How to Declutter Your Home: Ten Simple Tips for Quickly Tidying Up
Dealing with decluttering can be daunting. It’s hard to know where to start when there’s stuff everywhere. It’s on the counters, clustered by the front door, sitting at the bottom of the stairs, and making a permanent pile on the dining room table. Where to start decluttering feels impossible to answer and feels particularly overwhelming in the midst of visual chaos.
The good news is: you don’t need to decorate around the mess, and you don’t need to continue to simply consolidate piles. All that’s required is just a few minutes at a time. If you have a little chunk of time, take advantage of it and take back your home from the clutter that threatens to take it over.
Here are 10 easy decluttering tips that we love.
Tips to Declutter Your Home
1. Own less.
It sounds so simple (and it’s easier said than done), but the obvious truth is the less you have, the less you have to clean. Sometimes, our possessions become things we house instead of things we use. Remember- your home isn’t a storage facility. Take a few minutes the next time you’re putting away laundry and assess your clothing items; are there things living in your closet you no longer wear? Give it some thought. Grab a bag, and start a collection of items that can head to a donation center.
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2. Clear One Counter.
Your eventual goal is to clear all flat surfaces of your home so they are free of clutter. You don’t have to remove appliances or décor, necessarily, but try to keep it to the essentials. Repeat as necessary with other counters, such as the kitchen table, the coffee table, your end tables, etc. Breaking it down to one counter or one surface at a time helps the chore to feel more manageable.
3. Beware the floating objects.
Do you have a few objects that just seem to float from place to place with no designated spot to call their own? Take a moment and think through where these things should go. Common “floaters” are toys, backpacks, lunch boxes, car keys and incoming mail. Consider some systems (just one at a time) that can help mitigate the mess. It might look like hooks for backpacks and jackets, a mail sorter on the counter, or a stylish toy basket in the living room.
4. Enforce a Waiting Period.
Even if you decluttered your entire house, there will always be the tendency to want to fill it back up again. Something about a store full of potential decorating items makes us lose all self-control. Postpone or thwart any additional purchases (as best you can) by adding them to a list with the date you decided you wanted it. Wait 30 days, and then see if it has earned its way into your home.
5. Make a list.
Each home is unique, and each person faces his or her own personal decluttering challenges. Maybe your weak spot is the common areas; or maybe there’s a secret, gigantic mountain of laundry hiding in your closet. Think about the areas that bother you the most and make a declutter your home checklist. Your checklist will be unique to the clutter-y spots in your own place, and it will provide you with some direction next time you have a few minutes to tackle a task.
6. Have a pantry party.
Make a recurring, monthly appointment on your calendar to take five minutes and comb through the pantry, getting rid of anything that has expired or could be donated. It’s a great solution for avoiding food waste and making the most of your meal planning. Plus, no more sifting through packed pantries!
7. Take “action”.
Paper piles are huge clutter culprits, and dealing with them can be debilitating. To help organize the constant stream of paperwork coming in, make an “Action” folder for all items coming in that need your attention (bills, permission slips, RSVPs, etc). Keep this folder in the same place. This way, you can take five minutes out of your day and tackle a few items at a time, knowing you aren’t forgetting something.
8. Pitch outdated medicines.
Outdated medications aren’t just cluttering your cabinets, but can also be less effective and harmful for your health. Don’t just throw them down the sink or in the trash. Read what the FDA recommends for proper medicine disposal.
9. Be intentional about books.
Books can be a particular sore spot when it’s time to declutter your home. Books represent adventures, education and favorite authors. If you want to organize your home, however, you’ll need to answer the hard questions. Why are these titles on your shelf? How often do you actually read them? Are there books you currently own that you have never read? When you make a decision about which ones to part with, choose a worthy organization for your donations. We recommend United For Libraries, Books for Africa, Better World Books, or your local library.
10. A new start for your nightstands.
Nightstands can become a catch-all for random items of all kinds, and they can also become a bedroom eyesore. Clear your nightstand completely, wipe it down, and then decide what needs to stay. Current reading material, glasses, lip balm can be stored in the drawer. Save the surface area for some beautiful flowers or a soothing candle.
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, or if you’d like a freshly cleaned home after you’ve tidied up, call The Maids. We offer a variety of customized services and guarantee your satisfaction. Book a clean with us today!