Keeping your home environs tidy and organized may sound like a huge chore to some, but it’s actually one of the best ways to obtain a calmer outlook on life and peace of mind. I have totally embraced a tidy, clutter free home and am loving it. Here are a few steps to make tidying and “clearing the clutter” painless.
1. Make Time in Your Schedule
I’m a great believer in lists, as they help me to accomplish so much. It also gives me great satisfaction to tick the jobs off the list as they’ve been completed. Like everything else on your to-do list, “tidying the house” will only get done if you make time for it. It’s so easy to put off the tasks of tidying and organizing, however, if you lose an important item, then the task of organizing can become a big priority on your list. Try to set small targets – maybe just 30 minutes each day to “tidying up”. You will be very surprised just how much you can accomplish in 30 minutes each day.
2. Focus on one area
It’s so easy to attack the whole house at once, however little is often achieved with this action plan. Focus on getting one corner or room completely tidy and organized. It will definitely give you a huge motivational boost! Often a great place to start is your desk (if you have one). Also, the kitchen bench can be another “dumping ground” for almost anything. I try to keep my desk and kitchen bench free of clutter.
3. Tackle Something Everyday
Once you’ve finished with your desk or kitchen bench, try to move onto other areas, which may take only around 30-60 minutes to sort out:
- Your wardrobe and drawers of clothing. What is out of date or doesn’t fit that can go to a charity store or be sold? What can be kept or stored elsewhere?
- Storage space under your bed (this can be like the Bermuda Triangle where items are never seen again!!)
- How about your “My documents” folder on your computer. If you’re like me, this is one of the greatest areas to keep clutter free. Digital clutter can be just as time and energy draining as a physical mess. It is also one of the easiest areas to neglect. (*note to self….clean up “My documents” folder!)
- Then there’s the kitchen pantry. Toss out of date food and then make a note of anything that needs replacing. It’s amazing what is hiding in the pantry that doesn’t belong there too!
- The bathroom – How many bottles and cans are really needed around the shower? How about those old cosmetics in the cupboard that you just don’t use anymore?
- Try to keep up your tidying momentum each day. Clearing the clutter can be surprisingly quick, even if you’re really short on time, 10 minutes cleaning a drawer can be encouraging.
4. Keep your Enthusiasm
Since I have started “clearing the clutter” in our home, I have found that my enthusiasm just grows. I’m always on the lookout for things we don’t use in our home and that can go. Some people may find their enthusiasm wane, however keep pressing on, one task at a time. Getting other family members involved can also help. My husband is on board with keeping our home clutter free and he regularly goes through his shed to clear his clutter. You could even have a one hour “blitz” where everyone attacks some part of the house. Also, if you love listening to music, putting your favorite music on while “clearing the clutter” can give you added motivation.
Never forget to look at how far you’ve progressed. It makes life much easier when you don’t have to spend your time looking for something that is lost in the mess.
If you find that you can’t part with certain items easily, have you thought of selling them on ebay, and thereby giving yourself a little more spending money? We have done this with quite a few items and it always amazes me that there is someone else interested in what I am selling.
5. Don’t Undo Your Progress
I have found that once my home is cleared of clutter and in a tidy state, it’s not taking too much effort to keep things that way. It’s vital to develop good habits so that things stay “automatically” tidy. For most of us this means making sure that items get put back after use.
Everything needs to have a place – especially items such as important documents, passports, keys etc. Try to get into the habit of putting things away as soon as you’ve finished with them. One example in our home, is that we always put the car keys on their hook as soon as we come home. We never have lost keys in our home.
End each day with a few minutes tidying – to help clear the clutter. It may mean tidying your desk, washing and drying dishes (I love a clear sink and kitchen bench!), folding the laundry.
Children can be responsible – for tidying their toys. This helps develop good habits in children. We always taught our daughter to put things away when she’d finished using them. Toys can be a challenging area to organize. It might be helpful to buy a couple big boxes or a set of drawers to put everything away.
All the best with “clearing the clutter”. I encourage you not to give up! If you’ve got any great de-cluttering tips or organizing ideas, please share them in the comments.