Nothing drives the motivation right out of me more than clutter. This post is all about how to stop clutter right now so you can catch your breath and prepare to clean it all out!
Are you like that?
Exhausted and so tired of all the stuff in your home? Seriously, how can you find the energy to cook when you can’t even see your countertops? Or pay bills if your desk is completely hidden under mounds of paper?
Learning to keep your spaces clear and clean really helps to cut the stress that clutter just seems to bring out.
Now, I know you are probably not ready to declutter your house right here and right now. Decluttering can take a while to do. And that is a good thing. Slow and steady decluttering not only helps you do things without overwhelm but it allows you to learn to see your things in a new way.
I also don’t want you to think that decluttering is a one time and done thing. Instead, look at decluttering as something that needs to be done all the time.
Just like doing the laundry or paying the bills. It needs to be done every week so you don’t get dangerously behind.
Luckily there are a few things you can do right now to stop clutter enough to catch your breath. To keep it from getting any worse than it is right now. No, this isn’t going to fix the problem but it will give you a little space and a quick peek at what a clutter-free home will look like.
And that right there might just be the leg-up you have been looking for.
6 Things You Can Do Right Now Stop Clutter
TIP #1. If you See it and Don’t Need it Get Rid of it.
How many times do you open a drawer or a cabinet to grab one thing and see 5 other things you haven’t touched in months? Take a few seconds to remove a couple of items while you are in there. By keeping decluttering on your daily routine radar it will really help to keep junk drawers, junk cabinets, heck even junk rooms from forming out of nowhere.
TIP #2. Always, Have a Donation Box in your Home.
This is my number one tip of all time and the very best way to stop clutter from growing. When you always have a donation box (or three) put in your home you can toss items into it as you come across them.
Better yet use a decorative basket like this one so you can keep it out as a visual reminder to fill it up. Once it is full just dump it into your donation box and immediately tape it up and put it into your car.
Next time you are out, drop any donation boxes off. The quicker you drop those boxes off the less likely you will be to open them up and remove things.
TIP #3. Find a Place to Put Things Now and Put Away Later.
There is nothing worse than getting sidetracked. So, don’t be tempted to stop folding clothes to put a toy back into your child’s room. Before you know it you are making beds and cleaning bathrooms while the laundry sits unfinished. Instead, find a quick place to put things until you can devote time to actually putting them where they belong.
Catch all baskets work great as temporary holders so you can keep your focus on the task at hand where it needs to be. Take this tip one step further and scatter a few of these baskets throughout the house.
Read all about our Catch-All Basket System to find out more tips and really save so much time throughout the day. This is a time saver and clutter buster tip all rolled into one.
TIP #4. When you are Doing Laundry, Enlist the Family.
Whenever I am getting ready to wash clothes, I will make an announcement. “If anyone has any dirty clothes, get them in the laundry room right now or you will be washing them yourself!!”
Immediately my family will grab socks, PJs, dirty shirts, underwear, and towels that seem to end up everywhere OTHER than the hamper. Arms full they come with their clothes dumping them into the basket. Instant declutter trick right there.
Threats of labor are like gold in my home. 🙂
Need a bit more help? Read 5 Decluttering Rules Organizing for Beginners
TIP #5. USE this Hanger Trick to Clean out Your Closet.
I stumbled upon this little gem of a tip months ago and it is a stop the clothes clutter game changer. Right now, go into your closet and turn every single hanger you have backward. Each time you remove an item to wear, turn the hanger around so it is facing the correct way.
At the end of the month, you will easily see what you wear and what you don’t. If after a few more months you still have hangers that have not been turned, it is time to donate those items. This, in my opinion, is the easiest way to keep a closet clutter-free.
I promise you will love a decluttered closet more than a stuffed full one. It is also a great way to have your clothes last longer. Crushed clothes can stretch and even tear things so by having a less cluttered closet saves money too.
Easy, painless, effective.
TIP #6. Before you Go Shopping, Go Shopping!
