The Ultimate Guide to a Clutter-Free Home

I began a declutter at the weekend to gain the ultimate clutter-free home for the first time since moving in.

But why do we see clutter as bad? Personally, I just hate mess and untidiness. But some people prefer a lived-in look.

Apart from the obvious, that it doesn’t look very good, clutter can also be bad for your mental health. Clutter results in less efficient thinking, less efficient visual processing, poorer mental health, unhealthier eating, and low-subjective well being.

This has been proven by a number of studies across the world. This is why it’s really  important to take the steps to a clutter-free home, and to make sure you maintain them. Read on to discover how to stay clutter-free for good.

 

Start with a huge clear-out

Before you can adapt the habits needed for a clutter-free home, you first need to have a huge clear-out. In most cases, this means investing in skip hire, and dedicating a full weekend to getting rid of all the stuff you don’t need. Yes, this may sound a bit dramatic, but if you have stuff all over the house, it’s necessary. You will never deal with your clutter if you go about it halfheartedly.

This weekend, I didn’t quite go to the extreme of getting a skip, but we had received quite a few charity bags through those door. Those were filled and set outside my house ready for picking up.

 

Go paper-free

One of the most effective methods for reducing clutter is to go paper-free. I know, this is easier said than done.

Scanning all of your documents may seem like a lengthy and daunting task, but it will be well worth it in the end. There are plenty of apps that make it easy for you to scan documents and store them efficiently. It’s a good idea to backup your files for added security.

And please, always recycle your paper and cardboard. Unless it has sensitive information on it, in which case shred it first.

 

Live within your means

Let the size of your home dictate the number of things you have. If you have a huge number of clothes, this does not mean you need to invest in a wardrobe that is too big for the scale of your bedroom. Why not get rid of some of your clothes instead?

I found this tough when I moved into my house. I had a double wardrobe to myself, as well as two large chest of drawers. When I moved in with Jay, I had half a wardrobe and one chest of drawers to contend with. I’ve now put my summer stuff into storage, and will do a swap over next year as the weather warms up again.

 

Have a place for everything

Everything inside of your home should have a place. I live by this as though it’s a mantra.

Do you find that you have a number of items that are in limbo, i.e. on the floor or on top of tables because you’re struggling to find a place for them? If this is the case, you should invest in a filing cabinet or a plastic storage box for such items.

I have small, narrow baskets inside drawers everywhere in my house. It means items like pens sit in them without rolling around the drawer, or getting lost.

 

Make sure you have a junk drawer

Anything with the word ‘junk’ in it doesn’t sound very proactive when it comes to clutter. Nonetheless, having a junk drawer is so important. No matter how organised your home is, there are going to be those pesky items that we use a lot, yet they don’t really have a logical place to go. This includes the likes of tape, pens, and batteries. These items should go in your junk drawer.

Our junk drawer has become our sideboard in our lounge. It has an assortment or candles, lighters, pens, sellotape, and cleaning cloths.

 

Become a habitual putter-awayer

This is something that may take a while to get used to if you are the type of person that leaves things on the sofa or the floor. However, it is important to get into the habit of always putting things away, be it a book or a bottle opener. This will ensure that clutter does not build and that your home always looks good.

I’m the worst for this. When I get undressed in the evening, I leave my pairs of jeans on the floor. I so need to get in the habit of actually putting them in their drawer.

 

I love a good sort out. It makes me feel better when I can throw things that I don’t use or need. I try to donate to charity which also makes me feel better, knowing someone else can benefit from my things. Do you love a clutter sort out, or do you dread it? Have you achieved a clutter-free home?

3 Tricks for an Eternally Tidy Home

Everyone wants to keep an eternally tidy home, but it can seem like the forces of the universe are doing their best to prevent us from achieving this blissful state of neatness.

Efforts to tidy up are almost always backed by a sincere desire to keep things tidy forevermore. But bit by bit, some time after our monumental weekend spring cleaning endeavour, the mess creeps back in, and the cycle repeats.

In despair, we think of all kinds of discipline-enhancing mechanisms to get ourselves on the right track. Maybe we buy alarm systems or pseudo torture devices like the Pavlok to force ourselves to shape up. Alas, the mess remains.

Here are some essential tricks you can use to win the battle against mess and keep things in a (more or less) perpetual state of spotless serenity.

Trick #1: If it’ll only take a few minutes, do it immediately

One of the most powerful secrets to keeping an eternally tidy home is to condition yourself into the habit of doing the small chores on the spot.

We’re not talking about anything that will take more than about five minutes. Vacuuming the house from top to bottom, or other such similar tasks, will need to be handled when time allows.

Simple errands like washing your plate after using it and popping it on the drying rack will take virtually no time or willpower. It will also prevent you from having to face a daunting mountain of dishes a couple of days down the line.

 

Trick #2: Install the right features to make the job as easy as possible

Keeping your home eternally tidy usually depends on your ability to make the entire process as effortless and pain free as you can.

Even the smallest obstacle that stands in the way can be a devastating blow against the entire clean-ethos you’re trying to adhere to.

Take the following situation for example.

You’re sitting in your bedroom or living room, doing something messy. At the end of said activity, you find that you’ve got a pile of waste paper that needs to be dealt with. The only paper bin in the house is in the spare room upstairs (for some hypothetical reason).

You spend a moment wrestling with the knowledge that you should just walk to the spare room and put your paper in the bin. However, laziness wins out. You put it down on the table instead, “to deal with later”.

Weeks later, the paper is still on the table. The entire issue could have been averted by having a paper bin downstairs and one upstairs.

Don’t rely on willpower to keep tidy. Instead, install features to make the job as easy as possible.

 

Trick #3: Start building habits by setting hilariously simple habit loops

Most books on habit have the same bit of advice; start small when setting your habit, and build up as you go.

The thing about creating new habits is that they can be mentally draining until they become automatic. It’s essential to perform your fledgling habits regularly to ensure they solidify into proper habits. However, if they’re too irritating and you’re having a bad day, you can easily find yourself throwing the towel in.

Get around this problem by beginning with habit loops that are so hilariously simple they’d be impossible to fail. Instead of “I will wash all the dishes at 7:00pm every day”, just tell yourself “I will wash one plate at 7:00pm every day”.

I know that children’s toys are the worst for creating havoc. Just put one toy away every hour. Or one toy away every day even. You’ll find that the job becomes easier and you’ll get into a good habit of doing it.

You’ll find this removes all the stress from the equation. You’ll also find that once you’ve done that first plate, you almost always end up doing all the dishes anyway.

 

Do you have any more tips you’d add to the list for an eternally tidy home?