Having a home that is clutter free will change your life and the way you live in your home. Living clutter free will not only free up space in your home, but it will also free up space in your mind and soul. You mood will feel lighter and you will be less stressed. Clutter obviously takes up physical space, but when you really think about how you feel when you see clutter or come around clutter in your home, you realize that it really does make you feel a certain way because it is taking up space subconsciously, inside you.
Growing up, I would spend my free time organizing my bedroom. It was a hobby that I loved every minute of. I would organize my room one weekend, live with it for a week and then tweak it the following weekend if it wasn’t working for me. I know, call me crazy, but that was me and I still do it today. I organize our home all the time. There is something about having things in order and not cluttered that fuels my soul.
For me, I can’t function well when things are cluttered. If my office is disorganized, I have to get everything put away before I can tackle any work. If I don’t, I am constantly thinking about the mess and not giving my work the full attention. Clutter takes up more space than I am willing to give it, so it is something I am on top of all the time. I have been doing it for so long that I have created habits that make it easy to maintain.
I receive many questions about organization through the blog and on my social channels, so I thought I should write a post sharing the habits and tips I have learned over the years that help me keep our home clutter free. I do these things consistently which keeps the clutter to a minimum.
10 Tips To Keep Your Home Clutter Free:
Start With A Goal:
What is your organization goal? What do you want your home to feel like when you are done organizing? What do you struggle with about clutter? Ask yourself some questions about the process and the things you struggle with so you know upfront where you are and where you want to be in the end.
One In One Out:
Adopt this rule right away. This is probably my favorite tip and the one that will ensure your home stays clutter free. It is so simple. If you buy something new, something old has to go out. If you buy a new pair of shoes, an old pair has to leave your home. If you buy new dishes, your old dishes have to go out. One in, one out. You can donate what is going out, give it to family or friends, or sell it. The goal is to never bring something new into your home unless you are willing to get rid of something in its place.
Purge When You See It:
If you stay consistent with this tip, your home will not hold on to clutter. If you see something you want to get rid of, do it right then. Don’t wait until cleaning day or until you feel like organizing – do it when you see it. Purge it when you come across it and you will always stay on top of it. See how I do this in the tip below.
Empty Box/Tote Rule:
I always have an empty tote or box in our home. I fill the box with things I come across that I want to get rid of. Once the box is full, I donate it, sell it or give to family or friends. If you find that you are bringing things out of the box after you put them in there, store the box in your car; out of sight, out of mind. If you store it in your car, you will remember it when you are passing your local donation site so you can get rid of it ASAP.
Haven’t Used It:
This rule is all about honesty. To keep your home organized and clutter free, being honest is everything. Getting rid of things you paid hard-earned money for is hard, but if you don’t use it, there is no reason it should take up space in your home. Be honest. If you haven’t used it in the last year, it is time to let it go. If it doesn’t fit you anymore, it is time to let it go. If you haven’t decorated with it in the last year, it is time to let it go. If you don’t love the product, it is time to let it go. Don’t give things you aren’t using, loving or wearing, prime real estate in your home. Get those things out to make room for the things you absolutely love and can’t live without.
Everything Has A Home:
Gone are the days of putting things wherever it is convenient. The kitchen table is no longer the drop zone for all the things when you walk in the door. Every thing needs a home inside your house that it lives at all times. If you find you are running out of room to put things, go back to the honesty point above. It is time to purge the things that you don’t love, use or wear anymore.
No More Junk Drawers:
I said it. NO MORE JUNK DRAWERS! There is no reason to have drawers full of random things. If you are following the tip above, “everything has a home”, then there is a spot for everything in that junk drawer. Have one drawer for office supplies (pens, pencils), one drawer for small tools, etc. If you don’t have a ton of drawers for all the different things, then maybe you need a tool box in the basement for tools or a desk in the office for supplies. Clean out your junk drawers, find a place for everything in that drawer, and give the junk drawer a function all on its own (towel drawer, office supply drawer, tool drawer, etc.). Only house those things in that drawer. When you are organizing drawers in your home, it is important to invest in organizers for them. I researched a ton of drawer organizers and put together a post of more than 45 options. You can find them all HERE.
Need vs. Want:
This is something Matt and I really honed in on when we set our goal to become debt free. (You can read all about how we did that HERE and the things we bought to become debt free HERE.) Even through we reached our goal, we still use the “need vs. want” rule. It is just habit now. If we are out and about and see something we want to buy, we ask ourselves if it is a need or a want. If it’s a need, we buy it. If it is a want, there are some things we go over before purchasing it:
- Am I willing to get rid of something I already have to take the place of this new thing? (One it, one out)
- Am I going to lose interest in it after I buy it?
- Am I going to use it?
- Why do I want it?
- If I walked away from it and am still yearning for it in a couple of days, I can go back and get it.
These kinds of questions and thoughts are something we do to not only keep clutter down in our home, but also to save money. We are all going to have “wants” in our daily lives, but when you have your end goal in the forefront of your mind, it puts needs and wants into perspective.
If being debt free is a goal you would like to achieve, you can find my FREE budgeting printables HERE.
Take The Time:
The small amount of time it takes to stay organized is going to save you a lot of time in the long run. There is no greater time-suck than searching for things you need because they aren’t where they are supposed to be. Taking the extra minute to put things where they belong will save you so much time in your day, month and week. Take the time to put things away so you can keep things organized.
This is a tip for all things you want in your life, but especially for staying organized and living clutter free. If you stay consistent with these 10 tips, your home will not accumulate clutter and it will always stay organized. Stay consistent and put things away where they belong. Stay consistent in purging as soon as you find something you need to get rid of. Stay consistent in having an empty box in your home. Don’t get lazy and start filling up a junk drawer – remember, everything has a home. Be consistent with the one in, one out rule, it will help you stay consistent with the needs versus want rule. And lastly, be consistent with taking the time to stay organized. A little time spent up front will save you tons of time later.
I hope these tips have given you some tools that you can take with you on your journey to live clutter free.
What is the first area you want to declutter and get organized?
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