Before heading out for a day full of errands, take a shopping bag and walk around your home. See how many things you can remove before you bring in anything new.
You will be amazed how this visual reminder of all the “stuff” you already have in your home will be just enough to keep you from buying anything new.
Another perk is sometimes what you are heading out to buy you already own. This happens more than you may think and this walk before you shop is a great way to save money as well.
Ninja tips to really stop clutter. If you already do these things here are a few “extras” for the advanced and daring.
NINJA TIP #1 – Get Rid of Your Dressers.
I do not suggest this if you do not have a large closet. If you do I would highly recommend it! We keep all of our clothes in our closet. We have shelving for shirts and jeans, plenty of hanging for tops, dresses, and suits, and basket drawers for our undergarments.
The nice thing about no dressers in the room is always neat and tidy. Once the bed is made, the room is done.
This is super important if you want to start your day off on a good note and also end your day in a calm and orderly environment. Oh ya, no dressers mean just one less thing to dust! Winner. 🙂
NINJA TIP #2 – Keep those Counters Bare.
Like I said before, it is hard to cook when you can’t see your counters. Imagine this: Pristine counters with just the bare minimum on them. AT ALL TIMES.
I cannot tell you how much keeping my kitchen clean and has kept me sane. Always having that one room clean keeps me from feeling crazy when other parts of the house fall a bit behind. My biggest tip in the kitchen is to only keep out what you use every single day.
For our family that means a coffee maker and a toaster and nothing else. Every other appliance is put away until I need it. It takes just a few seconds to get the mixer out on baking day, so why keep it out all week?
NINJA TIP #3 – Create a Weekly Planning Basket to Stop Clutter.
(I learned this nifty trick from a good friend of mine.) Ask anyone and they will tell you, paper clutter is the biggest issue they have in their homes. Why? Because it comes in every single day. Mail, school papers, newspapers. Every day. Without fail.
Tossing things into a drawer can lead to unpaid bills. Yet keeping piles of papers on your desk or counter just won’t work either. Use this ninja tip to keep paperwork under wraps and still get the attention it needs.
A Weekly Planning Basket is simply that. A basket that will only get looked at on Sundays. Now, it doesn’t have to be Sunday but I have found that is the best day since there are few distractions. Use this basket to put in any papers that you would like to look at further. Each Sunday, sit….read….sort…..done. Easy peasy!
Too much paper clutter? Then let’s do a quick jump start, shall we?
First, find a basket or bin you can use to put all paperwork in. Take a quick trip around your house gathering up all the papers you can find. I would recommend a laundry basket for this part. It holds a lot and it’s easy to carry. 🙂
Once you have all the papers, find yourself a comfy spot. The goal here is to touch every single piece of paper. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it need to be paid? If it’s a bill put it in a pile labeled, you guessed it…BILLS. Bills should always be paid on the same day each week. Designate a drawer or basket where you usually do your budget/bills. From here on in as a bill comes in you will immediately place it in its new spot. And relax, knowing your bills will get paid or at the very least looked at each week. No more late fees!
- Does it require fast attention? If it’s an invitation, donation request, school papers or other time-sensitive items put them into a “check daily” spot. I have a spot right on top of my desk for such items. These get looked at every day or two so I know they will be taken care of first.
- Does it interest me? Magazines, letters, newspapers, catalogs are all items I like to look at. These get placed in my Sunday basket. A Sunday basket is just a place for things I want to check out while I am taking a break on Sundays. In our house, this is the perfect day for sitting back and getting caught up.
Remember you didn’t get a cluttered home overnight so take this slow. If you rush it you will only fix it temporarily. Learn to create new habits by decluttering a little every day. Teach yourself to sort as you go and keep only what you need, use or love.
Clean counters, clean house, clean mind. If you live in a cluttered home, chances are you have a cluttered head. Keep your home and your head tidy, takes steps right now to stop clutter, and clear of clutter and stress!