Sometimes it feels impossible to keep your space from getting cluttered. You clean one day and when you wake up, there was a rager in your house you forgot to invite yourself too. At least it looks like it was fun. But now you’re the one-man crew tasked yet again with the job to keep your space from getting cluttered. It might take a little work at first, but soon enough it will be second nature.
Start With A Deep Clean
In order to keep your space from getting cluttered, you need to have a clean space to start. A spring clean doesn’t only have to happen once a year. Go through all your clutter and throw out unimportant paperwork, make a donation pile, and a garbage pile. Get all that out of your space so you can have a better idea of what you are really working with. Once you can see all your surfaces again, be sure to give them a decent wipe down. Remember their going to be showing their shining faces to the world again. Don’t spend brain energy and countless hours trying to reorganize and keep a space from getting cluttered by holding on to material objects that no longer serve you.
Put Daily Items Back In Their Designated Space
Don’t expect to do this perfectly one day and never have to make a conscious effort in this ever again. You have to build this habit! Although it sounds obvious, I’ll bet the thought enters and leaves your head, unlike the papers that enter your house and never leave your table. However, homemakers, productivity experts, and bloggers everywhere have stumbled onto a nifty little trick to help keep your space from getting cluttered.
It’s called the one touch rule. Essentially, when you touch something it’s only once. You know when you put a dirty dish in the sink instead of the dishwasher and then have to touch it again to take it out of the sink and put it in the dishwasher, you skip the sink and go straight for the dishwasher. Or if you come home instead of throwing your coat onto a chair to later put on a hanger, just put it on the hanger when you get home. This simple step proves to be the most effective tool to keep your space from getting cluttered.
It makes the time you have to dedicate to deep cleaning minimal because your stuff should already be put away in their proper places. That means cleaning is actually cleaning and not decluttering.
Build A Routine (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly)
If the one-touch rule seems overwhelming to start with, and you’ve decided you’ll just climb under your clutter pile instead don’t fret just yet. There’s another tactic that’s not as involved throughout the day to keep your space from getting cluttered. The other habit is referred to as the 10 minute pick up. It might be most effective as a way to keep your space from getting cluttered if used in the evening, but if it works better in the morning your routine, do it at that time. It’s a daily habit that once ingrained, will help keep clutter down by keeping things from piling up.
Think of it as a small part to add to your self-care routine. You deserve and should live in a clean and clutter-free space. Keeping your space from getting cluttered isn’t a chore, it’s showing yourself respect.
Taryn Williford, a writer for ‘Apartment Therapy,’ talks about another method to help keep your space from getting cluttered aptly named the landing strip. Go ahead, get your giggles out, and then feel your mind explode from the simplicity you never thought of before.
Wiliford mentions items that could be included:
- doormat to wipe off your shoes
- Wall hooks, or proper (usable!) space in a coat closet to hang your outerwear and bags
- A dish or hook for your keys
- A bowl or container for change and your wallet
- A surface — like a shelf or small side table — to sort the mail and other items (newspapers, books, magazines, purchases) as they come in
- A small wastebasket and/or recycling bin to hold your discarded incoming mail and other stuff to be recycled
- A mirror for last-minute check-ups before you walk out the door
It should exist near the door you use most frequently to enter and exit your house. It’s a catch-all, in an organized manner, to place all your daily used items. This should be your first unload spot, remember your one-touch rule, and then enter your house lighter and less cluttered. It serves as an in your face method to keep your space from getting cluttered.
After you’ve got that down consider implementing some weekly habits to keep your space from getting cluttered. Wipe down your countertops, sweep or vacuum your floors, wash your sheets and clothes. When you have a clean space, you’ll be motivated to keep it clutter-free.
Evaluate Your Shopping Habits
Before making the impulse buy at the cash register or taking a harmless stroll through Target’s $1, $3, and $5 section, really put some thought into your purchase. It’s not rocket science to put together that the less stuff you own the less stuff you have to clutter up your house.
Joshua Becker, a writer for ‘Becoming Minimalist,’ provided these four easy questions to ask yourself when making a purchase.
- Is this item really needed?
- Do I have a place to store this when I get it home?
- How much extra work will this possession add to my life?
- Am I buying it for the right reasons?
He reiterates it’s not about never buying anything again. It’s more about making the process to keep your space from getting cluttered easier by truly evaluating what you are bringing into your home. Those late-night online shopping sprees might become a thing of the past and soon you’ll see that clutter pile build a little more slowly.
One In, One Out
Don’t think of this as a number goal per se, it serves more as a way to prevent over-accumulation. The author of the article ’11 Ideas for a clutter free home’ Elizabeth Larkin, says to think of it as another way to evaluate your purchases. It makes you consider is this purchase worth getting rid of something I already have at home. You already have a designated space for your belongings and you don’t want to overcrowd that space. Overcrowding means overflow and being put somewhere else. That makes it much harder to keep your space from getting cluttered.
If you’ve decided that you do want to get rid of something you already own, it helps to have a constant donation pile. It doesn’t just work for the one in one out rule to keep your space from getting cluttered. When you notice a shirt in your closet you haven’t worn in three years, or don’t like that much anymore, throw it in your donation pile. Designate a bag or box to continually fill for donations. Once it’s full, or periodically about once a month or so take it down to a donation center. Getting rid of objects that are no longer useful to you in your space is a great way to keep clutter to a minimum.
Have A Designated Space For The Function
The same way your landing strip (if you’ve decided to implement this as a tool to keep your space from getting cluttered) has a function in your home, all of your other spaces should have a function as well. Clea and Joanna from The Home Edit (THE) continuously reiterate the importance of form meeting function.
If your coffee table is meant to be a place for your books to rest and occasionally work on your laptop, why is there a dirty plate sitting next to your Marie Kondo book? Limiting items from moving out of their designated space and encroaching on others is a sure-fire way to keep your space from getting cluttered. Dishes belong in your kitchen, not your bedroom.
Designate A Small Clutter Space
If you have a clutter monster inside of you who just needs to be set free everyone in a while, have a designated clutter space that gets cleaned out at a minimum of weekly. Some people put bins by the door in their bedroom to throw their items into during the week, and then when the end of the week comes they put all those items in the bin back where they belong.
Maintain the clutter in a specific spot to better manage the chaos and keep your entire space from getting cluttered. The end goal would be that you no longer have to keep a designated clutter space, but if that ends up being the only method that works for you, that’s okay too.
Does clutter drive you insane? If so, we hope these tips helped give you an idea of how to get rid of it and keep your space from getting cluttered in the future. Share with your family in friends who might desperately need help too.
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A recent college graduate working her way into the publishing world. I love sharing stories for people, companies, and creators. I'll always have a passion for the written word even though digital marketing has spiked my interest. Thank you for reading my work and if you want to see what else I've done you can visit my online portfolio here! https://rosesrred125.wixsite.com/kaylapportfolio