Do you struggle with clutter? I think if there’s one thing I hear all the time, it’s How do you keep things clean and organized? It’s a struggle we all face and I am by no means perfect but I wanted to share with you 12 Smart Ways to Declutter your Home & Keep it That Way!
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12 Smart Ways to Declutter Your Home & Keep It That Way!
Always Have a Donation Box on Hand
I used to only make a donation box when I was “cleaning out” but I LOVE having a Donation Box all the time, it’s so much easier to have a place to put clutter as you find it, so don’t wait till you’re cleaning out, Keep a donation box on hand at all times so you can add to it as you come across things you no longer need or use, that makes it quick and easy to get it out of your house.
This has seriously been one of the best things I ever started doing as far as getting rid of clutter and not letting it build up!
Don’t Wait to Toss
Instead of waiting to find time to do a massive clean out try getting rid of things as you come across them, or better yet getting rid of them before you bring them in your home. I have been known to toss kids meal toys in the donation box before we ever bring them inside :) Tossing things as you find them or realize you don’t need them is one of the best ways to get rid of clutter and keep your home organized!
Set Up Daily “Clean Up Times” for Your Family
It doesn’t take long to pick up the house when we all work together. I often set the timer for 10-15 Minutes before my husband gets home and have my kids help Pick Up all of their toys and stuff. Everyone works hard for 15 minutes then we’re done! As soon as they finish a job they come to me for a new job and we typically work on one room at a time all together so I can keep an eye on everyone! It’s amazing what 4 people can accomplish in just 10-15 minutes!
Use the Bucket System for Kids
Because our home is 2 levels we often have toys, books, blankets and stuffed animals that make their way downstairs. I have a “Bucket” for each kid where we can place their stuff then at the end of the day they can take everything upstairs and unload the bucket all at once. This avoids the constant walking up and down the stairs but also gives us a place to put things so they don’t get lost and aren’t laying all over the floor.
Let’s face it, the majority of clutter is often a factor of paper. If you can come up with a plan to go paperless on as much as possible you’ll not only be more organized but you’ll tackle the clutter too!
Try taking pictures of your kids artwork and school work, signing up for paperless bills, adding parties and events to an online calendar and using programs like Evernote to stay organized without the paper!
You’ve heard the saying “A Place for Everything and Everything in it’s place” With kids I find that having those places labeled helps keep everyone on the same page. That way you have LEGOs in the LEGO box and Dolls in the Doll Box. It’s really simple, but it’s amazing how labeling things forces you to assign a place to your stuff or toss it!
Create a Laundry Plan
Do you have a laundry plan? It’s a good idea to not only have set times to do laundry but to make sure you’re tackling more than just the clothing, Try setting up a simple plan that includes washing sheets, towels and pillows regularly. Staying on top of these tasks will help the whole house stay fresh and clean!
Related: Read these Laundry Room Organization Ideas for more tips!
Set Aside a Recurring Time for Deep Cleaning
I typically take Saturday Afternoon or Thursday Afternoon for Deep Cleaning, these are 2 times in my schedule where I sometimes have 2-3 hours I can block off for a project. By having a set time in my weekly calendar I don’t stress over accomplishing everything at once.
Tackle one room, closet, area in your home that needs to be cleaned out at a time, I have found that I rarely have more than 3-4 hours to devote to Cleaning Out or Deep Cleaning at a time so finding a consistent time has proven to be more effective in keeping our home organized.
Pick One Project and Focus
I like to apply the concept of Time Blocking to Cleaning, if I have 15 minutes I look for a task I can accomplish in 15 minutes and focus! If I have an hour, maybe I tackle something bigger like cleaning the floors or Kitchen Cabinets. I pick my task based on the available time rather than trying to tackle something I can’t finish.
If you are cleaning your whole house use Time Blocking to keep you motivated. Work hard for 30 minutes, then take a 5 minute break to get a drink and go the bathroom, then set the timer on your phone for another 30 minutes and focus on the task at hand. It’s so easy in today’s world to get distracted by Facebook, Text Messages, Kids, Laundry, etc. but you’ll be more effective if you focus exclusively on the task at hand.
Clean Out Your Fridge Weekly
I am notorious for leaving leftovers in the fridge so I try to clean out the Fridge every week after I grocery shop before I add new food in. Create a system so you know when you’ll go over this task. Because I do this almost weekly now I never really have to go through the fridge unless I’m pulling everything out to clean the shelves (Which I also do anytime they are empty enough to wipe down)
Determine Your Clutter Spaces & Make a Plan
What are the places in your home where things pile up??? For us, it’s the entry way area where my kids drop their stuff, the office and our Kitchen Bar. Those three areas are constantly piled with stuff. Find those problem areas and create a plan. Maybe you need a basket for mail, a File Cabinet for Paperwork or Buckets for Shoes and Command Hooks for coats. Identify the areas that are consistently a problem and come up with a solution for those areas. Attacking these 2-3 problem areas in my home is the majority of my clutter so If I can address those areas it helps my whole home feel more organized.
Get Your Kids Involved
Let kids get involved in cleaning out. Every year before Christmas I ask my kids which toys they play with the most and they want to keep, then I look through everything else to determine what we can get rid of. I like to start with Keeping what’s important rather than giving away because it puts the focus on what we love rather than just getting rid of stuff, different kids will have different personalities so you may have to work harder with some than others.
Deep Cleaning Tasks are also a really good way for kids to help! If you are cleaning out a closet let your kids wipe down the shelves with a Natural Cleaning Product. If you’re Cleaning out the Kitchen, Kids can Wipe down cabinets while you work. If you’re doing a bedroom let them vacuum the edges of the carpet or wipe down baseboards. Letting everyone be involved is a great way for kids to learn responsibility and how to take care of their stuff.
What are your best tips for Decluttering your home? This time of year makes me want to clean out everything, Freshen Up My Rooms and do a little Deep Cleaning!