This post is Part 2 of How to Easily Make Your Living Space Clutter-Free and Keep It That Way. You may want to tap the green link for Part 1, How to Easily DeClutter Your Living Space and Keep It That Way, and find out exactly, step-by-step, how to declutter your space painlessly. This post covers how to keep it stress and clutter-free!
Is clutter now a fuzzy memory at your place? Feeling lighter, less stressed? How about more organized and productive? I say, "High-five!"
I do hope my strategy in How to Easily DeClutter Your Living Space and Keep It That Way, Part 1 paid off and got you and your place where you want to be. So, allow me to go a step further and help a bit more. Let's do our best to keep you out of the land of stuff and more in the zone of clutter and stress-free. Come along and find out just how to go about that and keep your space a happy place.
12 Top Strategies For Keeping Your Space Clutter and Stress-Free
1. Staying clutter free actually starts when you are not even home.
Yes, that is right. It begins when you are out running errands and shopping. Those shopping trips can really kill all your hard work to declutter your space by bringing new clutter right through the door. So, please, think hard, and think hard again if what you are about to purchase is really needed. Will it change your life or make it easier? Will it take up space and require lots of care? Just think about it in that way. You may save yourself a big hassle while keeping your wallet a bit heavier with cash.
2. It isn't the things in our lives that make us happy: it's our experiences and relationships that make for a rich life.
It could be that the money you have used for more stuff could be used towards a beautiful vacation, a class teaching you a new skill or surprising your family with tickets to an event.
Now, for tips on the more practical side . . .
3. Know thyself.
Like the look of open shelving? Me, too, but it really looks its best when it is kept clutter-free. Get to know yourself and if you won't maintain it, keep your stuff in closed spaces such as drawers and cabinets.
4. Create a clear horizon.
Keep home surfaces as clear as possible. Keeping smaller items on your desk top and nightstand can be visually unappealing. A clear desk and nightstand can really do wonders to keep a clear mind. Try stacking some decorative boxes for all the small stuff and still keep access to what you need. Try to clear off your workspace and tidy up at the end of the day to start the next day right, too.
Create designated spaces for frequently used items and supplies so that you can quickly and easily find what you're looking for when you need it. Keep the items you rarely use in higher shelves.
When you take something out of its designated space to use it, though, put it back after you complete the task for which the item was needed and do so right away. Or, another approach that works with families is at the end of the day, grab a basket or tray and go room to room for 10 minutes putting items that do not belong on it and bringing it to the room that should contain it. Everyone can help with this or take turns with the task. Then, when you wake up the next day, the space is tidy with everything where it should be. A nice way to begin your day.
6. Kick off your shoes.
Shoes that everyone throws off when they enter can create a lot of clutter. Create an area for them or at least have a large bin near the entry to hold them. Then return them to the bedrooms at the end of the day or keep often used ones in a closet in your entry.
7. Sort your mail.
If you can't go through the mail right away, create a basket where unreviewed mail is placed. When you do go through the mail, try to make it through the pile all at once. Toss and recycle what you can first and then place remaining mail in one of these files or baskets/trays:
- Bills to pay
- Read Later-magazines, articles, local papers (I grabbed this a lot as I was running out the door to pick up my children at an event that I knew I may have to wait in the car or when I have an appointment that I knew I would be waiting too.)
- Coupons (or immediately put in your wallet so you have it when you at the store)
8. Give unfinished work a home.
Create a pending folder for your desk area. This strategy helps you clear off your work space and keeps distractions at bay. But, should you need something quickly, you can easily locate what you need.
Make your bed every day, and watch how much bigger and cleaner your bedroom looks. If you find yourself resisting that, it may be your bedding is too complicated. Create a simple and serene bed area with less fuss.
10. Dirty dishes don't belong in the sink.
Try to get everyone to load the dishwasher after they use a dish. It is only one extra step and keeps the sink and counter clear of clutter . . . and bugs.
No need for them to clutter your counter or dining room table. Keep project supplies on trays. Stash all the glue, tape, crayons, pencils or other items stacked on a tray that can be quickly moved when necessary or put in a closet. Then, when you want to come back to it, it is there and you can jump in where you left off.
12. Smile and begin again.
Life gets hectic and there are a lot more important things in life than having the perfectly organized home. So, if you get off track keeping up, no panic necessary. Revisit How to Easily DeClutter Your Living Space and Keep It That Way, Part 1 to get your space functioning better again for you in no time.