How To Easily Make Your Living Space Clutter-Free & Keep It That Way - Part 1

Make your home a happy space! How to easily declutter your living space & keep it clutter-free! Part 1 (The Health-Minded.com) #organization

This post is Part 1 of How to Easily Make Your Living Space Clutter-Free and Keep It That Way. Be sure to check out Part 2, which provides 12 easy ways to keep it a happy, productive space, clutter and and stress-free.


See a cluttered living space? A good chance a cluttered, stressed out mind is there, too.

Too much clutter can create the type of low grade stress that drains you of energy, focus and drive. It can be overwhelming to walk into a room piled with stuff and even sitting among all of it can bring you down. But being organized is not about having bragging rights to perfectly color coordinated files or alphabetized pantry items, but all about having more time for yourself and your family while enabling you to live a more balanced, healthy life.

I hope you have been able to start creating a living space that is more an expression of you and your lifestyle with my tips from  How to Design Your Space To Improve Your Mood, Your Health. But, another important step to making sure that space of yours is the healthiest refuge for you is to get rid of all the stuff that doesn't serve a purpose, isn't a reflection of you or your lifestyle, or maybe even adds stress to your day! So, let's devote a bit of time to making a stress-free space, narrowing down what you need, what you don't and then creating an easy plan to keep it that way.




Why DeClutterng Your Space Can Lead To A Healthier Life



If you are not convinced that those piles of clothes on the floor, mail spewed on the entryway table and unfinished projects on your kitchen counter affect your mood, your health, here are some reasons to consider taking a bit of time each week to clear away the clutter:


1.  Create a warm and inviting welcome. 

Walking through the door of your home after a long day and into an orderly space that says who you are shuts out the chaos of the outside world and helps you and your family unwind and release the stresses of the day.

2.  Focus on what matters. 

Too much clutter can easily overwhelm your brain and ability to focus, says this study. All the stuff around your space can distract you by drawing your attention away from what you want to focus on - your relationships and your goals.

3.  Add more free time.

If all the clutter is about, you end up spending a lot of time putting things away before you can even clean your space or start a new project.

You also spend a lot of time searching for the items you need. Your child can't find the scissors or tape for the school project and he or she is frantic, the bill you need to pay can't be found and now it may be late, you can't get dinner finished because you can't find the tomato sauce you bought last week and the other cans are expired, etc.


4.  Increase your concentration and get better results.

When you are not distracted by all the mess, you can concentrate on whatever you want to focus on a whole lot better.

Your ability to focus could also affect the results of certain projects. That school project will surely go smoother and the result may be a lot better if your child's supplies are there and that special dish may be a lot more fun to create (and even taste better) if you are not distracted by the piles of papers on your kitchen counter reminding you of what you need to do next.

5.  Your space will look cleaner, be cleaner and even smell better.

The visual vista from room to room will be so much clearer and brighter.  No visual interruptions of stuff.  And cleaning your space will go so much faster.  There won't be so much stuff to pick up, move, and put away to wipe away the dust and dirt.  Your place will smell better, too, when it is cleaner!




How to Get Started in DeCluttering Your Space

Here are a few quick steps to take first before decluttering that will help the process go smoother, be more effective and even make it a little fun (I promise!):

1.  Make a list of each room you want to declutter and choose the room or rooms that are bothering you the most or that would make the biggest impact on your life to declutter and begin there.

2.  Designate a day of the week and how much time you are willing to give to the job.  Keep to that schedule.  Even 30 minutes once a week can do wonders! And, once you have it decluttered, if you keep to the tips in part 2 in keeping your space clutter-free, a massive Herculean effort to declutter shouldn't be necessary.

Remember to enlist help! The stuff can't be all yours (unless you live alone) so find the clutter creators and persuade them to see the benefits and how you will tackle it together. Remind them of the timer and create dates together when everyone can work on the task.

3.  Pick up some free boxes (at least 5 but you will need more) from wherever you can get them - work, grocery store, neighbor that just moved in, etc.  (Try to recycle and don't buy any new containers.)  Then, label  the boxes with stickies or marker like this:
  • Trash
  • Give Away
  • Relocate
  • Not Sure
  • For Others
4.  Find a timer or use the one on your cell phone.

5.  Find a great playlist or two to keep your energy up and make it fun.

6.  Start planning something fun for yourself and your family when all the decluttering is complete. A special dinner, family outing, extra down time in the bathtub - whatever makes you smile.


Make your home a happy space! How to easily declutter your living space & keep it clutter-free! Part 1 (The Health-Minded.com) #organization

5 Step Process To Swiftly Clear The Clutter


Follow these steps to a cleaner, decluttered, happier space:

1. Pump up the volume on the music that you love and turn off your phone. That includes everyone. No interruptions or even daydreaming. Remember the time you set for yourself needs to be a focused period of time - otherwise, you will let yourself down and be frustrated on what you were not able to accomplish.

