You ever look at pictures of someone’s clutter-free home and wonder, “How do they do it?” They have children, a spouse, and even a pet or two. So how on earth do they manage to keep their home from looking like a cluttered mess? We’re glad you asked. Before you hire a maid service to deep-clean your home interiors, use these seven secrets to help you declutter.
Complete a Monthly Purge
Start with a great purge. After all, there’s no point in cleaning and storing things you don’t intend to keep. Each month, go through your entire home and purge the items you don’t want or need anymore. You can donate them, trash them, recycle them, or put them in a storage unit. If you choose to store items, you’ll have the option of renting a climate-controlled or non-climate controlled unit. According to STOR-N-LOCK, you should choose a climate-controlled unit “if you are storing sensitive items like family heirlooms, electronics, wood or leather furniture, etc. that may be sensitive to fluctuations in heat or cold.”
Make sure everything has its own place. This means toys, clothes, DVDs, mail, backpacks, etc. A cube storage organizer is a great tool to have in your children’s rooms as well as the family living room. It’s perfect for keeping things off the floor and out of the way.
Store Digital Documents
Instead of filing away documents like receipts and paperwork, try scanning and saving copies to your computer instead. TIME magazine outlines an easy plan for adopting a paperless lifestyle. By going paperless, you effectively reduce the amount of paperwork you have to file and store. Just make sure to use a flash drive for backup storage.
Start a Rewards System
Part of the decluttering process is getting the whole family on board. So set a timer and have your children go through their rooms and pick up anything that’s out of place. Create a chart and have them apply a star next to that day to show the task as completed. Then, treat them to a reward at the end of the week.
Think Before Buying
Reevaluate things before you purchase them and bring them into your home. Ask yourself, “if I lost this or it was broken tomorrow, would I be upset?” If the answer is no, don’t buy it. By practicing mindful shopping, you’ll be able to make smart purchases moving forward — without adding needless clutter to your home.
Swap Out Items
If you bring something new into your home, offset it by taking something else out of your home. Donate it, sell it, trash it, put it in a storage unit, etc. Just make sure to make room for your new purchase by removing something old.
Stay On Track
When you feel like letting something slide, don’t. Put that toaster oven away. Fold that laundry. Pick the shoes up off the floor. Stay on top of putting things back where they go so that it doesn’t become an eyesore for you later.
Understand that there will be days when things get out of place, and your home may become cluttered. But it’s easier to meet a mess head on as long as you have a plan in place. With these secrets to success, you’re well on your way to a clean and inviting home.