At some point in our lives, most of us have had a clutter problem. You get busy, stop putting things away, buy a couple of things to treat yourself, and before you know it, your clutter has overtaken your life.
Aside from being potentially embarrassing and getting in the way of your day-to-day living, clutter can also have a serious impact on your mood. Having a home filled with clutter often leads us to feel stressed and overwhelmed. But the good news is there are ways to combat it.
With a few changes to your home and your daily routine, it's not impossible to kick that clutter to the curb.
1. Break Bad Habits
It may be tempting to come home and throw your purse, jacket, or keys wherever is easiest, but changing that habit is pretty easy too. Make a conscious effort to hang your coat up when you come home instead of throwing it on a nearby chair, and put your keys in a dish, on a hook, or in your purse. The more you practice this habit, the quicker it will become second-nature.
2. Create a Home For Everything
Some of the main culprits of clutter are things that don't have a defined home. Often, it's items like mail and newspapers that we bring home and put down on the nearest surface. Other times, it's a new knick-knack or a stray purse or backpack. Identify the items in your home that are adding to your clutter and find a place for them to live permanently. If there isn't a place readily available, make one!
3. Contain the Clutter
It's unrealistic to think you can eliminate clutter from your home completely, but having designated areas where you let clutter pile up can help. Keep the clutter in your bedroom to a minimum by having a chair or a storage chest be the only place you pile clothes. Keep a large, decorative dish on your kitchen counter for stray mail and other items. Then, once in a while you can set aside a minute or two to clear the clutter from each designated space.
4. Throw Something Out Each Time You Buy Something
If your clutter problem is related to buying stuff you already have, make a deal with yourself to throw something out whenever you buy something new. When you buy a new pair of shoes, throw away or donate an old pair you don't wear anymore.
5. Say No to Family and Friends
Don't let your family and friends tempt you into taking their clutter. Don't be afraid of saying no if they're offering you something you don't need; it's easy to be polite and turn it down at the same time.
6. Identify Your Storage Needs
If books are your clutter kryptonite, get more bookshelves. If clothes are your thing, make sure you have ample storage space and are using it effectively. You should have adequate storage that fits your needs and your life, so be realistic about what you need. Having the right amount of storage for your needs will make things look and feel more organized and less like clutter.
7. Use Your Vertical Space
Our walls are so often overlooked as storage space, but they can free up so much other valuable space! In your kitchen, for example, you could try a magnetic strip for knives to replace your knife block, or a wall-mounted dish drainer to free up counter space.
8. Have (Only) One of Everything
Look through your drawers throughout your house and see if you find any duplicates of things like scissors or measuring tapes. If you find more than one of items like this, it's probably a pretty good sign that you just need a box to keep them in so they're easy to find when you need them.