I’m always amazed at how neat some people’s homes are when we visit. If I’m having company over, there’s usually a clearing-the-clutter flurry the day before. (We’d be done for without the spare room for hiding our clutter.)
I do love for people to feel comfortable stopping in whenever they feel like it, though, so I’m working on trying to keep our house as clutter-free as possible. (Plus, it just feels good to look around your living space and not see piles of things sitting around, right?)
So here are some things I’m learning on my journey to a (mostly) clutter-free house:
Storage in plain sight
These days we’re likely to be playing with our toddler in the living room—which means there are always toys all over the place. I’ve found some baskets with lids that match the room’s décor and keep his toys hidden when they’re put away. They’re still there within easy reach when he wants to play with us, but they’re out of sight when he’s done. We’ve even taught him how to put all his toys away at the end of the day.
A daily routine keeps you on track
When piles of clutter build up over time, it becomes intimidating to clear them. If you can build a little clutter clearing into every day, you’ll get through it bit by bit, and you won’t feel overwhelmed. Maybe for you that means trying to do a load of laundry every morning. Maybe you clear off the papers and mail on the table every afternoon after work. (I’m still working on building a good routine.)
Don’t buy or keep things you don’t really need
I’m a sucker for holding onto things I may need someday. But our house is so small, there’s really no good place to store all those “someday” items. Instead, I’m trying to focus on using the recycle bin, keeping bags in the garage for Salvation Army donations, and dropping off nicer things at a consignment shop.
Get everyone in on clearing the clutter
To get everyone in on the clutter-free habit, maybe build it into your after-dinner before-bed routine. If your husband is game, you could ask him to turn on some tunes and lead a 10-minute pickup dance in the living room as you clean up the kitchen (or swap roles depending on who made dinner that night). Music gives energy, and you’d be surprised at how much fun it can be to clear the clutter together as a family. Set a timer, and get everyone to put away as many things as they can before it goes off.
Committing to keeping your home clutter free is a great way to model neatness to your children, too. How can you chastise them for leaving their things around if you’re not putting your stuff away, too? When they see you doing it every day, and if you can encourage them in a positive way, the good habit may naturally find its way into their routines, too.