A cluttered home can lead to a cluttered life and a cluttered mind. You don’t need to get extreme to achieve a better balance-simply getting rid of things you don’t need and paring down your belongings can do wonders for your home’s aesthetic. If you think decluttering has to be expensive, timely, or professionally done, think again. Here are a few strategies to help you effectively declutter your home.
1. Visualize how you want the space to look
Before getting started with the decluttering process, take a second to visualize how you want the space to look after you’re done with it. What are your goals for space? What does an organized closet or room look like? How do you feel in your new space? Though it might sound silly, actually thinking about your new, clean space can help manifest it and make it a reality.
2. Become a minimalist
Get rid of all the unnecessary belongings in your house. According to House Method, you should separate all of your items into three piles: one for donating, one for keeping, and one for throwing away. A good rule of thumb is if it brings you joy and is useful, keeps it. For items that aren’t really functional, are duplicative, or just take up space, consider giving these away or trashing them.
3. Don’t be afraid of empty spaces
Sometimes. a table should merely function as a table and not some decorative statement piece. Likewise, every wall doesn’t need something on it and every corner of the room doesn’t need to be filled. Get into the mindset that less is actually more.
4. Hide your appliances
So, you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, a monogrammed cheese board, a Chemex, a toaster, a coffee pot, a fruit bowl, and a spice rack that rotates. That doesn’t mean you need to display all of them in your kitchen. If you can’t prepare a meal without moving all of your appliances around, it’s time for a change. If you only use an item once a week (or less), store it in a cabinet or drawer. Try to be functional with placement. For instance, put the baking dishes near the oven and the coffee mugs near the coffee pot.
5. Create a chore calendar
Following a chore, the calendar creates a routine and prevents you from doing three hours of cleaning every Saturday morning. Establish which member of your household will do which chore every week. If there are daily things that must be done, like washing the dishes or picking up the living room, make sure you mark these and set clear expectations for the entire family.
6. Clear your kitchen counters
Go through your kitchen and determine which small appliances and tools are essential and which ones you only use occasionally. Prioritize your cabinet space by putting those “sometimes” items on top shelves or in the back corners, so frequently used items get prime real estate. This makes it much easier to grab the toaster in the morning and put it back where it belongs when you’re done instead of letting it sit out all day. Save your counter space for the few things you use every day (like the coffee maker) and you’ll find it’s a much less chaotic scene.
7. Drop shoes and coats at the door
Oftentimes, your shoes, purses, and jackets can find their way all over your house-the back of the living room sofa, on top of a dining room chair, on the kitchen table. Prevent this accumulation by creating a space designed specifically for these items. It doesn’t have to be a picture-perfect drop zone; it can be a shoe cubby by the door and a few hooks on the wall for your jackets and coats.
8. Implement a filing system
There’s nothing worse than having piles of mail, bills, and magazines scattered throughout the home. Grab a cup of coffee, turn on some background music, and sort through your mail. Once you’ve figured out what needs to be kept, recycled, and managed, create a filing system for the important things. Consider using a filing cabinet for long-term storage/important documents and having a small basket by your desk for pending items (like bills).
9. Go room by room
If you feel overwhelmed with the task of decluttering your entire house, start small. Start with a smaller room, like the bathroom, and go through all of the items in the space. Create piles for keeping, donating, or throwing away. Make these three piles in each room you tackle. By the end of your decluttering session, you should have bags of stuff that can be thrown away or donated to a local charity.