2. Set your timer and begin with the first box, Trash. Do a first sweep and walk through the space focusing only on what you can put in the trash box. Your space will immediately look lighter and better.

3.  Using the remaining four boxes, review the items in the rooms and place them accordingly. You may prefer to do this step by performing four separate room sweeps like in step 2 with each box category or focus on a part of a room and decide on an item and place it in the box where you think it fits.
  • Give Away: Some items you can decide on quickly for this. If in question, ask yourself if you have used the item the past year or if at all. If it is not of sentimental value or useful to your every day life, really consider giving it away.
  • Relocate: These are pretty obvious. Our stuff travels to other areas of our home where they do not belong. No need to put it back in its proper spot right now.  Just put it in this box for the moment..
  • Not Sure: This box is for items you can't immediately decide upon.  You are not sure if you want to give it away or keep it.  During the process, if your "Not Sure" box is getting too loaded down, don't worry! Just keep going through the room.  Don't stop and think too hard about it.  You will take that box and put it away for a bit and see if you miss anything from it.  If not, then you can give it away.
  • For Others: I added this box because I come across stuff that is not for me to decide.  For example, my husband has a busy schedule and accumulates a lot of papers and leaves them about. They are his papers and I don't want to toss anything important or of value to him. I respect that and put them in the "For Others" box with his name on it.  Then, when he is able, he goes through the box - often when watching a game! It's a winning solution for both of us as I don't have to look at the papers and he can go through them when he can focus on them
4. When the timer goes off, wrap up your last task, pick up the "Relocate" box and begin returning things to it's proper storage place.

5.  Place the "Not Sure" box in the basement or some other place you won't see it.  Wait and see over the next few months if you reach for any items in there.  If not, your "Give Away" box just grew!

Don't forget to thank your declutter team for their help and remind them of the next decluttering session and time.




Special Tips For Each Room


Here are some special tips and considerations for decluttering certain rooms in your house that may help along the way:

Bathroom
  1. This room can really get bogged down with a sea of bottles, serums, foams, lotions spewed all over the sink area. It is tough to clean all around those little things! Try to keep the sink area clear of the clutter. Keep the items you use daily at an easy to reach and accessible spot, but out of sight. (Bottom shelf of medicine cabinet perhaps or in a box that you can easily grab each day from under the sink.) The other items you use once a week or monthly or every now and then can stay in other storage caddies under the sink or on higher shelves in the medicine cabinet.
  2. Consider relocating your first aid kit items (band aids, rubbing alcohol, salves, ace bandage, etc) to another location.  We keep ours in our mudroom for easy access in case of an outside or kitchen injury.
  3. Review all medications (including over the counter ones) for expiration dates at least once a year.  I do this every spring.
  4. Larger clear containers are great to hold all those little tubes and whatnots we tend to collect. 

Bedroom
  1. The closet is a big task, I know.  I like the idea of the "one in, one out." Just as it sounds - if you bring something into your closet, you have to part with something from your closet.  A little tough but what a great way to keep it spacious!  I try to do this, but, I admit, I am not always successful.
  2. The thinner hangers that are velvet covered are a great aide to allow more hanging space and keeping tops from falling off and on the closet floor.
  3. Keep the items you use frequently at night (hand lotion, your reading glasses, lip balm, etc.) in an attractive container on your night stand and you won't have to dust around all those little things.  Or, if you have a drawer, use that of course. Keep the top as clear as possible of the tiny items.

Entryway or Mudroom
  1. At the end of each month, check all coat pockets, backpacks, gym bags and toss the food wrappers, shred receipts, return loose change to your wallet or bring to your car for tolls, etc.
  2. At the end of the season, take all coats, hats, scarves and have them mended, dry cleaned, etc. Consider storing out of season wear in another location and keep your entryway or mudroom for just seasonal items.

Kitchen
  1. Make sure to toss expired foods from pantry and refrigerator. I give my fridge a quick check each week the night before the garbage collector comes and toss what needs to be. The pantry, I check each fall and spring.
  2. Clear jars with lids are great for snacks, cereals, nuts and seeds and other little bits to keep them fresher and from spilling over and making a mess.
  3. Keep frequently used cooking tools in storage jars on counter for easy reach and keep your most used appliances easy to reach as well or out on the counter. The items you don't use often can go on higher shelves.

Living or Family Room
  1. Keep all remotes in a designated box or tray near the sitting area that is easy to access. (They might be less likely to go walking off.)
  2. Consider canceling magazine subscriptions you never get to read and clutter up your area.
  3. Keep throws and extra pillows in big basket near the sitting area to throw in easily and keep them off the floor.


Make sure to check out part 2 right here on how to easily keep your newly decluttered, stress-free, happier space clutter-free and a snap to clean.

What about you? Can you function in a cluttered space or do you feel more relaxed when your home is more organized? Share your favorite tip, if you like, in the comments.


For Even More On The Topic . . . 


