Clutter. Damn the clutter. All the clutter. It’s all around us. I would like to blame my husband and children for it, but the truth is, I am just as much to blame. Even though teaching others how to remove clutter and manage their homes is literally my business, it doesn’t mean I don’t fall prey to clutter every now and then. I am only a Target-loving human just like everyone else!
So how then if I am to love places like Home Goodes just as much as the next mom am I able to keep my house from become a literal explosion of clutter and disorganization? Strategies. After 10 years in the biz, I have developed some clear strategies that work time and time again. Some I learned easily, others the hard way, but the truth is, there is nothing like a good strategy to keep your house running like a well-oiled machine.
I’ve put together some of my top tips for keeping your home less cluttered without having to go through multiple, crazy steps to get there. Because when you are a mom, the easier, the better.
1. Minimize paperwork. If it can be found online or isn’t super important (like a birth certificate or a marriage license) avoid keeping the paper form of it. Paper is like a virus. It starts small and spreads exponentially until it is so out of control, you can’t find your way out. Toss junk mail before you even get into the house. Keep only what you really need and get rid of the rest.
2. Give everything a home. Everything! The enemy of a tidy home is when items are homeless. Everything in your house should have a home and if you can’t find a place for it, truth time, you probably don’t need it. When items don’t have a home, they often end up sitting on horizontal surfaces like the kitchen counters, desks and dressers. Instead of taking everything out of your pocket every day for a year straight and dumping it all on the dresser, have a specific place for your keys, your wallet and the loose change. Not only are things less likely to stay on the counter, but when everything has a home, people other than you can put them away (i.e tiny humans)
3. Set up a decluttering schedule. No this does not have to be complicated and you don’t have to search through Pinterest for ideas. This can be as easy as saying that one day per month, you will spend 30 minutes making rooms as uncluttered as possible. A great way to do this is as a blitz attack. Take a box or boxes and go around for 5-10 minutes, collecting as much clutter as you can. Garbage, things that aren’t in their home, things you want to donate, etc. A good 10 minute blitz attack can really take care of the clutter. Like anything else, the power of keeping a clutter-free existence is in the up-keep.
4. One-in, one-out method. I am a BIG fan of this. When you bring something into your home, like say, a new pair of shoes, toss one out. Or put it in a donation bin. Not only does this allow you to get rid of things you don’t need, but you aren’t sacrificing the fun of buying new things. It’s a win-win. If you buy a magazine, toss the last edition. If you buy a new winter coat, donate the old one. It’s like keeping a constant state of homeostasis in your home.
5. Develop a minimalist mindset. While this may take longer than some of the others, it can have a profound effect on your home and life. Most of us live with limiting beliefs and the thought that we need more. It is part of our DNA and now a part of our society. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting to have and be the best. I am all about breaking through your upper limits, but often we are surrounding ourselves with “things” in the hope that they will make us feel better, feel important. The truth is, when you develop a minimalist mindset, you become more aware of how little the things around you mean in your life. This is difficult when you walk into Target and see all the things. Like, of course I need that ceramic bird figurine. Mind your business. But is that bird figurine going to honestly fill you with joy or does it fulfill a need in the moment that won’t be there later. When you start to notice that you don’t need as much to feel happy, and in fact feel happier when you aren’t surround by clutter, you’ll feel yourself disallowing the clutter to come in in the first place. And ultimately, that’s what we want.
Ok, so you've got some great tips for keeping your home from collecting clutter, but what about the junk that's already there? Is the clutter taking over and causing you to think "It would just be easier to move to a yurt." The problem is, you don't even know what a yurt is and you love your home, so let's find a better way. I've designed a checklist just for moms like you who are ready to take the junk by the proverbial horns and get uncluttered for good. Download your free copy of the Purge it Like It's Hot list. Room by room, you'll find out what to toss for good