“I can’t find anything!” “Get this stuff out of the way!” “Where did I put that?!” “Didn’t I just put this away?” “It was just right here!” If you’ve said, or shouted, anything like these phrases, you’re reading the right article. Even if these 5 tips aren’t anything new that you haven’t already heard about managing clutter, maybe they’ll be reminders, refreshers, or inspiration to help you get even just a little bit more organization from your clutter.
1. Everything has a place
This is a personal, family no-clutter method that’s been passed down among us moms, with good reason – it’s simply logical! You can say it’s the “Golden Rule” to not having clutter. It’s an easy concept. Everything has a place means every single item or group of similar items in your home should belong somewhere; somewhere that’s logical, intentional, and purposeful. So, if it’s out of place from being used, or from being put in the wrong place, it has a place to be put back to and is that much less clutter for you. If it has an intentional space, it can’t be clutter.
2. Apply the 1 year rule
You’ve probably heard it before, “If you haven’t used it in the past year, get rid of it.” Well, you’ve heard it again here. The logic behind this related to clutter is, the less you have in your space, the less opportunity for clutter. Simple.
3. Use baby steps
As parents of multiples, we understand baby steps; those first literal steps our pre-toddlers take on their way to walking. Precious once in a lifetime memories. Less momentous are the figurative baby steps to de-cluttering. De-cluttering one closet, the kitchen table, under one bed, the kids’ room, or even one plastic bin at a time is something. Take it as an accomplishment. The more organized the space, the less clutter it can have; one room, closet, table, or bin at a time.
4. Take the short time now, rather than the long time later
Whether you choose to incorporate the everything has a place method or whether you have plans to get rid of the things your family hasn’t used in the past year, take the time to put things where they belong in the moment. Taking this short time now will save a longer amount of time later looking for it, moving it, or climbing around it. Think of it kind of like your car’s maintenance; taking time for routine oil changes now protects your car from serious damage later.
5. Live life
As organized, unorganized, clutter-free, or chaotic as your home is, it’s a place that’s lived in. It’s real life. Don’t get overwhelmed with thoughts or intentions of de-cluttering your home in one weekend. Or, to the other extreme, that it never needs organizing. There’s a middle ground. Sometimes, our space needs to get cluttered. Let it. Then, clean it up.
Now, you have intentions and a plan to de-clutter. Good for you. Do it the best you can. If it’s applying the everything has a place method, if you’re going to get your family on board with getting rid of the things that have taken up space the past year, or if you’re simply going to put things away more efficiently, do it and keep doing it. It’d be a shame to spend your time initially planning and executing to de-clutter, only to have it back to a clutter zone a short time later. Embrace the organizational achievements, even the baby steps, as you live life.
Liza Mead is a stay-at-home-mama to fraternal twin boys and has a background in interior design and marketing, both of which she works in second to her favorite titles as Wife and Mommy. In Raleigh, North Carolina, when her twins are content or sleeping, she spends time organizing, being involved in church events, and event planning. She’s thankful for the blessing of each day’s new memories created. For articles by Liza on Twiniversity, click here.
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