I’m one of those people who just can’t stand clutter…anywhere. And with having a family of 7 (with four of those people being teenagers) it can be difficult to manage the clutter. Here are a few things I do to reduce clutter in my home.
- Clean as I go from room to room – as I move from room to room in my house I pick up something that shouldn’t be in one room and I take it and put it away in the room I am going to. This may only be one or two items at a time, but it helps control the build-up of clutter.
- Have a place for everything – if everything has a home then there will be less items lying around cluttering up the home. I tend to reorganize drawers and cabinets once every few months to make sure the same items are put away together (or near each other), especially if my ‘collection’ of those items has grown over the past few months.
As an example, I collect glass jars (i.e. jelly, salsa, etc. jars). I recently reorganized my hutch in my dining room to allow all of my glass jars to be put away in the same space.
FYI – I use glass jars for lots of things around my home: to sort out screws/nails in the garage, to pour cooking grease into so it doesn’t go down the drain and ruin my drains, to hold nail files, etc.
- Be creative and make nice looking holders – I try to recycle everything I can (it’s good for the planet), so I recycle the cardboard boxes from food items we use. As I cook I break down the boxes I used to put them on the counter until I had the opportunity to take them out to the recycle bin. This can start looking a bit tacky with a bunch of cardboard boxes sitting on the counter. So, I found a display box from a local retail store (I asked if I could have it since it was sitting on the shelf empty and they said yes), and I took some contact paper and covered it. Now, I have a place to put the empty cardboard boxes until they are taken out. This can also be done for magazines, small books, school papers, etc.
With so many people in my house we tend to get a lot of random stuff dumped on the counter (this is very typical in my house), so I took an empty Cup O Noodles box and covered it with the same contact paper and put it up on the counter. I clean it out every couple of weeks to help keep the clutter down. I have made several boxes like this for my kids’ rooms for their clutter, makeup, or to hold small items they want to keep together. It looks much nicer than stuff strewn all over the place.
- Cute, but functional – when I’m at the store I’m always on the lookout for something cute that is also functional for my home. I found this flower pot at one of our local dollar stores and decided that it would be perfect to hold my colorful knives (that have covers). I display this on my counter and it adds color to my décor (because of the colorful knives) and the holder matches the colors on my counter. And, it makes it functional as I am able to quickly grab the knives to use while I am cooking.
- Get rid of stuff that I don’t need – this is usually the biggest challenge for most people, and even for me at times. I like to keep ‘stuff’ as well, especially if I can see myself using it in the future. The challenge is that this ‘stuff’ continues to build and build and takes up more and more space. I require myself to get rid of stuff I know I’m really never going to use, or of something I just have too many of. I then bag it all up and deliver it to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army, or another organization that I know will use the items, especially clothes.
When I move I am usually completely unpacked within about a week (I can’t stand living out of boxes), but if I have stored some boxes away in the garage without unpacking them and they are still there 6 months to a year+ later, then I know that I either don’t need those items, or they have likely been replaced. So, I just donate the boxes. Sometimes one at a time, sometimes all at once (depending on my mood and space to haul the boxes).
These are a few of the things I do in my home to keep it orderly and clutter-free. It isn’t always easy, but I can say that it is definitely worth it! There’s nothing like a clean, clutter-free home to relax in.