Mess and clutter can make even the most beautiful home inhabitable. Before you know it, clothes are taking over your bed, books and papers are taking over the desk, and plates are invading your kitchen counters. It is usual for the household to accumulate things as the years go by. However, the initial happiness that these things bring is quickly replaced by the frustration that endless clutter brings.
From decluttering to calling your trusted cabinet maker for your kitchen cabinets, here are some ways to keep clutter under control for a more orderly and relaxing home.
1. Assess and take stock of everything that you own.
By everything, we do mean everything. You can do this room by room. Ask everyone in your home to do the same. Start with the closet in your bedroom. Take out all your clothes and make a pile on your bed, Marie Kondo style. Go through each item in your wardrobe.
Chances are, you are only using around 30%-40% of the clothes that you have. Let go of the clothes that no longer fit. Let go of the dress you will never wear and just bought because it was on sale or because you saw it on a magazine spread. Be realistic and ruthless. You will never lessen your pile if you let your sentiments and emotions get in the way. Eliminate the excess. Clutter begins with having too much stuff than you need.
Aside from your clothes, you can also do the same steps with books, mugs, and plates, cookware, bed linens, toiletries, and media (VCD’s still in your media racks?). The journey towards an efficient home must begin with letting go of trash and things that you no longer need.
2. Plan your organizational system.
Before you go buying storage for the things that survived the purge, make a plan. How do you want to organize your things? Will you go by room or per function? Not knowing where some things should go is the first step towards clutter and chaos.
Have a system even for the simplest and smallest of things. Have an organization system for your bills. Set a system on which bills to keep and which bills you can throw in the trash. Have a place by the entryway where you can hang your coats and umbrellas. Designate a place where you can hang your keys to avoid losing your car keys when it’s time to go.
For your bigger belongings, decide if you can reuse existing storage that you have. Sometimes, you do not need to buy additional storage at all. However, once you have established that you do need extra storage, choose the appropriate type for your home.
Will extra shelving and cabinets solve the problem? Do you need storage bins to make things more organized? Planning for your storage and organization system is essential to avoid buying storage that you do not need and will not fit what you have in mind.
3. Call your trusted carpenter and handyman.
You can be tempted to do the work all by yourself to save some money. If you want cabinets and shelving that will last, hire a professional to do the job. You can ask your cabinet maker to make your additional closet space, a shelf in your living room, or pretty and sturdy hanging kitchen cabinets. Keep your kitchen counters, tables, and beds clear by putting things where they should be.
Cabinets are a great way to hide the clutter that would have been. If you will opt for open shelving, make sure that you have a system in place on how to make your belongings neater and organized, such as uniform storage bins. Avoid buying different types and colors of storage bins for a single shelf to achieve a coherent look.
4. One-in, One-out.
Implement a “one-in, one-out” rule. For every item that you bring home, one must go away. This can help you retain balance and control over the things that you own. If you do not do this, sooner or later, you will find that new items are already taking over your space, even with the new cabinets in place.
5. Put it away.
Once you are done using something, do not put it down on the nearest surface that you can find. Put it away where it should be. Are you done with the book? Return it to its shelf. Have you finished your coffee? Put the mug in the dishwasher. When everyone in your home follows this rule, you will have a tidy and manageable home.
6. Divide major chores.
Do not wait until the weekend to do some major cleaning. Subdivide your cleaning tasks into smaller ones. If you are folding and putting away washed clothes in your closet daily, you do not have to spend the entire Saturday folding them and putting them away. Put away groceries in your pantry every time you come from the supermarket. By doing tasks immediately when you can, your home will be less messy and cluttered.
Keeping your home clutter-free will take effort and everyone’s cooperation, but it is possible. An organized home can make you more efficient, and you will have a more relaxing space.