I thought I would list some general tips for keeping clutter away. I use most of these techniques. I own very few items now so it’s easier for me to keep track of household items, including my own possessions. It will come to a point when you will de-clutter so much, that the majority of these tips won’t apply any longer. When you get to that point… it’s BLISS… so ready, set GO! … or you know… just start whenever you’re ready to.
General Home Rules:
- Remove at least 1 thing per day from your home that you can donate or sell – If you are able to complete this task, by the end of the year you will have removed 365 items from your home..
- Host a yard sale – Sell unwanted items faster than you would on Ebay or Craigslist.
- Commit to only keeping 1 or 2 special pieces of your child’s artwork per month – At the end of the year, opt to have your favorites made into a keepsake book (try Shutterfly.com). Check out our post How to Organize School Artwork and Projects for more ideas.
- Put items away after use – Putting things back in their home after each use will make cleanup easier.
- Clean as you go – Try cleaning at the same time you are cooking and you will have less mess to cleanup afterwards.
- Schedule to de-clutter your home for 15 minutes every night – This is the strategy that the most organized person you know uses. Check out our post How to De-Clutter When You Only Have 15 Minutes or Less.
- Adopt the “one in, one out rule” – With this rule you will never own too many things.
- Stop shopping when you are bored – Buying items because you are bored will create debt and unnecessary items cluttering your life. Direct your energy to another feel-good activity, hobby or project.
- Stop using paper coupons – If you don’t have time to clip coupons, stick with electronic ones through apps.
- Commit an ongoing effort to keep your life free of clutter – Don’t fall back into old habits after you worked so hard to create a simple life. Be consistent and remember why simplifying your life is important to you.
- Create a Sunday basket and place all incoming and outgoing papers in the basket– Refer to this post to see what a Sunday Basket is all about and how to create one of your own.
- Keep your dining surfaces clear – Use this 15-minute de-clutter strategy to make sure your dining spaces are always ready for eating or entertaining.
- Get rid of extra sets in the kitchen – If you have double measuring cups, measuring spoons, etc., now is the time to get rid of the extras.
- Limit toys to 7 per child – If you have 3 kids, that’s still 28 toys in the house! Most kids only need their favorite 1-5 items that they play with daily.
- De-clutter your closet – Many people have more clothes than they need. Refer to this post for tips to de-clutter your closet.
- Keep home décor minimal – Less clutter around the house makes it easier to clean.
- Organize your junk drawer or get rid of it– The junk drawer is often forgotten about until it’s so packed full that it will no longer close. De-clutter your junk drawer regularly. Only place items in it that you use every day.
- Get rid of old electronics, cords, cell phones, etc. – Still have that mobile phone from 8+ years ago? Now is the time to donate it.
- Use the back side of printed paper – Recycle paper that has a blank backside by placing it in a clipboard and using as a scrap notepad. Once the backside has been used completely, place in a recycling bin.
- Delete old files from your computer – Schedule a de-clutter session on your devices. Keep an external hard drive of of files you may want to keep, but don’t clog up your computer’s hard drive.
- Declutter your social media accounts – Unfollow people with annoying status updates or FB groups that no longer interest you.
- Declutter your mobile apps – Delete apps from your phone that you don’t use regularly.
- Ditch junk files on your computer – Try piriform.com/ccleaner to purge useless items.