Dealing with the clutter in my home always seems to be an ongoing battle. I am not a clutter master or an organizational expert, I am just your average busy full-time working mom with a 4-year-old son and a crafty husband. But with the son and the crafty husband comes the crafts and A LOT of toddler toys. I am constantly dealing with car parts, manly gadgets, superhero figures, piles of paperwork, and my son's endless stash of Crayola crayons. So what do I do to keep it all under control? I am still working that out. In fact, as I write this post I am looking at my dog's toy basket thinking to myself “I have to figure out a better place to keep that.” It's overflowing with stuffed animals, and it's sitting right in the middle of my living room. I may not have it figured out completely, but I have definitely learned some things a long the way.
EVERYTHING Must Have A Place
I have learned that when everything has a specific place in my home, things are easier to organize and clean. The hard part is actually making sure everything gets put in its place. I have a wood mail organizer hanging on my wall, but 9 out of 10 times I set the mail on any flat surface I pass after coming through the front door. Why do I do this? Many people will say it's just laziness, but I beg to differ. The truth is I simply have not made it a habit to put the mail where it belongs. To have a clean organized home, you must develop habits to sustain the organization. When things are placed in neat organized spaces, it's easier for you to see the things that are out-of-place. This allows us to declutter in small bursts, rather than trying to tackle the whole house.
Focus On One Area At A Time
You will get more done if you only focus on one area of your home. I always get distracted when I try to tackle the whole house. For example, when I go into my kitchen to get rid of dishes I don't use or to go through the utensil drawer, I always find myself in my son's room going through all of his toys. I am so concerned about tackling the whole house, I find it hard to accomplish one room. The first room you walk into when entering your home should be the first room you tackle. By completing this room first, you get to experience what a decluttered room feels like every time you step through the front door. This will give you motivation to keep going. Saving yourself from the clutter is not an easy task. It might seem overwhelming, but once you see that it can be done, it will make it easier to tackle the next room.
Give Clutter A New Purpose
To achieve a clutter free home does not mean you have to throw everything out. Find ways to use the clutter in your home in a creative way. What's more satisfying than getting rid of clutter and creating something new for your home without spending a lot of money? A great example of this has to do with my husband. He loves to work on cars, so naturally we had a TON of tires lying around outside. I decided to clean up some of the tires and I repurposed them into planting pots for my flower beds out front. I got rid of some of the clutter and I got new flower pots at the same time. I am a huge fan of making something old into something new. It allows you to clean up your home and saves you money by doing it. This makes your home unique and one of a kind.
Make Sure You Have A Plan
Having a plan that will work with your schedule is important. Make sure you don't overwork yourself the first day. You want to keep the enthusiasm and desire to declutter going forward. If you over do it the first day, you might not be as excited to continue the following day. Work in small areas, and only tackle one room at a time. Decide what room you want to work on first. Then decide what area you want to work on in that one room. Completing small areas will give you a feeling of accomplishment, and will allow you to step back and realize you are making progress. It's always nice to be able to check things off as you go along. I have provided you with my decluttering plan checklist to help you along the way. Decluttering you house can seem like a huge challenge. With a plan in place and a little creativity you will be well on your way towards a more peaceful, organized home you can truly enjoy.
Click HERE to download My Decluttering Checklist!
10 Quick Things You Can Do To Make Your Home Seem Less Cluttered
- Clean off the outside of your fridge: This will instantly make your kitchen feel cleaner and less cluttered. Have a ton of kid projects you want to showcase? Designate an area in your home, such as the playroom, but do not pile them on the front of the fridge.
- Dust: It's amazing what clean surfaces can do for your home.
- Stop buying things: Realize you do not need everything everyone else has. Simplify your home by having less.
- Open the mail before you walk through the door: Get rid of the stacks of paper by opening your mail before you walk through the door. Keep what you need (Bills etc…) and toss the rest.
- Get rid of coats you don't use: Make your entry way feel less cluttered. Give yourself a limit to how many coats can be hanging at any given time. This will clear some space in your entry way, and allow you to find the real jacket you were looking for.
- Clear one surface and light a candle: I really do believe candles make people happy. They smell good and give you the sense of a clean room. Designate one surface as the “clean” surface and light a candle.
- Keep toys where they belong: Having a ton of kid's toys scattered throughout your home makes you feel cramped. If you have kiddos, make sure to pick all the toys at least once a day. Believe me, you will thank me for it.
- Go through your kitchen utensil drawer: This drawer can get out of hand. Stay on top of it and clean it out. I recommend doing this at least once a month.
- Vacuum: Having clean floors is a must. Don't you just love the lines the vacuüm creates in the carpet? Feel instantly better with a little vacuuming therapy.
- Family before chores: As a busy mom, I may want my house to be instantly clean when I get home from work – but the dishes, laundry and cleaning can wait. Spend time with your family first.