Don’t mess around
Your home could be looking a lot better than it is right now. Just saying.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but this makes a world of difference. Have you ever seen a room off a home decor magazine with a trash bin in it? We didn’t think so. That’s because while they aren’t clutter, they certainly look that way. Hide it somewhere inconspicuous but accessible, like on an open shelf unit.
NEXT: Invite your boss over →
Ok, you don’t have to, but just imagine your boss is coming over in 10 minutes. Hurry – pack! What you don’t want your boss to see probably wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place, so put them away where they belong. Envisioning your home through the eyes of an important guest helps you to see it in a new light, and identify clutter that you might have gotten too used to seeing around.
NEXT: Make your bed →
Why make your bed when it’s just going to get unmade again tonight, right? Wrong. It encourages you to keep the rest of the room tidy; plus, it gives you a sense of control, inspiring a chain of more good decisions throughout the day. You know, hopefully including clearing more of the clutter beyond the bed.
NEXT: Start with the floor →
Only furniture and rugs belong on the floor. That bag of toys that somehow gravitated to the side of the TV console has to find a cupboard of shelf to call home. So does that paper bag. And those books. Your countertops may be messy – clean those out too – but mess on the floor is much more unsightly, and makes your home look a lot more cluttered when things are sprawled all over.
NEXT: Do it at your own pace →
Waiting for your tea to boil? Take the 3 minutes to organise a drawer. Queueing for the shower? Put all the appliances on the kitchen counter back to where they belong. Small pockets of time eventually add up to something big; and if you don’t consciously schedule in a major decluttering sesh, you’re less likely to see it as a chore. Eventually, your space will be much, much neater without you even realising you did any work.
NEXT: Sweat the small stuff →
Assign a place for everything, including the miscelleneous items: a box for paper and pens, a folder for receipts, a tray for your keys… It’s often the little things that add up. Organise the smaller spaces, too. Separate your boxers from your undies with drawer dividers, your forks from your spoons with utensil trays, and so on.
NEXT: Find function in form →
Instead of just having your souvenirs and home decor items sit idly around the house, find a practical use for them. For instance, use weighty objects as bookstands, or pretty porcelain as ring dishes. If you realise you’ve got a ton of stuff you have no use for – especially if you don’t even notice them around the house anymore – perhaps it’s time to throw them out.
NEXT: Take pictures →
Ok, we get it, we get sentimental about our items too. That sculpture was from my best. holiday. ever! Take a picture of it to preserve your memories instead. Genuinely can’t bear to throw it out? Stash it away in a box. A year later, donate the box without opening it – after all, you’ve survived a year without even remembering about it.
NEXT: Don’t allow things into the house in the first place →
It’s simple: You can’t have clutter in your house if there’s nothing to constitute that clutter in the first place. Try following the “one in, two out” rule – whenever you bring in an item, throw away two others that you no longer need. P.S. Throwing out stray pieces of paper or itsy bitsy things don’t count!
NEXT: Label, label, label →
Which one’s sea salt, and which one’s normal salt? Labels take the guesswork out of which container you want, especially if your storage drawers or racks are deep, making it hard to retrieve specific spices or items. That way, you’re more compelled to put them back where they belong, too. We’ll have you know that studies suggest messy kitchen counters subliminally encourage out-of-control eating.
NEXT: Hide your trash bin →
By Pinky Chng, last updated December 2017
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