Living clutter-free isn’t just a more pleasant way of living; it is great for mood, productivity and even your relationships. Many people find it extremely difficult to keep their homes free of clutter, and that’s because living without lots of extra “stuff” takes practice. Putting these six activities into practice will help you stay clutter-free as a lifestyle, so you barely even have to think about cleaning up your clutter on the daily.
DECLUTTER ONE SPACE AT A TIME
First things first: In order to be clutter-free, you have to declutter. It’s best to go through one area of your home at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed. However, even taking one room or closet at a time can seem like a gargantuan task. Be sure to plan out your decluttering ahead of time (for example, make a weekly plan to declutter your bedroom closet on Monday night, your nightstand on Tuesday night, etc.) so you will know your plan of action.
GIVE EVERYTHING A “HOME”
Marie Kondo’s popular decluttering book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up recommends giving every single item in your house a “home.” This means that every item — no matter how small — has a notable location in which to be stored. You’ll even take your wallet and keys out of your purse each day, for example, and place them in their home (perhaps that’s on a hook by your door, or in a small drawer next to your bed). Knowing that everything in your home has a particular home spot will help you avoid leaving things strewn across your home on a daily basis.
USE THE ONE IN, ONE OUT RULE
This rule, beloved by minimalists, is great for keeping your home clutter-free. For every item you buy, something has to be donated or recycled. One in, one out!
Cancel your subscription boxes, magazine subscriptions and any other type of program that sends you paper or physical items on a consistent basis. Anything you really want to buy or read, you can purchase yourself.
Next, go paperless on all of your bills and bank statements. No one needs messy bills and other unappealing papers scattered across their table.
HAVE FEWER SURFACES
Finally, minimize the number of surfaces in your home. Surfaces like end tables, coffee tables and shelves tend to collect items. If you can, for example, replace a side table and lamp with a standing lamp, you’ll have one fewer space to leave your morning coffee cup.