Are you constantly fighting a never-ending battle with clutter in your home? If you think you are alone, trust me, you’re not.
The National Association of Professional Organizers conducted a survey and found that:
But not just Americans, we all deal with too much stuff. And all that stuff and clutter affect our health, wealth, and relationships. It costs us time, money, energy, focus, and happiness. And happiness, the thing we all chase is directly correlated to our inner calm.
Just imagine, is a crowded closet or an overflowing sock drawer positive or negative contributor to your inner calm? Or is it a contributor to stress and discontent in your life?
Clutter has invaded all of our lives. And we have to fight it in order to regain control.
Staying organized and having a simple, clean home doesn’t need to be a constant battle.
Discover 7 different tips to fight and beat clutter in your home.
Design each room or area according to how you actually use the space. Most people buy things and clutter the space only because there is a preconceived notion of what they should have. A living room should contain a big sofa, a leather chair, fluffy carpet, designer coffee table, throw pillows in various colors, a TV stand for the TV, HI-FI system and audio-video equipment, etc.
But what if you don’t actually use the living room at all? Do you even need it then? Or what if you use it regularly but don’t watch TV? Do you then need a TV stand, TV, and audio-video system? Do you even need an extra chair when you already have the sofa? Or a coffee table?
Don’t feel obligated to have a formal dining area if you usually eat at the breakfast bar and rarely entertain. And a home office may not be necessary if you like to use your laptop on the couch at home.
There are thousands of things in our home that clutter our living space and serve no other purpose than the preconceived notion that we should own something. Get rid of them immediately. (P.S.: usually with big pieces, small ones will go too)
A home that encourages simple routines and positive habits tailored to your needs will make it easy to embrace them and change your life for the better.
If you love to exercise, you can designate one area of the home just for that. Empty the room/area of all unnecessary clutter, put on a few tatami or yoga mats, buy a set of weights and you’re all set to empower positive habits.
Don’t have anything else in this small area/room.
If your nightstand is constantly cluttered with thousands of little items like keys, water bottle, books, wallet, watches, etc., you can put a small wooden tray on it, and neatly put all those things inside. Now, this is a landing station for everything, and clutter won’t stress you anymore. Lost items again? Nope.
I understand many of us don’t want all-white walls and rooms with nothing in them. When decorating your home, focus on a few high-impact items and eliminate all nonessential knick-knacks that don’t contribute to the overall design.
With today’s technology, we can eliminate a lot of material objects. If you store all your documents in the Cloud, you can get rid of extra hard drives, USBs, filing cabinets, etc. If you read on a tablet or computer, you may decide to donate all except your favorite books.
Streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, etc. can be a better alternative than having dozens of CDs, DVDs, and media consumption devices like 3D blue ray player, VHS player, etc. that just collect dust.
Adequate storage allows you to store your precious possessions safely, and to access them quickly when you need it. But having too much extra storage (bins, closets, drawers) that are empty, can often encourage the acquisition of more stuff, therefore cluttering space without need.
Golden rule: The more storage you have, the more stuff you’ll keep. The bigger the house, the more money is going to be drained from your pockets, and the more problems with clutter you’ll have.
And if you don’t have enough storage, then you definitely know you need to declutter even more. For instance, before buying an extra closet to accommodate all that clothes, consider streamlining your wardrobe, buying narrower hangers to maximize space, and storing off-season clothing in a separate area.
The less storage you have, the more choices you’ll need to make. The key is making those choices because if you don’t, you’ll end up with clutter.
A room will look much cleaner and simpler if all flat surfaces, from the floor to tabletops to countertops, are clear of clutter. Remove everything from these surfaces except perhaps one or two carefully chosen decorative items (family photo, flower, sentimental item…). Don’t put random knick-knacks on them that are of no particular value to you or other family members.
Plus, when your floors and flat surfaces are clear, you need to clean way less, and it’s usually faster.
Have regular decluttering sessions to keep your home clean and tidy at all times. Make an appointment with yourself or a family member and respect it. Doing regular clutter maintenance, perhaps once a week, once a month, or once every few months will help you immensely by giving you more time, more freedom, more focus, more energy, and more happiness.
If clutter enters your life at a rate that’s too great for you to handle, you might need to look at your desires and buying habits. Do you shop often? Is Amazon your best online friend? Is this thing a real necessity or just something nice to have?
It’s important that you’re honest with yourself and take a good look at those desires. Reducing them will greatly reduce your need to fight clutter.
Clutter didn’t create itself, and it didn’t invade your home like an evil intruder either. You put it there. Therefore, you need to ask yourself what habits do I have that have created the clutter in the first place. Maybe you buy a lot, or you don’t have designated space for all the things you own, or you buy but don’t remove old items. Change those habits, one by one, and clutter will slowly dissipate from your home and your life.
Once you’ve decluttered your home, make sure it stays that way by regularly going through your possessions and limiting the number of blank surfaces that serve no purpose apart from inviting clutter.
Have an additional tip? Leave it in the comments down below.
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