Home Life Blog: How To Break Bad Clutter Habits

January 10, 2016

How To Break Bad Clutter Habits

Controlling clutter is not just about throwing, selling or donating things.  It's also how you treat your stuff every single day.  

Everyday household things can turn into clutter if you practice bad clutter habits.  Leaving your clothes on the floor, piling your bills and paperwork on the counter, even leaving toys out can be considered clutter.  

Here are four ways you can stop those bad clutter habits and have a clean organized house. 

1)  Make sure everything has it's own "home"

When everything has a home, your home flows better.  Evaluate floater items in your house (you know, the items that are on your desk one day, counter the next and then the nightstand).  These items do not have a home and if one cannot be found then they are probably not needed.  

If they're items you use on a daily basis and always have with you (like a planner and pens), then set up an easy way to take them along.  Maybe store them in a basket so you can just grab that and have them organized no matter where they are stored.

2)  Put things back where they belong

This is a big one!  If things are not put back then clutter starts to accumulate.  Putting things in their designated home right after using them means less mess to clean up.  Doesn't that sound great?  

 This is an easy thing for a family to do together.  If someone forgets to put something back, other family members can remind them.  They can hold each other accountable and help break this habit together.

3)  Mini clean up sessions

I do this with my daughter's room about 2-3 times a day (she helps too), or else her room will be trashed by bedtime and we will not have energy to clean it up.  

Take about 15 minutes or less with each session to clean trouble areas in your home that always get messy.  Concentrate on making it look cleaner (not perfect)...put things back where they belong, throw away any trash, put things in the shred pile that need to be shredded.  You can go back and sweep, deep clean and shred later. 

There won't be much to clean up by the end of the night since most of it has been put back during the day.

4)  Work with your habits

Some habits are just too hard to break.  This is when you really have to get creative. 

Find alternate strategies that will make your clutter habits look neat.  This means putting a bowl for your keys and change next to the front door or leaving baskets for paper or toys that seem to accumulate in the same area.  Controlling the mess is the key!  

It will take lots of practice to make these steps routine, but these tips are sure to help you get there.   Make sure to include other family members to make it a team effort. 

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  1. These are such great tips! I'm definitely guilty of a few of these clutter habits.

    1. Thank you Julia! I appreciate you stopping by. =)

  2. Great tips! I started decluttering in December and haven't quite finished. You never realize how bad things are until you dive in and a month later you're still not done. I'm an incredibly cluttery person. Piles are everywhere--from the bedroom floor to the desk to the foyer. One "duh" moment for me when I started cleaning was that I needed to start contacting companies and ask them to stop sending me junk mail. Next, to start asking for e-statements unless I absolutely need something sent to me by mail. I never took this step because I like keeping paper records of really important bills, but some of them have become less important over time. I know everything should be done on the computer and stored there, but over the last decade I've found that my personal computers can get viruses or other issues that end up making them unreliable.

    Also, my trip to the dollar store was awesome for decluttering. I got bins for a dollar and started sorting through my clutter with those "keep" and "toss" labels. This worked the best for me, although I haven't gone through all my "keep" items yet. Maybe in another month? :)

    1. You are doing awesome so far, Jane! Keep it up! Thanks for the little extra tips on paper clutter. It seems that is the thing that gets out of control before anything else. I still get paper statements too, but I should get everything online. My parents are actually ahead of me on that and pay most things online.

  3. I'm horrible at putting stuff back. That's definitely something to work on.


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