Secrets to Easy Daily Clutter Maintenance

A few very simple tips to help you keep your clutter under control.

Clutter is one of the one of the biggest challenges in keeping your home looking nice.  It can get out of control SO quickly and then you’re up to your neck in dishes, mail, shoes, newspapers, backpacks, etc.   If you can just get this one very simple clutter habit until control, you would be so surprised at what a difference it would make in your home!

One simple thing you can do is to just get in the habit of taking a few things with you every time you leave a room.  It would literally take a matter of seconds to pick up a couple of glasses or dishes when you’re heading for the kitchen, a pair of shoes or a coat when you’re headed for the bedroom – how easy is that?

Eliminating the clutter in this way will make your room look so much cleaner and will make it so much easier to keep a room looking nice.  Part of the problem is you get to the point where you don’t even notice the clutter.  It’s incredibly easy to become blind to it.  Once you remove the constant clutter from a room, you’ll notice even one thing out of place.  It’s like the peace and quiet of the country after a few weeks of being in the noise and bustle of the city.  It’s very refreshing.

The trick is to build this new habit properly.  You know the old saying that it takes 28 days to build a habit.  I don’t know if that’s true or not, but building new habits is definitely a big challenge for me.  However, there are some little tricks you can use to help get yourself into the habit of actually seeing the clutter again, and keeping it under control.

Here are some ideas:

    • Put a rubber band around your wrist or a brightly colored bracelet.
    • Reward yourself. If notice yourself making small improvements around the house, reward yourself with a little extra TV time or a special coffee or some other small, easily repeatable reward.
    • Stick up Post-It notes everywhere to encourage yourself.  Honestly, this is one of my best tips.  I love those little yellow squares.  I’m always so reluctant to write things down, but when I manage to do it, they get DONE.
    • Engage your kids or your husband.  Explain that you’re trying something new and ask for their support, just for a couple of weeks.  Then you can reassess how well it’s working.  Or even better, go out for ice cream or something if the family stays on track with the habit for a few days.
    • One clutter problem I hear a lot about are the kids toys.  Definitely a legit problem.  One solution – limit the toys to a particular room, like their room, or a playroom.  Although I always liked to have my kids around me, so what I did was I bought an old school desk for them, the kind with the lift-up lid.  They could have whatever coloring books or toys that would fit in their desk and they could sit and play there while we watched TV in the evening.
    • The other issue I hear about is paper clutter – I have a whole post about dealing with paper.
    • Try the don’t “break the chain” technique. Get a calendar and some fun stickers. You get a sticker for each day you remember your habit. When you get a chain of 3 or 4 days, plan a special treat for yourself and then you won’t want to break the chain.

 

Next up, I’m going to recommend some terrific books to help you deal with your clutter.

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Comments

  1. During the school year clutter seems to accumulate like crazy! There always seems to be backpacks, lunchboxes and papers about. Thanks for the tips, perhaps this will be the year we keep the mess under control!

    • Kids and their clutter – it gets out of hand so quickly. I’ve been known to take such items “hostage” in exchange for a few extra chores or a rousing version of “I’m a Little Teapot”. Works like a charm – for a week or so, anyway.

  2. You are so right about not seeing it after a while. That pile of post waiting to be sorted on the kitchen counter…. I’m off to tackle it right now and get some new good habits started.

  3. Agree with all of this. It’s about doing a little bit all the time instead of letting it build up!

  4. Hi, found you on SITS.
    Clutter is everything that is wrong with my house! I will try these techniques for sure 🙂 But I think I’m going to need way more than 28 days for this habit to stick!

  5. Hi, found you on SITS.
    Clutter is everything that is wrong with my house! I will try these techniques for sure 🙂 But I think I’m going to need way more than 28 days for this habit to stick!

  6. Oh man, my problem is I wait until I’m too tired to do the dishes at night. I just have to force myself to do it!

  7. Adrian, yes! It was Sandy Nails. That’s really the only place I go. That’s too funny.

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