34 comments:

  1. Great tips! I can definitely use some of them! My house looks good to the naked eye, but just don't open a door or closet! haha! It's all packed in there. I've been slowly chipping at one closet, drawer at a time.

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    1. To happens to all of us! I have some sorting to do myself. It is not about perfection but just about keeping the stuff from ruling our lives! Have a great weekend!

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  2. Love this - I'm actually thinking of hiring a professional organizer to come and help me with my studio. I'm really organized - but I know I am possibly missing some opportunities to maximize my space. :)

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    1. Happy to hear this approach can help! Good luck with the studio, and thanks for coming by!

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  3. I always feel better and healthier when I am living and working in a clean and organized space. My husband just doesn't get it! I'll tidy our room before going to bed, so I can wake up in a clean room, and he's like, "Whats the big deal?!" lol.. great post my friend! <3 - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. Oh yes! Same at our house. I'm with you! Waking up in clean space helps make for a great start!

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  4. I like that you've given tips for each individual room, Lori. I'm afraid I do easily get myself all cluttered, and so I will certainly be revisiting this post!

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    1. Glad to help you clear out some space for yourself and make more room to create all your great recipes, Helen!

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  5. I live with too much clutter, I am working on de cluttering... I have plans to move this summer and I have already told my daughter to be prepared to get rid of a good 50% or more... the older I get the less I want things... they just take up space... great ideas xox

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    1. When moving is a great time to take a hard look at all your stuff and don't bring the clutter with you! You can start new with a fresh beginning, clutter-free and simplified! Good luck with all that, Launna.

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  6. You have put together some great ideas de-cluttering. I especially like to do it while spring cleaning. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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    1. While spring cleaning is great, too! Thanks for coming by, Kathy.

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  7. Great tips — thanks so much for sharing! A tidy house is most certainly indicative of a tidy mind! I can't think when my house is cluttered :) #ShareWithMe

    Caro | www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

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    1. Me too, Caro! Glad you liked the tips here. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

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  8. I will definitely need to follow through on your advice. I can be the clutter queen! You should see my desk at work, sigh...

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    1. Oh, I know. I get it! Papers are never ending, but little by little I hope you can clear some of them away! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

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  9. Great tips!!! I do love a good chuck out and I think we are well and truly overdue for one! You have inspired me. It's now on my To Do list for the weekend ;-) Cheers!

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    1. Glad to hear I inspired you, Gretta! You will feel so much lighter, I promise. Make sure to check out part 2 to help you easily keep it clutter-free, too.

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  10. Wow this post is so in-depth! It gives me all the things and resources that I need in one read! Thanks for sharing. #sharewithme 

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    1. Thank you so much! I am so happy you found it helpful for you. Happy DeCluttering and on to a space you will love!

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  11. These are great tips. My mom and I were just talking about this because she wants to declutter her back yard! My stepfather keeps bringing things home and it is getting pretty cluttered back there and she can't stand it. #wowlinkup

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    1. Yes, even our outside areas can get filled up rather quickly! This strategy can certainly apply to outside space, too. You are a great daughter to help your Mom get ready for warmer weather and time outside!

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  12. One thing that I've noticed after decluttering is that the schtuff was weighing on me. The chores lying in wait, like sorting and organizing and (blec) dusting, were pressuring me without me even realizing it. Thanks for posting. Hello from Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party.

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    1. Yes, it is always playing in the background. Good to just dig in and do it and set some time in your schedule - even 30 minutes once a week or better twice can really help! Thanks for coming by, Melissa.

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  13. I really need to declutter my life I am the worse at throwing things away or getting rid of clothes and things I really don't need. I store things forever but what's the point if no one sees them to have them? Great post. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. Hope you are having a lovely weekend. #sharewithme

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    1. And I am ruthless when it comes to tossing. Most of the time, I never miss it, Jenny! Thanks for joining in!

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  14. I can't stand clutter in my house! I feel so stressed out when things get messy, and my biggest frustration is that sometimes i don't have enough time to organize and de-clutter things. I just need to commit to setting aside a little time each day for it! #wowlinkup

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    1. Just try to set a little time each week and I bet your will really see improvement. Start where it counts the most! Good luck and let me know how it goes!

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  15. Great tips. We're actually doing well, apart from the Tubblet's room. I've abandoned that to the Lego! #sharewithme

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    1. Good for you! And those legos can take over, I know. It is temporary so enjoy this stage, too.

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  16. Keeping our homes clutter free is a major challenge for many of us, including me so thank you for sharing these comprehensive and incredibly helpful tips with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop! I'm pinning and sharing.

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    1. You are most welcome, Deborah! Thanks for your generosity in sharing.

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  17. I love everything about this post! Clutter is no one's friend! Thanks so much for taking the time to link up with us over at the #HomeMattersParty - we hope to see you again on Friday!

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  18. Good insulation is really important! windows, doors, walls - everything! I still remember the inexplicable moisture in my previous house....was terrible!

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