How to Declutter your Home in 7 Easy Steps
Does your home always look messy, even though you feel like you're always cleaning? Perhaps you should consider whether you have too much clutter in your home. By saying that, I'm not suggesting that you're some kind of hoarder or slob. But sometimes, the size of a person's house is just too small for the amount of things that are in there, and it creates a look of constant disorder. You may need to scale back to the absolute minimum of what you need to live in order to keep things looking neat in your house.
Learn how to declutter your home in 7 easy steps.
1. Start with the worst offenders. The living room and kitchen are usually the two most used rooms in the house, and consequently are usually the rooms that collect clutter the fastest. It's easy to dump stuff on a kitchen counter or toss it on the couch or coffee table when you walk in the door. Remove anything that does not belong in these rooms, and train yourself to put things completely away when you come in the door. If you're having a hard time breaking the habit of dropping stuff as you come in the door, purchase some stylish baskets to keep near the door of those rooms. Make it your goal to keep the baskets empty by putting things where they belong. If you forget, at least the clutter will be contained and won't be such an eyesore.
2. Go through every room in the house (one at a time) and remove everything from drawers and cabinets. This is a time-consuming process but it is easier to start with an empty space and fill it instead of simply pushing things around.
3. Divide every item into categories. You can use heavy duty trash bags or boxes for this part. Everything that you find should go into a category: KEEP, THROW AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and RELOCATE. Items that will stay in that room are to keep. Things that you don’t need or are broken can be thrown away. Clothes or furniture still in great condition can be donated. Anything that definitely belongs in another room can be labeled for relocation when you get to that room.
4. Do not start a new room until you have completely finished the previous room. Once you have decided what will stay in that room, place items in the drawer or cabinet where you want them. Throw away the trash, put the donate box in the car so it can be taken care of right away, and place the relocate box in the next room in which you will be working.
5. Do not completely fill your spaces. Get rid of enough stuff to leave extra room in your drawers and cabinets. If every space is filled to maximum capacity, you will constantly be knocking things over as you get things in and out of the drawer or cabinet. (Tupperware avalanche, anyone?) Leave plenty of room to get things in and out while keeping them neat.
6. Keep as much as possible out of sight. Even with only the essentials remaining in a room, things can still look cluttered when you have random items sitting out in full view. Use attractive containers or baskets whenever possible to keep everything contained and out of sight.
7. Once you have successfully removed clutter from every room in the house, implement the “One in, one out” rule. (Every time something new comes into the house, something else has to go.) This will keep your house from becoming full of too many things and creating the need to declutter all over again.