6 EASY WAYS TO DECREASE CLUTTER IN YOUR HOME

In the last post we went over 5 ways clutter affects your health (click link to read it if you missed it). In today's post I want to highlight 6 ways to decrease clutter to help you along your decluttering journey.

Everyone has a different threshold for dealing with clutter. I’m sure you can remember being a child and cleaning something to perfection only to have your mom or dad walk in and point out all the things that are not in place. Well, just as you saw things differently from your standpoint as a child, adults too have different viewpoints on clutter. The goal here is to help you cut through what you view as clutter and the ways it affects your life and your health.


6 WAYS TO DECREASE CLUTTER-38

 

1) TACKLE ONE AREA AT A TIME

When it comes to decluttering, especially areas that have had a long time to accumulate things, don't bite off more than you can chew. That immediately leads to overwhelm and frustration and more often than not, you don't finish the task and end up making an even bigger mess. 

Instead of trying to do every junk drawer in your kitchen, choose one drawer and start there. 

 
2) DEVELOP AN IDEAL VISION FOR EACH SPACE

All it takes is one scroll session on Instagram or Pinterest to get home envy. When you admire other people's homes, think about what it is about the home that appeals to you. Is it the effortlessness in which the home seems decorated? The cleanliness? The feeling you feel when you imagine walking in? Try and figure out what your ideal vision is for a space and then get rid of every single thing that doesn't align with that vision. 

 
3) RELEASE THE ATTACHMENT

When it comes to items you've accumulated, chances are, you feel some sense of attachment to them making it hard to let go.

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine tracked brain activity after having participants sort through items to determine what to keep and what to toss. Some of the items belonged to the participants and some didn’t.

For those with a propensity to keep clutter, the regions of their brain associated with conflict and pain lit up when they were attached to something they thought to throw out. And the stronger the attachment, the stronger their brain activity was. 

But as we discussed in the last post, too much clutter is exhausting and frustrating (And did you know it can even make you fat? Read the last post for more on that!).

Appreciate the item for what it was and let it go. I've found that I feel great when I donate items I am no longer using or that no longer serve my home. And if it's not worthy of donating, well it's likely just trash.

 
4) SCHEDULE REGULAR MAINTENANCE

Put an alert in your calendar to regularly check and see how you’re doing keeping the clutter to a minimum.

You know how it goes, you put this one thing on the nightstand, that piece of mail on the counter and before you know it there is a mound of mail waiting to be sorted and you can’t even place your coffee mug on the nightstand.

Clutter sneaks up on you and regularly scheduled maintenance will help you keep it to a minimum.

 
5) SET LIMITS ON SPENDING

This one seems obvious but for many people that end up on the hoarding shows, and those of you that should be on, setting spending limits would help keep things in check. 

Determine a budget for buying new things and put limitations on it. For example, only allow yourself to buy a certain number of books, shoes, apps, or whatever it is that you have a tendency to shop for in a month's time. 

I know for me,  one place I often allow to get cluttered is my refrigerator. So I need to set a limit on buying new food before the old food is eaten. Take inventory on what that "thing" is for you and set some limits around it.

 
6) PUT SYSTEMS IN PLACE TO HELP YOU

This is a big one. Ever heard those people who repeat the "Everything should have a home" mantra? My mom is big on that one. Although I try and keep things tidy, I do have a little bit of a higher threshold for disorder than she does. 

And yours may be different than your friend's. But putting systems in place to help you will be key. 

Here are a few examples of what you can do:

  • Allow yourself to only buy one book after you've read the last one you purchased.
  • Donate 2 items of clothing for every new item purchased.
  • Use ALL of the mascara before you buy a new one. 
  • Go through the mail every day and make a decision about what to do. Pay the bill, file it in your home organization folder, or toss it.
  • Buy organizational tools that will help you give everything a home. ***NOTE: Don't allow this to be another excuse to buy something though, only buy what is actually needed and that you will use. If it just adds to the junk pile, it is hurting not helping. 

 

Brainstorm some ideas of what will work for you. Look through Pinterest and Instagram to determine what you like and then take action! 

 

I told you my biggest hoarding problem (my fridge), now it's your turn. Go to the comments and tell me what area of the house gives you the biggest struggle to keep from getting cluttered.

 

4 Comments
  1. Awesome article, thank you! I just de-cluttered my closet and wish I’d read your one-thing-at-a time advice first as I got seriously overwhelmed with clothes everywhere! But wow what a difference, can’t wait to do the rest of the house now.

    • Thank you Kath! One area, side, drawer at a time is key! Really makes a difference in your ability to get through it with the least amount of turmoil. And with less decisions to make (because you’re handling less stuff at a time), you can make wiser choices. Great job on the closet and I’m breathing a sigh of relief with you for having gotten through it. 🙂

  2. Brittani, I absolutely love this post and your take on how to declutter! Releasing the attachment is key in my opinion, and something we can all surely become better at. I know it took me a long time to be able to let go of things that I had stored memories in, but once I did and emptied my spaces, I felt absolutely liberated! Thank you for sharing!

    • You’re welcome Murielle! And thank YOU for reading. Decluttering is so immensely liberating. I have to fight the urge to buy new things once the space is cleared but I’m getting there! These tips are just as much for me as they are for my readers. Thanks for being one of them 🙂

      Brittani

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