No one enjoys feeling like “home” is a cluttered, disorganized mess. If left unchecked, mail begins to pile up, books overflow from shelves, clothes start to spill from drawers or closets, and even decorations or keepsakes take over your flat surfaces.
Long story short, items add up, and decluttering can quickly seem close to impossible.
A few easy-to-follow tips can remedy your cluttered situation, however. A combination of organizing, thinning out, and regularly re-evaluating what you need can make a huge difference.
Tips for Living a Less Cluttered Life
Clutter is simple: You either have more than you need or do not have an adequate storage system to organize what you have. Decluttering takes a time commitment, but doing a thorough job one time can save you hours later. Here’s how to make organization and decluttering happen.
1. Put things back in their appropriate rooms. Take cups and plates back to the kitchen, hang coats in the hall closet, put books back on your bookshelf, and bring clothes to the bedroom to go back in the closet.
2. Grab a couple of extra boxes, one for donations and one for the trash. You’re going to need these for step three.
3. Sort what you have. Once items are in their appropriate rooms, group like things together and thin them out. Gently used items that you do not use should go in the box to donate, and those that can’t be reused go in a to-throw-out box. This applies to clothes, shoes, accessories, kitchen items, office supplies, books, movies, decorations, hobby gear, and everything else.
4. Sort your cupboards and household goods. Examine your cleaning supplies and use up items that are running low, then recycle the bottles. Sort makeup and cosmetics, throwing out old or used up items. If unopened nonperishable goods are taking space in your kitchen cupboards, and you aren't interested in using them, consider donating them to a food bank.
5. Refold or rehang clothing, even things that are already hanging or in drawers. Use matching hangers in your closet to save space, and refold those in drawers to create straight lines and easy-to-find arrangements.
6. Baskets, bins, and storage boxes are your friends. Keep items organized in storage baskets, which can easily be stored out of sight in closets, under furniture, and in bathroom cupboards. Utilizing these spaces for storage can help, especially when living in an apartment. Group like things together, making it easy to know where to find what you need.
7. Organize your bookshelf. Group books by color, then organize them from tallest to shortest. If you have room, use decorative items to break up the color groups and create an eye-catching, decluttered display wall.
8. Designate places for your things. You get organized by taking the time to declutter. You stay organized by knowing where to put things when you’re not using them.
Remember, you don’t need to display everything you own. You only have so many tables, dressers, shelves, windowsills, and other hard surfaces. It may not be feasible to have everything you own and love out at the same time and still have that decluttered look. Consider rotating your décor a couple of times per year, putting some items away in a protective box and keeping out about half of what you usually see.
Keep up with your organization plans, and you’ll be living a decluttered life for years to come.