Posted by Andie on August 20, 2017
Every year around the end of August I get a little crazy when it comes to home organization. With the start of a new school year I always love the idea of starting over and embracing new beginnings. Yes, let's try yet again to pretend that organizing my home comes naturally for me. Over the past few weeks I've gone through every closet, dresser and drawer in my home, and forced myself to part with everything that I hadn't used in a long time, or that wasn't essential. I'm feeling pretty darn awesome! I can breathe again!
While I'm super organized at this moment, I'm kind of scared to death that if I blink my house is just going to turn into a pile of clutter. Again. This seems to be a pattern for me. I'm really good and making the BIG changes to de-clutter and organize my space, but where I tend to struggle is in the upkeep AFTER the major purging session. Here are 11 daily habits to practice that will help you (and me!) live a healthy, satisfying, clutter-free life.....
1. Sort through your mail IMMEDIATELY after getting it out of the mailbox.
One of the biggest clutter offenders is thanks to our lovely postal service. We go out to the mailbox and retrieve our mail, then we pick out the envelopes that seem worth opening. We open up a few things, and then after a minute or two, we throw it all (junk mail included) in a pile on the desk or kitchen counter and walk away and go about business as usual. After all, It will clean itself up later, right? WRONG! Unless you live with your mother and she cleans up all of your messes, no, no it will not. Did you know that approximately 48% of the mail we recieve is junk mail? Finding it in piles around my house drives me crazy. Be kind to yourself, and sort your mail immediately. Throw the junk away in your outside garbage can before even walking into your home, and then once inside file the needful stuff right away. It's such a little thing, but it makes a huge differnece in your clutter situation.
2. Stop accepting "free things".
I get it. I like free things as much as anyone! Hello, they're FREE! But just because something is free doesn't mean that you need it, or that it will even prove to be useful. Whether it's a free mug from your chiropractor's office, an old lamp your friend is getting rid of (that needs a TON of tlc), or a box of mason jars that your neighbor thought you 'might use someday'.....think hard before taking anything home with you. Unless you know that you'll actually USE of fix the item right away, politely decline the offer and pat yourself on the back for saying no to clutter!
3. Clear off your kitchen counter.
Kitchen counters are clutter- magnets! How often do you actually USE your Kitchen Aid that's always on display? When is the last time you made toast with the toaster that's gathering dust in the corner? If you don't use it on a DAILY basis, find a home for it inside a cupboard or nearby closet. It's as simple as that. Your kitchen will feel cleaner, and ten times bigger when you put things away!
4. Make your bed.
I am a firm believer in making my bed every single day. I try to do it first thing when I get out of bed in the morning, because it sets a tone for the rest of my day. It helps me to feel put together, organized, and intentional. It also helps me have the motivation to immediately hang up or put my clothes in the hamper, instead of making piles. Plus, there is nothing better than turning down the sheets and climbing into a cool, made bed at the end of a long day. I swear sleep feels better!
5. Take the garbage out every night.
This might sound silly, but how annoying is it to wake up to a chuck full, smelly garbage can in the morning? Taking the garbage out every night after dinner is a simple way to keep your sanity, and keep your garbage situation under control.
6. Do a 15 minute clean-up before bed.
This one is easier in theory than it is in practice for me, but it's still a worthy goal! Once you finish cleaning up dinner and your kids are (finally) all asleep, if you're like me, the last thing in the world you want to do is clean your house! It's time to veg! If you can hold off fifteen minutes to do a quick sweep of the house you'll be very grateful in the morning. Load the last few straggler dishes into the dishwasher, sweep the kitchen floor, pick up all of the baby toys that got strewn around the house, straighten the family room, etc. Waking up to a clean house makes it worth it.
7. Teach your kids where things belong.
Easier said than done! If you're like me, it seems a lot easier to just clean things up myself, but really teaching kids and holding them accountable for putting their toys away is the best plan in the long run.
8. Know what you like.
Figure out what you like, and don't waste time or money buying things that you aren't in love with. Simple as that.
9. Designate a spot for incoming papers.
My house is always brimming with papers. Papers, papers, papers everywhere. Take a few minutes to set up a file system. When papers come in, file immediately into their designated folder or throw it away.
10. De-clutter your digital life.
This could be the most important point when it comes to living a de-cluttered life. You need to de-clutter your digital life just like you de-clutter your physical life. Assess the email newsletters, social networks (facebook, instagram, snapchat), online reading and viewing, blogs, forums, etc that you subscribe to and spend time on each day. Are they essential? Or are they a waste of time and energy? Can you de-clutter them? Also, try to reduce your commitments and practice saying no to non-essential things. GAURD YOUR TIME.
11. Don't hang onto things needlessly.
Avoid hanging onto things just for the sake of hanging on. Are you really going to wear that blazer from 1999 again? Ask yourself "If I was buying this now, how much would i pay for it?" That should help clear things up quickly.
What are the things that you do on a daily basis to keep your life un-cluttered??