This month JAM Organizing presents another informative article from a guest blogger. Enjoy!
A clean and well-organized home is not only visually appealing, it also has a significant positive effect on our mental health. Studies have shown that our environment significantly affects our mood and level of motivation and happiness. A nice and tidy home makes us feel better and more focused. But it’s not always so easy! Read on for 10 habits of clutter-free homeowners.
1. Be Aware of Your Space
The space you have is the space you have.
The closet you have is the closet you have.
The kitchen you have is the kitchen you have.
Unless you're planning a renovation, that's not going to change. This is your limit. People with cramped homes full of stuff are living beyond their space. If your stuff doesn't fit where it goes, decisions need to be made. If you bring something in that doesn't fit, something else has to go! Keep this in mind, live within your limits, and banish clutter.
2. Deal with Dishes Right Away
One of the things clutter-free homeowners don’t do? Let their dishes pile up! It's so easy to leave the dishes for later, and little by little, a massive pile is taking over your kitchen. So, make it a habit: as soon as the meal is finished, all the plates, cutlery and pans are washed. That way, clutter is banished in small batches as soon as it shows up, and it won’t snowball into a bigger issue.
3. Take Out the Trash - Regularly
Trash - it takes up a lot of space, and especially in the kitchen, it can small horrible! Set aside time daily (or less often, if you're a small household) to pick up all the trash inside and outside the house (soda cans, paper towels, food packaging, etc.) and throw it away immediately. Whatever schedule you make, the most important thing is to stick to it.
4. Keep. Throw Away. Donate.
Clutter-free homeowners make it a priority to declutter every few months - or even more often. Take time to review areas of your home. Keep what you love, what's needed, and what you use. Throw away things you don’t use that qualify as trash. And finally, donate whatever you no longer need or want that is still usable and functioning. This way, you free up a lot of much-needed space.
5. Use Storage
Off-site storage is an option for anyone trying to keep their home organized and clean. There are many affordable, small-space and larger storage solutions to fit your needs and goals. The goal here is NOT to hide clutter, it's to get your home and all your spaces decluttered. Storage can be used as a temporary option to give you more space to work as you're cleaning out your home. Depending on the situation, long-term storage can offer a safe and protected option for items you don't currently use or need but that you plan to use in the future and don't want to get rid of. Just make sure this space is organized, so you can find what you need when you need it. Or you'll just be storing clutter.
6. Don't Put it Down, Put it Away
Welcome to your new mantra! People with clutter-free homes deal with potential clutter as soon as it comes up. For example, you had friends over for dinner. You had fun, ordered pizza, and played board games. When your friends leave for home, take 20 minutes and clean everything right away and put things back in their place. Throw away the trash and take those board games and put them back in their drawer or shelf. Same thing with all the other items in your home. When you are done using them, put them back in their place immediately. If you leave it for a couple of hours or decide to take care of it tomorrow, after a while, you will end up with a home full of clutter. Make it easier on yourself: don't put it down, put it away.
7. Share the Responsibility
Keeping a home clean and clutter-free can be stressful and tiring and sometimes falls on one family member. Everyone who lives in the home can help and share in the responsibility. Make a weekly plan. Decide who is taking out the trash that week, who is washing the dishes, etc. It’s important that all people in the household honor that agreement and complete their weekly chores. This reduces stress and gives everyone in the house a sense of ownership and pride. And, it helps reduce clutter!
8. Minimize Possessions
Minimizing possessions doesn't mean living with only what you absolutely need and not one spoon extra. It just means that if you don't use it, love it, need it, or even usually remember you have it, why not let it go? Life is easier with less. Those living with less have to clean less, maintain less, repair less, organize less, declutter less, find less, remember less - sounds like a great time-saver and so much easier, right?
9. Enlist Help
Where clutter is concerned, overwhelm is not uncommon. If you have more clutter than time or you're just not sure where to start, call in the pros! A professional organizer and a company like Allstate Moving and Storage can help you make a plan and finally get that clutter out the door!
10. Be Consistent
Getting organized and clutter free is not something that happens once, and you're done. It's about changing habits and being consistent. The more you can work these habits into your daily routine, the more successful you will be.
A completely clutter-free home is honestly a bit of a stretch, but if you adopt these habits, you can make some big changes! And it’s definitely worth it.
Jennifer Halliwell has worked as a professional content writer for the last four years. She primarily works for jamorganizing.com and writes about tips and tricks for improving organization and cleaning skills.
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I'm Jen, a professional organizer ready to help you take charge of your space, free up your time, and lead a more organized life! (Read more about me here)