So you’ve decluttered your home. Now what? If your anything like me, you might be struggling not to fall back into your old habits. You don’t want all of your hard work to be for not! If you aren’t careful, the clutter can slowly creep back in and you will be right back where you started. That’s why you will want to follow these 6 steps to help you maintain a clutter-free home for good!
If you’ve spent time decluttering your home, then the hardest part is over. However, decluttering your home is never a once and done task. It’s something you will have to intentionally work on to keep it that way.
Your clutter problem is never solved once you’ve completely decluttered your home. There will always be things coming into and leaving your home, most likely on a daily basis. But there are 6 things you can do to help you maintain a clutter-free home.
1. Practice Intentional Shopping
If you’re reading this, then chances are you either are worried about the clutter in your home or you’ve just finished decluttering. If this is the case, then the clutter had to accumulate in someway. And chances are, shopping played at least a small role in the accumulation.
Once you go through all the hassle of overhauling your home, the last thing you want to do is fill it back up again. That’s why learning to practice intentional shopping is essential. Intentional shopping is just how it sounds. Only buying those items that you need, will use, or will love. It means not making impulse purchases. But instead creating lists of items you need or want for a particular purpose.
I keep a running list of items we need for different purposes in the notes section of my phone. But you could definitely use a piece of paper or notebook as well! I have lists for clothing items my boys might need, Christmas presents we intend to purchase, gifts for birthdays, showers, or anniversaries, and household items we are running low on. I also keep a list of items I might want when decorating our home as well as clothing items I might want for my wardrobe. But please note, these lists are usually very short. I tend to do my research, think minimally, and only list items that we truly need. When I’m out shopping, if an item isn’t on the list I won’t buy it.
2. Keep a Purge Bin
A purge bin is an absolute must to keep your home clutter-free. It’s inevitable that we are going to find more items to declutter as time passes by. Items will wear out, our styles will change, or our needs will change. So the things we own will change as well. And that’s okay.
Decluttering your home doesn’t mean you have to live with old, unwanted clothing, furniture, decor, or the like. In fact, decluttering your home should do just the opposite. You should be purging the items you don’t use or love to make room for items you do!
By keeping a purge bin in your home, you are preparing yourself for the inevitable items you will get rid of. We keep a purge bin in our closet. When we come across things throughout our home that we no longer use or love, we toss them in. Once it’s full, I donate those items or send them to the consignment store to sell. This system will help you avoid massive whole house purges in the future.
3. Reset Your Home Daily
Are you following a morning and evening routine? If not, you should be! Routines help you keep your home in check. It’s a natural reset at the end of the day.
Note: If you have struggled for years to create and, more importantly, follow through with a morning and evening routine, check out Crystal Paine’s courses. Both Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Evenings are amazing online courses you can take to help you simplify your routines and make the most of the time you have.
I follow a super simple morning and evening routine that I will be sharing more about in the coming weeks. I simply complete 5 tasks each morning and 5 tasks each evening that take me 15-20 minutes to complete. By doing these, I go to bed with a clean home and wake up to a clean home.
Do you struggle to keep up with the dishes? Or is the laundry overwhelming you in piles to wash, sort, fold, or put away? How about those toys that are overflowing from the baskets, bins, or toy boxes? All of these create visual clutter. And while they aren’t exactly clutter that needs to be purged, they are things that need to be dealt with in order to maintain a clutter-free home. I cannot stress enough the importance of a morning and evening routine to tackle these tasks. Your home will look and feel less cluttered and more peaceful.
4. Have a System for Paper
I think most of us struggle with paper clutter. If you aren’t a paperless home, then you are probably dealing with paper in some sense. And it can quickly get out of control if you don’t stay on top of it. That’s why having a system in place for all of the paper that’s coming into your home is essential to keep your home looking and feeling clutter-free.
We all have different needs so our systems for paper are going to look different. You might be interested in going completely paperless. If so, I highly recommend Donnie Lawson’s book The Paperless Home. In it, he teaches the step-by-step process to go paperless in a simple and easy to follow manner.
For me, I try to keep the amount of paper we have as minimal as possible. However, I’ve not gone completely digital just yet. You can see how we keep or filing system organized and how we stay on top of the daily paper influx.
5. Give Everything a Home
Clutter is created when we don’t put things away. And the number one reason we don’t put things aways is because they don’t have a home in the first place. Give everything in your house a place to live so that it doesn’t become clutter.
Think about all of the things that you see scattered on your floor, countertops, and furniture. These might include things like mail, shoes, backpacks or lunch boxes, notes from school, jackets or coats, and bags or purses. If it doesn’t have a place to live, you can’t put it away.
By setting up stations in your home, you give your items a place to stay when they are in use. For example, we have a shoe cabinet by our door. This holds our shoes, sunglasses, and keys.
My son has a hook hanging on the wall next to his closet where his backpack lives. I have a basket to keep my purse in our bedroom. I’ve created a binder for important school papers to live. And our jackets or coats get put away in our closets when not in use. It’s amazing how simply creating a home for everything can eliminate the clutter problem!
6. Create a System for Your Clutter Hot Spots
We all have clutter hot spots in our home. For me, it’s my desk. Yours might be an entryway table, your kitchen countertop, a chair in your bedroom, or your dining room table. A clutter hot spot is a surface where you set items down with the intention of it being temporary. They then accumulate quickly and the surface becomes overly cluttered. By the time you catch the problem, you’re overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you need to sort through.
Whatever your clutter hot spots, you need to have a system to deal with them and fast! If it’s not simple, you probably won’t follow through. For me, I’ve placed a basket on on my desk. It’s a place where I can set things that need to be sorted and dealt with. I make a point to sit down and sort through it at least a few times each week. I also keep a two filing bins above my desk. One is for any bills we receive that need to be paid and the other is where I store very important papers. These files help me keep these important items from getting lost in the shuffle.
Related Post: Take Control of Your Paper Clutter
If you’ve gone to the effort of decluttering your entire home, it’s important to keep do everything you can to keep it that way. By following these 6 simple steps, you can keep the clutter under control and enjoy your space that much more!