7 Easy Ways to Cut Clutter — This Week!
Do you ever feel like you’re drowning? Drowning… in clutter?
Yep, I’ve been there too. A certain amount of clutter is an inevitable part of life, especially mom life. But if you’re starting to feel like your clutter is getting out of control, check out these simple tips that will help you cut clutter — this week!
1. Adopt the One-Minute Rule
The one-minute rule is so simple, yet so powerful:
If you have a task to do and it can be completed in a minute or less, do it right away.
This can apply to so many types of tasks, but it’s super powerful when it comes to clutter.
- Heading upstairs? Grab that pile of laundry that needs to be put away and take it with you.
- Putting some dishes in the sink? Rinse them and place them directly into the dishwasher instead.
- Walking past the laundry room? Stop and move a load from the washer to the dryer.
Clutter doesn’t just appear all at once — it comes from a slow build-up of items not being put away or dealt with as needed. So adopting the one–minute rule can help you reverse the trend and start reducing your clutter right away!
2. Start an Effective Evening Routine
How long does it take for clutter to start building up at your house? At my house, it seems like we can go from neat and tidy to cluttered mess in a matter of minutes. Maybe even seconds.
My clean kitchen sink and counter fill with dirty dishes as soon as my back is turned, I never really see the bottom of the laundry baskets, one trip to the mailbox and I’ve got a towering pile of incoming papers to deal with, and approximately forty-five seconds after my son wakes up in the morning there are toys everywhere.
The good news is that it’s easier to catch up than you might think, simply by adopting an effective evening cleaning routine. The even better news is that you’re probably already doing some of the tasks that should be included in this routine. Here’s what I find to be essential to get done in the evenings:
- do the dishes/load the dishwasher and tidy the kitchen
- finish any laundry for the day
- do a quick fifteen minute clutter/toy pick up around the house
And that’s it! Of course, many times I include other tasks, but even if I get just these three tasks done, I find our house stays tidier, longer!
(p.s. I created a free Evening Routine Checklist to make it even easier to stay on track with this habit.)
3. Handle the Mail Right Away
Mail can pile up so fast, and a lot of it is just junk. How many times do you really want to handle that junk mail? How long do you want to look at it?
The best way I’ve found to avoid piles of junk mail (or bills that get lost in piles of junk mail) is to sort it right away.
If I’m the one who brings it in, I sort it as I walk into the house and immediately place junk in the trash and important items in the spot designated for them.
If my husband brings the mail in, we have a tray on a shelf in our entryway where he puts it and I try to get it sorted before the end of the day.
Junk mail piles = a thing of the past!
4. Commit to the “One In, One Out” Rule
If you struggle with clutter because you love to shop and/or you tend to overbuy things, this rule can be a game-changer. Every time you buy something, you must let go of something else. You can even up the ante a bit and make it one in, two out if you really need to clear the clutter.
Not only does this make you think twice about bringing new stuff in, but it can help you start to weed out your accumulated clutter one piece at a time. If you’re overwhelmed with the idea of doing a big decluttering project, this would be a good way to get your feet wet.
5. Create a “Donation Station”
Another super simple way to start removing clutter from your home when you feel overwhelmed is to create a “donation station” so you can declutter on the fly.
All you have to do is place a box or bin in an out of the way spot in your home. Then, when you come across an item that isn’t serving you anymore, but isn’t in bad enough shape for the trash, you can simply place it directly into the box.
When the box fills up, drive it to the donation center and voila! you’ve removed an entire box full of stuff from your home with a minimum of effort.
6. Turn Your Hangers
If you are interested in streamlining your wardrobe, in particular, this is a great way to start. First, go into your closet and turn all of your hangers so that they’re facing the wrong way. Then, as you wear clothes, turn the hangers the right way.
This gives you a great visual of which clothes you’re actually wearing and which are just taking up space in your closet. Then you can let go of the clothes that aren’t being worn without feeling guilty about it!
7. Store Toys Out of Sight
If toys are creating a lot of clutter in your home, try this: pack away all but a few of your children’s favorite toys in boxes and place them in a closet, the garage, or another space where they’re out of sight.
If your children ask for a specific toy, go ahead and get it out for them. But chances are, a lot of the stored toys will be completely forgotten and can easily be sold or donated.
This is also a great way to get into the habit of toy rotation, which can help keep the toys you’re hanging onto from being scattered all over the house AND encourage your children to enjoy the toys they have even more.
It’s Time to Tackle That Clutter!
As you can see, these are simple habits and techniques that anyone can use at any time. And the best part is the results start to show right away! So rather than being overwhelmed by your clutter, you can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel within days.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below: what’s your favorite clutter-busting strategy?
Hi, I’m Sarah! I’m a wife and (mostly) stay-at-home mama of one sweet boy. At Sarah Ever After, my goal is to share practical advice on decluttering and simplicity, natural living, and finding joy in everyday life. If you’re ready to simplify your home and you want to set yourself up for decluttering success, come visit me there and get a free copy of my Get Ready to Declutter! printables pack!