Even the tidiest of neat freaks need to declutter from time to time. There’s no stopping clutter from accumulating, as they come in all shapes and sizes – mail, coupons, office supplies, impulse purchases, random knickknacks – the list goes on and on.
Fortunately, however, there are many simple and effective ways to deal with clutter before it becomes a major problem.
In this page, we offer several tried-and-tested ways to help you conquer the clutter, from simple hacks that can make shelves look more organized to techniques designed to help you maximize more space.
Many people start off extra motivated when it comes to decluttering that they get too overwhelmed, forgetting about it entirely in the next week or so.
The trick is to build momentum, especially if you’re someone who’s new to decluttering. Start by putting away at least ten items or spending five minutes decluttering rooms around your house each day. It doesn’t take too much time and effort – stick to it for one month, and you’ll be surprised at the results!
Declutter one area at a time
Another way to start small is to focus on one area at a time. Pick a spot. It could be the dining room table, your dresser, or coffee table. That spot is now considered a clutter-free zone. The rule is that no single item that’s not currently in use must be placed in that spot.
Start with just that one spot, and eventually expand the clutter-free zone to other areas around the house, and before you know it, you’ve successfully reduced the amount of clutter for your entire house!
Follow a 30-day list for new items
One of the biggest challenges of decluttering is maintaining control over the stuff we own. You’ll always have new stuff no matter what, but one thing you can do is to avoid making any impulse purchases that will eventually turn into more clutter.
A great solution to this problem is making a 30-day list. Each time you get the urge to buy anything non-essential, put it on the list, along with the date when it was added. The rule is to avoid buying the items on that list unless they’ve been there for at least 30 days.
It sounds simple (and will require a lot of self-control), but doing this will help you get rid of the urge to buy new stuff, which will not only reduce clutter, but put more money in your savings as well.
Create a designated spot for incoming papers
Letters, flyers, coupons, receipts, calling cards, and other printed materials often account for most of our clutter. The reason why is it’s because we often place them in different spots around the house such as the kitchen counter, coffee table, nightstand, shelves, drawers, and even our cars.
All you need to do is place an inbox tray in an accessible spot, which everyone in your household should use to store papers, whether it’s mail, receipts, product manuals and warranties, notices, and so on.
You’ll be amazed at how following such a simple trick will be able to reduce the amount of clutter throughout your home.
Visualize the room
Take a moment to look closely at a room you want to declutter. Identify its essential pieces of furniture and look for any items that do not really belong. Does the floor have anything other than furniture or rugs? What about the shelves, tables, and other flat surfaces?
Visualizing how each room will look when it’s free of clutter will help you identify only the things that are essential, so you can get rid of the rest.
Follow the rule of three
If you have a bookshelf that has items other than books for example, restrict any non-book items to only three per shelf. Apply the same rule to other shelves, the fireplace mantle, the kitchen counters, and so on. Their sizes and shapes may vary, but try to select items by color or theme, so you can create a concise, minimalist look and feel.
Store items in a “maybe” box
When sorting through your things, more often than not, you already know what you want to hold on to, what to donate, and what to throw away. However, there are those things which you haven’t used in quite some time, but might need in the future.
These are the type of things you put in the “maybe” box. Put that box somewhere out of the way, like the garage or a storage closet. Set a reminder to get back to it after six months, so you can check if it contains anything you actually needed. Chances are, you can give away or get rid of the items in that box, since you never needed them in the first place.