Do you feel overwhelmed by stuff when you look around your home at the end of the night? Are your counters covered in papers and your floors covered with shoes or toys? If so, you are not alone. Clutter can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Conquering daily clutter is possible, if you follow these 5 simple rules every day.
1. A Place for Everything and Everything In Its Place
I’m sure that you have heard this said before but it is true. Find a place for all your belongings and train yourself to put items back where you found them when you are done with them. This will help you conquer your clutter in two big ways.
- You will always be able to find items that you need when you need them.
- It will help eliminate the end of night pickup and piles.
Think about it. If you take an extra 5 minutes to put items where they belong after finishing a task it will help eliminate that time at the end of the night when you spend 30-60 minutes putting things away. You know what I’m talking about!
2. Keep Like Items Together
This seems like such a simple rule, but the instant you stop following it you will find things out of place everywhere. As much as possible keep like items together. Keep towels together in the linen closet. Keep all like kitchen utensils in the same drawer. Find ways to store office products together in the same place. This will help you with rule number one of a place for everything and everything in it’s place.
3. Deal with Paper and Mail Immediately
I have to confess. I love getting mail. Ever since I was a kid I have enjoyed checking the mail box to see what surprises it holds inside. I get it though. Not everyone feels the same. Many people dread the mail and the extra paper clutter it brings into their home. My advice is to take 5 minutes everyday to get your mail and sort through it. If you set up a system for your mail, you will find it will really minimize your paper clutter.
4. Never Leave a Room Without Taking Something With You
Let’s face it, despite our best intentions, sometimes objects have a way of migrating from room to room. This is where this rule comes in. Every time you leave a room in your home grab an item that belongs elsewhere and take it with you to put it back. This is especially important in a home with more than one floor. Items do migrate between levels. Whenever you go up or down make sure to take an item that belongs on the other level with you. Many people leave small baskets on their stairwells specifically for collecting items that belong on other floors.
5. Finish One Task Completely Before Starting Another
This is the most important piece of advice I can give you about conquering clutter in your home. The number one reason that clutter piles up in our homes and covers our surfaces is that we simply don’t finish what we have started. We live in the era of distraction, busyness and “multitasking” and it is not helping us conquer clutter. When you start a task, finish it. If you make lunch for yourself. Put materials away as you work. When you are finished, clean up completely afterwards. Put every dish away, and wipe all surfaces and tables. Do not leave the area until you have finished. A few precious minutes now will save you hours of walking around and cleaning up later. Clearing clutter is not what we want to do at the end of the night and if we put it off, you know the problem just gets worse. This will work even better if you train your family members to do the same.
Remember the rules are:
A Place for Everything and Everything In Its Place
Keep Like Items Together
Deal with Paper and Mail Immediately
Never Leave a Room Without Taking Something With You
Finish One Task Completely Before Starting Another
If you need help finding ways to store and organize your belongings check out the following posts:
The Beginner’s Guide To Home Organization
5 Steps For Optimizing Storage in Small Spaces
How to Organize a Small Linen Closet
Organize Your Kids’ Craft Supplies
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