Want to be proactive about preventing clutter at home? If clutter is piling up and negatively affecting your mental and physical health, it may be time to try a different approach. From home organization tips to lifestyle advice, here are ten ways to help prevent clutter in your living space.
Gauge Your Storage Needs
A great home decluttering idea is to take note of what you own, and then measure your home and storage spaces to determine your storage capacity. Remember to consider other household members—as more inhabitants means more household clutter to put away. Challenge yourself by reducing the amount of storage space available to you—whether that means setting item limits on closets, keeping a shared dresser stocked with in-season clothes only, or keeping a designated spot for outdoor supplies in your garage. This will motivate you to bring in fewer items and let go of those you no longer need.
Adjust Your Buying Habits
It’s easier to maintain a clutter-free home if fewer things are taking up space. That’s why a top preventative decluttering method is to adjust your spending habits and cut down the number of new items you’re bringing home. This minimalist decluttering idea is easy to follow—only buy what you need. In order to maintain an organized kitchen, for instance, it’s best to purchase individual items as you need them rather than buying sets, as a set will likely include items you won’t use. Other ways to declutter your house include ensuring you know where you’ll store something before buying it, going on a buying freeze, using the “One In, One Out” rule so items don’t accumulate, or saying “no” to free things until storage space opens up.
Routinely Go Through Your Things
Having a clutter-free house isn’t the result of a one-and-done decluttering session. You’ll need to form a regular decluttering schedule to ensure a consistently clean and organized home. Set decluttering dates and utilize daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning checklists so you stay on top of clutter. For daily decluttering, remember to put things away as you use them, such as makeup, kitchen utensils, or toys. Every week, take any donation boxes to local charities or check your pantry for unwanted food items. And set aside time each month to remove clutter by deciding which household items you no longer need. If you live with roommates or family members, consider making decluttering and purging a regular activity that can be celebrated with a game night or fun outing after it’s done!
Declutter & Organize by Room
Trying to declutter your home all at once can be overwhelming—so stick with a scheduled, room-by-room approach. Pick one space in your home and get rid of clutter by removing anything that doesn’t belong there, and then organizing what’s left. Repeat the process for each living space you’d like to work on. If you choose to declutter room-by-room, set a concrete goal to conquer each area—like clearing everything off the coffee table or going through three pantry shelves—before moving on.
Give Everything Its Own Space
To prevent a cluttered living space, give all items a designated home. Store items where you use them—like pens in a jar on your desk or blankets in a tub near your couch—to encourage the habit of putting them back where they belong. Keep smaller spaces like junk drawers clutter-free with labeled baskets or dividers. Set up designated boxes or stations for items you want to donate, sell, or dispose of to eliminate clutter between house purges. Label containers for each of these categories to make getting rid of your decluttered items hassle free and organized.
Create a Landing Strip
Stop clutter in the home before it begins by creating a front entrance landing strip! This zone will allow you to sort and get rid of clutter from outside that would otherwise spread to the rest of your home. Landing strips might consist of a table, shoe mat, wastebasket, wall hooks, and a mail holder. Don’t be afraid to adapt this space to your lifestyle—add more hooks for household members or move your drop zone to the back door if you enter there more often. An effective landing strip should reduce clutter by preventing it from even coming into your home.
Try Out Digital Storage
Particularly helpful for organizing your home office, another effective tip for decluttering is to utilize digital storage! Go paperless by signing up for electronic newsletters, bills, and statements, and use tools like DMAchoice.org to reduce unnecessary mail. Digital storage can also be useful for reducing clutter you might want to keep but don’t want lying around—like medical documents, report cards, schoolwork, and family photos. Scan documents and photos to a hard drive or upload them to your preferred storage service for a secure, convenient solution that minimizes paper clutter.
Utilize Storage Bins
Wondering how to get rid of clutter in hidden spaces? Declutter problem areas by using storage bins and organizers to keep everything in its place. Find bins that fit the space you’re organizing, from playrooms to closets, and use drawer organizers to create all the slots you need for your items. Appropriately-sized containers help make the most of your living space and cut down on visual clutter as opposed to small containers that can’t hold everything or large containers that end up with unused space. Clear storage containers are a great option because you can see what’s inside without needing to open them!
Consider Open Cabinets & Closets
When brainstorming how to avoid cluttering your home, think about installing open shelving, cabinets, and closets. The “out of sight, out of mind” mindset often contributes to clutter in homes, so having your storage spaces exposed can encourage you to keep things neat and tidy. Organize your closet by removing the doors so you can easily see items accumulate. When it becomes too full, purge your closet and get rid of clothes that no longer fit or spark joy. In other spaces like your kitchen, try floating shelves to help keep dishes, cookbooks, and other items neat—and let your belongings double as decor!
Instill Good Habits in Your Kids
Once you establish home organization systems, your kids can become great helpers—and teaching them good habits can help prevent a cluttered home. When organizing kids rooms, have them help declutter their room and play areas. Help your kiddos sort their toys into keep or donate piles to make room for new toys when decluttering before holidays and birthdays. By making clutter removal an opportunity to show kids where things go throughout your home, they can learn good organization habits will save you decluttering time and better prepare them for taking care of their own space in the future.
Need somewhere to store extra belongings? Extra Space Storage has facilities throughout the nation offering self storage for home decluttering so you can make room for what matters most. Find a self storage unit near you!