Nine ways to reduce clutter in your home

Story By Bailey Gilliam

Clutter seeps into our lives as suspiciously as a sock goes missing each time we do a load of whites. The problem arises when we feel overwhelmed in our own homes. It’s important to remember that the home is a place to live, not a place to store. If you feel overwhelmed by your stuff, it might be time to consider that you have a clutter problem, which is no shame, most of us do. But we’ve got a guide to help. Keep reading to find out nine ways to reduce clutter in your home and keep it that way.

1. Assess the situation 

The first step in decluttering is to assess where clutter accumulates the most. Perhaps you have a pile of mail and papers cascading off of your desk or a closet full of clothing that ends up in piles on the floor. Identify your main clutter categories and tackle those first. Get rid of duplicates, things you don’t use and things that don’t make you happy or add value to your life. When decluttering, separate items into three categories: keep, donate, toss.

2. Put everything where it belongs

Now that you’ve identified where clutter appears most and gotten things under control, you need to figure out where it is coming from. If mail and papers are a problem, implement a filing system or opt for electronic bills and statements. If it is clothing, implement the “one in, one out” rule. For any space, try to make purchases mindfully. Know exactly where something is going to go before you buy it. Everything should have a home, but we’ll get to that later.

3. Create a clutter zone

Yes, we want to eliminate clutter. But don’t underestimate the power of a clutter zone. Clutter is quite inevitable as we can’t be on our game all of the time. To keep your sanity, set up an area where you allow clutter. The most popular solution is to have a junk drawer. On those days that you just don’t feel like putting things away, tuck them in the junk drawer. That doesn’t mean they will stay there forever, but it’s the one place in your home where you can shirk your decluttering duties now and again.

4. Embrace the space

Never place anything without purpose on a flat surface. Counters, tables and furniture tops are one of the most easily cluttered spaces. Place decoration with a purpose and embrace the space. Get into the habit of putting things away so that your home feels less cluttered daily.

5. Buy for your needs

One problem that most people have is the “what if” syndrome. When cleaning things out or shopping, people always imagine scenarios in which they may need an item. For example, one might think “I need to buy dishes in a set of 12 because I may have a party one day that requires extra place settings.” This may not seem unreasonable,  but imagine how often you’ll use all 12 place settings. Unless you are having twelve-person dinners every week or even every month, you probably don’t need to own that many dishes. Buy for your needs, not your imagined needs.

6. Store like-items together 

When organizing your home and adding new things to it, make sure that everything has a place. Store like-items together and try to store those items where you use them. You will be more likely to put something away when finished with it if the place that an item is stored is near your workspace.

7. Donate more than time

Always have a donation box available in your home. You never know when you might come across an item that you no longer need. Having a dedicated space to place it while in transition can help eliminate clutter zones as well as holding on to things unnecessarily.

8. Scan your house daily 

Once you figure out where to store your possessions, it is important to get into the habit of decluttering a bit every day. Scan your house daily to be sure that things are put away where they are supposed to be. If you can get in this habit, you will see less clutter over time. 

9. Forgive and forget 

Sometimes things just don’t work. If a storage solution doesn’t work for you, that’s okay. Simply try another one. Storage solutions are not one-size-fits-all. It may take time to figure out what works for you, and that’s okay. It’s also okay if you don’t conquer your clutter habits once and for all on the first try. Forgive yourself for making mistakes, and keep trying.

Similar Posts