Have you ever de-cluttered your home only to turn around a month (or a week) later to find it cluttered again? Yeah, me too. So here are some ways I’ve tackled the clutter bug over the last 34 years of homemaking and 5 children. Well, lets be honest… 5 children, a husband, me and a small zoo.
Here are a few ways I use and you can use too to keep your house from cluttering up so quickly.
- For every thing you buy and bring into the house, get rid of one thing. Oh boy. this is really a hard one for some people What it does is it requires you to THINK about your purchases. Do you need it? Are you willing to give up something for it? So if you buy a shirt, you need to get rid of something in your current wardrobe. If you purchase a nicnac for your house you get rid of one nicnac.
- Don’t own more clothing than will easily fit into your closet and dresser. This one, I’d like to leave off because I have 1960’s closets. they are about 1/4 the size of most walk-in closets in new homes today. But its helped me get my eyes off owning too many clothes. And my husband and I share a dresser, so that helps.
- Declutter small areas in your home all year around. Take an hour or a few minutes and declutter one small area of your home; a paper pile, an unorganized cabinet, a linen closet. Pretty soon it won’t take long to straighten these areas and you’ll only have to do it periodically.
- Take the time and effort to create New Habits – That’s what your clutter is made of;habits. So instead of piling mail on the kitchen table, make an inbox and out box and get rid of junk mail as soon as it comes in the house. When we had a fire place I had a box where I kept junk mail and I used it as kindling. Another habit that is good to start is taking off your shoes when you enter the house and taking those shoes to your room or closet. Don’t try to start too many new habits at once, just one or two is enough. It takes 21 days to enforce a new habit according to the experts, so don’t give up.
- Work to get all your family members in on your plan for a decluttered home. Hey now, stop laughing. You are the Home Keeper, you can make some home rules. If you have trouble getting your Number One on board, remember that being reasonable and matter-of-fact gets you further than whining or yelling.
- Go ahead and invest in good storage methods – What do I mean by that – well bookshelves, cabinets, things like that. If you have books and they are all over the furniture and floor, its hard to keep things orderly. Go ahead and make yourself some shelves or find some affordable ones at flea markets or Goodwill. Have the right kind of storage will go a long way to decluttering your home. There are all kinds of storage containers and doodads available, your goal is to find what really, truly works for you.
Here’s an example: I have a very small, galley kitchen. But I also have lots of pots and pans, home canned goods and herbs that I have no where to store. I bought a stainless steel baker’s rack years ago and it has served very well. It has kept my kitchen organised and given me a place to hang herbs to dry. It was a good purchase.