Shoes by the door. Clothing on the floor. Table littered with receipts and mail. Clutter is horrible! It is one sure fire way to make any house feel tiny. When you have kids and work full time, it is hard to keep up with the clutter. Hiring someone to clean and organize your home can be so costly, so I have come up with 11 ways to conquer that clutter without spending a fortune. Move over Spring cleaning, it is time to declutter. This task should be easy enough for you and your family to tackle on a weekend. Once you have removed the clutter from your home or yard, I suggest you keep on top of it weekly or biweekly to ensure you don't get overwhelmed again. I find the worst spots for collecting clutter are tables or benches near the front doorway. Where is your worst clutter collecting spot?
Here are 11 sure fire ways to prevent and destroy clutter within your home:
1. Junk mail can go right into the recycling bin!
Why bring junk mail inside your home at all? You know you are just going to shove it behind something or leave it on the counter. If its not coupons or something useful, just file it directly into the recycling bin. We have a recycling bin right outside our door of our home, so there is no excuse for any junk mail to get into the house. I also file any of my coffee cups or water bottles from the car into that very same recycling bin. It has helped quite a bit. Any papers that are important can be stored neatly in a folder or binder.
2. Counters don't need all the appliances out at once.
Sure, you need your toaster, microwave, toaster oven, Keurig, slow cooker, waffle maker, panini press and all those other small appliances. But do you really need them all out on your counter at once? On my counter the only thing that doesn't get stored in in the cupboard it the microwave, and there is only one reason for that. That sucker is heavy! The rest get stored neatly under the counter where they don't make my OCD mind go absolutely crazy.
3. Keep up with clothes that are not needed.
Ladies, you are probably just as guilty as I am with this one. You have way too much clothing! You should go down to your closet right now and remove 10 pieces of clothing to get started. Essentially, if you have not worn an item in quite a while, it can go. For example, I have these adorable multi-coloured shorts but I have not warn them this year at all. So, they should go right? You can donate them to a shelter or even just drop them off to a Good Will box. Either way, you are helping yourself remove clutter and you will also help someone else who needs new clothes.
4. Don't leave clothes in the baskets!
Talking about clothing, you should never do your laundry and just leave the clothes in a basket. Make sure you fold it or hang it up immediately after it comes out of the dryer. This not only prevents wrinkles, but ensures that the clothing doesn't get left about to create clutter. I have a laundry hamper that separates whites, colours and darks and I just adore it. Laundry made simple! I try to do my laundry on a set night each week. I try for Wednesday evening, but if that fails then I do it all Saturday morning. That way there the dirty clothes don't become overwhelming and cluttered.
5. Wash Dishes Instantly.
You use dishes, you wash them. That is pretty simple, right? Make that a rule for everyone in the house and nobody will be stuck washing the heaping sink full of dirty dishes that started accumulating two days ago. It will make your kitchen feel cleaner, and thus less cluttered. Don't just let them sit in the drying rack either. Dry them and put them away so they don't clutter up the sink. This rule should apply to everyone in the house, unless they are too young of course. If you have a dish washer, then load it right away. Don't let your dishes sit allover the counter and in the sink if you don't have to.
6. Clear all the surfaces!
You probably have a lot of flat surfaces in your home. From counter tops to dressers and kitchen tables, keep them clear. There is nothing I hate more than coming home to a kitchen table littered with mail and dishes and other unnecessary items. It is so simple to clear off the tables and wipe off the counter each night before bed, it literally takes me 5 minutes. I also find that keeping the counter clear ensures that no ants make their way into my home.
7. Store the crafts.
Awh, I bet your kids bring home adorable crafts that they made at school. I bet it happens a lot too. While they are very cute and you want to display them to the world, you shouldn't leave them allover your fridge and table. Be sure to store them properly in a large Tupperware container once you are done displaying one on the fridge. I sort mine according to the season, so when Halloween rolls around I can display only the Halloween crafts. This goes the same for Christmas, Valentine's Day and other holidays. The Tupperware container can store your crafts in the basement and will ensure that even a flood won't harm the irreplaceable and sentimental items. You can also digitally store crafts by scanning them or taking a good photo of them.
8. Stackable dishes are your new best friend.
To keep the insides of your cupboards clean and clutter free, I suggest you invest in stackable cups and bowls. There are so many different brands available and you can get colourful cups and bowls to impress the kids. Just be sure you dry them completely before stacking them together to avoid bacteria growth.
9. Purge all the time.
That's right. I do a weekly walk through my entire house with a garbage bag and pickup anything that can go. Whether it be Teddy Bear that tragically lost a leg while being kidnapped by the dog, or decorations that don't have any sentimental value and just cause clutter. Last week I got rid of a couple house plants that were on the verge of not surviving, as well as a load of toys that my son no longer plays with. If the items are not garbage, I suggest donating them.
Moosers, how do you prevent and clean up clutter?