How to Cut Clutter

Keeping a clean house can be quite the challenge. Sometimes, you’ll spend hours cleaning and then just a week later be drowning in clutter all over again. It’s overwhelming trying to keep up with the growing piles of laundry or stacks of books or junk mail, but there are some steps you can take to prevent your house from becoming¬† a mess too quickly.

Throw Away

Get a big trash bag (or several big trash bags), and go through every room of the house, collecting old and unused items. In the kitchen, throw away spoiled food, stale cereal, and old condiments. Throw away all the magazines and junk mail that you know you’ll never read. Gather everything that’s broken or useless that you’ve been trying to make up an excuse to keep. If you haven’t used it in over a month, toss it.

Give Away

You’d be surprised how much perfectly good stuff you have in your house that you never use. Take another trash bag and fill it with old toys, rarely used mugs, never read books, you name it. This step is especially key in your closet. Getting rid of all of the clothes you never wear makes a huge difference. One helpful exercise is to begin the year by hanging all your clothes with their hangers backwards. Whenever you wear something and hang it back up, hang the hanger the right way. At the end of the year, any clothes you have that are hanging the wrong way, get rid of. Gather up all the shoes, scarves, hats, gloves, etc. that you never use and place them in your trash bag. Giving your unused belongings to someone who will actually use them is far better than them sitting pointlessly in your house. Find a local charity that will appreciate and make good use of all your old stuff.

Make a Habit

One of the most essential parts of keeping a clean house is, well, cleaning up. Find a system of cleaning that works for you. but make sure it is one that you can and will stick to. If you live alone, maybe you only need to clean a couple times a week. Pick a couple days and form a habit like cleaning for one hour every Wednesday and Sunday. If you live with a big family, you most likely need to clean more often. Get the whole family in on it- start cleaning for just ten minutes after dinner every night. You’d be amazed at how much of a difference it makes! And make a game of it! Hold cleaning competitions for your kids, play upbeat music throughout the house, anything that will get your family motivated to get going.

Another important thing is having certain days assigned to certain tasks. For instance, make Monday laundry day, or Saturday toilet cleaning day. Some things, like dishes, need to be taken care of daily, but others, like laundry, need to happen weekly, or like deep cleaning the refrigerator, monthly. Whatever chores need to happen in your house, making yourself a schedule and staying consistent will make all the difference.