It seems to appear overnight. You look around and your living space has been totally taken over by clutter. Whether there’s one problem area in your home — hello, dining room table! — or if the clutter monster appears to have camped out in every room, you can fight back — and win.
Clutter isn’t just annoying; it can result in lost time spent looking for things like keys and shoes and eyeglasses. And, design experts say, it can also make you less happy in your home.
Even the busiest of moms can become a decluttering queen with the right tools and a good game plan. Here’s a look at simple ways to help you clear your space and restore your peace of mind.
Designate Bags to Goodwill
An easy way to start the decluttering process is to designate a Goodwill bag. Each day, toss items you’re not using in the bag, and set a goal to fill up one bag a day until you’re done decluttering. Or, if you’d rather get it over with in one sweep, then set aside a Saturday for the whole family to wage war on clutter, and end it with a trip to Goodwill to drop off your bags.
Declare a Clutter-free Zone
Sometimes, getting started is the hardest part, so pick a space — whether that’s a countertop, a drawer, or some other area that seems to be a magnet for clutter — and clear it. The new rule is that nothing that doesn’t belong in that space can be set down there. Each day, expand that zone to a new space, and before long, you’ll be out of cluttered areas.
Give Everything a Home
One of the main reasons people have clutter is that they don’t have a place to put all their “stuff.” Change that by creating a space for everything, from newspapers and mail to toys to backpacks. Then, make sure that every family member follows the new rule of making sure to put things in their proper place. If you’re short on space, try adding furniture that doubles as a storage place, such as an ottoman or coffee table with hidden storage. And take time to organize your closets; you might be surprised to see how much space that opens up for you.
Adopt the One-in, Two-out Rule
It’s easy to accumulate new things without realizing how much you have. But when you embrace the one-in, two-out rule, you’ll self-regulate any new additions to your home. Make it a rule that when any family member brings in a new item, it has to replace two similar items. This is especially great for managing toy clutter and closets that are overflowing with clothes. The bonus: You may save money if you have to choose between one new item and two that you already have.
Apply the 90/90 Rule
This is another way to keep you in “purge” mode. Look at items that haven’t been used or worn in a while, and ask yourself if you’ve used them in the past 90 days. Then, ask yourself if you’ll use them in the next 90 days. If both answers are “no,” they’ve gotta go. (This doesn’t apply to seasonal items like Christmas décor or winter clothes, of course.)
Let Your Hangers Help You
How often do you think about giving up an item of clothing but just can’t bring yourself to do it? Maybe this closet hanger experiment can help you. Hang all your clothes on hangers facing the wrong direction in your closet. When you wear an item and return it to the hanger, face it in the right direction. After six months, you’ll see which clothes you’re really wearing and which ones can be given away.
Give Clutter a Space
Nobody is going to be completely clutter free, so if you can’t beat it, at least organize it. Designate “clutter spaces” in your home, such as a drawer in the kitchen or a space in the closet where you can toss those things that don’t have a designated spot. Then, schedule some monthly clutter organization time to go through these areas. Throw out or donate what you don’t need, and find a new place to keep the rest and start over.
Not sure how to declutter your home? Even using just one of these tips as a starting point goes a long way toward achieving a tidier living space. When it comes to keeping your home looking its best, visit CORT Clearance Furniture to find the furniture that fits your needs.