3 Steps to a Clutter-Free Home
Reclaiming your house amidst all the clutter can seem daunting, but by taking things step by step you can take control of the situation and avoid being swamped in stuff.
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As every parent knows all too well, kids come with a lot of stuff.
From strollers to bikes, an endless amount of clothing that fits one day but not the next, must-have toys that are now abandoned...you name it, and the kids will have it laying around somewhere.
Of course, a lot of this stuff is essential, babies come with a lot of equipment, and kids grow out of clothes, toys, and bikes all too quickly. It is so easy to see how in no time, your house feels like it's ready to burst at the seams. So just how do you overcome an issue that doesn't seem to be going anywhere?
If you feel like you are forever tripping over abandoned toys, and cupboard doors need to be opened carefully in case an avalanche of clothes drops out, then it is time to take action. Reclaiming your house amidst all the clutter can seem daunting, and if you look at the job as a whole, it is a pretty overwhelming task. However, taking things step by step is the way to take control of the situation and avoid being swamped in stuff.
Step #1: Get Prepared
Make sure that you are prepared before you get started on your declutter. Otherwise, the situation could get worse rather than better.
Essentially you will need to sort your stuff into things you are going to give away to charity or friends and family, things that need to be thrown out, and things you want to keep.
If you have lots of stuff to get rid off, then “skip bin hire” is an easy way to make this more manageable. Hiring a skip bin means that you won't be left with things you no longer want in a big pile gathering rust. Instead, putting them in the skip bin means that they are contained, and the whole process of getting rid of stuff will be a lot easier.
When you have got together some of the items that you would like to donate to charity, family, or friends, take action to get rid of it quickly. Don't wait until the entire house is decluttered before getting rid of these items. Leaving them lying around will only add to your clutter, and means that you won't see the results of your hard work as quickly.
My Rule: If you haven’t used it in 6 months (and it isn’t a seasonal item) donate it to charity or pitch it.
Step #2: Take it Step by Step
Trying to declutter the whole house all at once is going to leave you feeling pretty stressed out.
Taking a systematic approach to decluttering will not only make it less overwhelming, but you will also begin to see a difference in your home much more quickly. I’m a big fan of doing a room at a time. You don’t have to stress yourself out and get it all done at once. (Like my mom always said, it’s not like the Queen is going to come visit tomorrow. What queen? Who knows! Elizabeth? Freddy Mercury? It remains to be seen, but the saying stuck.)
Try decluttering one room a week. You’ll get through your entire house in a month or two and can restart the cycle whenever you notice it needs it.
Staying focused is the key to getting your house back in order, and concentrating on one room at a time is much more likely to keep you motivated enough to finish the job.
With the kids around, it is likely you won't be able to spend a whole weekend simply decluttering. Instead, spend a little time each day getting it sorted. This could be just an hour at a time; what's important is that you are taking action.
A handy tip to make decluttering even more manageable is to get started on a cupboard or chest of drawers first. By clearing out and reorganizing a piece of furniture, you are creating space which can then be used to store other items that you want to keep. This decluttering method is perfect if you have lots of things lying around on the floor that don't currently have homes, as you can transfer the bits and pieces you want to keep into the storage space you have created.
Step #3: Clever Storage
As you gradually work your way through decluttering your home, you are probably thinking to yourself that you will never let it get this messy ever again. If that's the case, then some smart storage solutions are needed to help your home stay neat and tidy forever.
Assessing the items that you have left and want/need to keep will help you see which areas of your home lack adequate storage. Without the right storage solutions, you could soon find yourself back at square one, repeating the decluttering process in a few months!
There are so many cool storage options out there; it's all about finding ones that work best with your space. If the kid's bedrooms need more storage solutions, why not invest in space saver beds? These clever beds not only look great, but they also offer handy extras such as a desk, drawers, and shelves underneath them. This means you get a lot of storage, while still using the same amount of floor space that a regular bed occupies.
Banish Clutter Forever
After the mammoth effort involved in decluttering a family home, you deserve keep it that way.
*insert the manic laughter of ten thousand moms*
Yeah, maybe not so possible with kids. However, even though keeping your home looking tidy in the long term can prove tricky, it is possible to keep it tidy-adjacent.
Having the right amount of storage solves a lot of problems, but how you use it is crucial too. Keeping your drawers tidy and organized is vital. Otherwise, you will soon find socks and t-shirts littering the floor, as the kids rummage through their drawers each day. Marie Kondo's KonMari Method of folding clothes has proven popular across the globe, as a way to get your drawers neat and organized once and for all. If it appeals to you give it a try, but it really doesn’t matter what system you use as long as you pick one and stick with it consistently.
Get everyone into the habit of tidying up items throughout the day, and make sure that every item has a home where it can be neatly stored. (For more about training your kids to keep your house clean, check out this training guide on 5 easy-to-teach rules for kids to help you keep things clean (dog treats for successful kid behavior sold separately).
Getting everyone in the household on board with maintaining a tidy clutter-free home is essential to keeping it neat in the long term. Keeping your home free from clutter means that you can enjoy family life without feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff everywhere.
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About the Author
Founder | Contributor
Liz (or Dr. Mommy, as her toddler started calling her after learning what a PhD was) is the happily sleep-deprived mom of a baby boy (and professional raccoon noise impersonator), a sparkle-clad toddlernado, a teenage stepdaughter, the canine embodiments of Pinky and The Brain, and a rabbit of unusual size. During nights and naptimes, she uses her PhD in business psychology as an author, speaker, and consultant. She also serves as an executive and principal for three companies, two of which she co-founded with her very patient (and equally exhausted) husband.
My Motto: All I can control is how hard I work.
Motto: All I can control is how hard I work.
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