4 to 5 books at a time. And do not purchase anymore until you are done reading those books.
Once you are done reading them, (grit your teeth if you love keeping books) and sell or donate those books.
This keeps you accountable so that you read the books you purchase before buying some more. You barely have to think about avoiding book clutter when you have a simple system like this to use.
Another option is, of course, to borrow books from your library or arrange book swaps with like-minded friends. You minimize clutter and save money!
Laundry basket in each room
This is especially great if you have older children. Place a laundry basket in each room and make it quick and easy for the kids to comply. You will hopefully have less dirty laundry strewn all over the house.
Declutter 10-minutes a day
Here is an easy method to start today. Declutter in short bursts of 10 minutes every day.
Before you get started, choose one area of one room to work on. Start with areas of the house that need the most attention, whether it’s the bathroom, pantry or closet.
Grab a box or plastic bag to use for unwanted items. Set your alarm for 10 minutes and start decluttering as fast as you can.
Be sure to set your alarm (don’t skip this step). This method really works if you do it right and here is why.
Firstly, you have a set time so you’re not going to be overwhelmed by planning to “declutter the whole day” or for hours on end.
Secondly, it pushes you into action because the clock is ticking. You’re less likely to find yourself getting sidetracked or distracted by other chores.
Don’t be tempted to do a whole room or the whole house with this method, as you will waste time going back and forth. And try not to underestimate how much you can do in 10 minutes. You will be amazed at how much more tidy your whole house will look in the next few weeks.
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Consistency is key
The other thing I love about the 10-minute decluttering method is that consistency creates a habit. If you do this every day, eventually it becomes second nature.
And when something is second nature, it doesn’t require a lot of effort and thought to do. Even if you secretly know you’re lazy. Hey, you might even become a decluttering enthusiast after a while.
Use it or lose it
Here’s one thing you can do to declutter your house without even dedicating time to It. Set a box or basket in the garage, and go about your day as normal.
Every time you find an item that you no longer use for whatever reason, throw it in the box. It can be clothing, pantry items, children’s toys they’ve outgrown, or pieces of jewelry.
Every couple of months (or once the container or box is full, go through it and either donate, sell or discard.
As I said, the best way to keep an organized home is to get rid of what you don’t need. And with this method, you won’t have to do it all in one day.
There is nothing worse than trying to sort through multiple items when you are attempting to declutter in one hit.
Another awesome thing about this hack is that it gives you a chance to see if you really need the items in the box. If you never even thought about what you put in the box after a couple of months, it’s really time to get rid of it.
Allocate space for everything
The greatest decluttering method I have ever used is allocating a storage space or container for almost everything. This is especially handy for items in the pantry and kitchen.
Use containers or storage jars (whichever is suitable depending on the item) to organize the non-perishables in your kitchen.
Group items into categories such as spices, baking goods, tea, and coffee, etc. You can go as far as labeling them (but these are my lazy tips so we’ll do without labeling).
Use shoe racks, wardrobe organizers like these, and simple boxes for children’s toys.
Here are some of the organizers I love.
This 4 Tier Rustic Spice Rack is wall-mounted and it’s amazing how much space it saves, and makes the pantry look super tidy. Just throw all those tiny containers into this little shelf, and you won’t even have to tidy up! Easy!
When getting a shoe rack, go for one that hangs over the door of any room. It’s discreet (so you don’t see everyone’s ugly shoes (haha) and it makes the room look tidy instantly.
Here is one that holds up to 36 pairs of shoes and hangs on the back of the door:
Another thing I find a ridiculously quick and easy way to tidy up (especially after a long day) is using a storage shelf with baskets. This is particularly useful for children’s toys. You can even get your kids to do it themselves.
The takehome message here is that having a place for everything will make it easier to keep a tidy home. But remember, there is no point having allocated a place for everything if you don’t actually end up using it. So be sure to put things back where they belong straight after use.
Make it fun
Whatever you do, try to make it enjoyable by listening to your favorite music or podcast. And this is not just for the times when you need to declutter. You should do this even when completing other chores.
TED talks are also awesome for this. So you’re not only getting stuff done but you’re also getting educated, inspired or entertained. Have you checked out my roundup of the best TED talks on happiness yet?
You can even listen to stand-up comedy. How can you get bored doing anything when you’re having a good laugh or two?
Use a system that works
If you feel like you just can’t stop tidying up and the clutter just keeps re-appearing, you need to find a system that works for you to get organized.
A home organization resource like THIS one helps you get your house clutter-free without having to spend hours tidying up.
Get Organized, Get Happy is for you if:
You are busy, exhausted, and the clutter in your home is getting out of hand.
You have no idea where to start, and find yourself frustrated and overwhelmed by the mess.
You haven’t figured out a system for tidying up and keeping your house clutter free because you’re leading a busy work and family life.
Get Organized, Get Happy shows you how to get every area of your home (and life) organized in the simplest way possible – especially when you are busy.
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