Change Your Habits to Change Your Clutter

Home managers who have chronic clutter problems usually have a belief that if they could just get the clutter under control, their problems would be solved. This is usually not the case; clutter is usually just the symptom of a greater problem.

Homeless Clutter
One of the reasons that clutter arises is that the items lying about have no place where they belong. The other members of your household are more likely to put away their things if everything has a home, and if they see you leading by example. For example, have a place in your home that is designated for items that are prone to causing clutter like shoes, purses and backpacks, paperwork.

Another helpful tactic is to establish a place where clutter is allowed, such as a kitchen junk drawer for odds-and-ends like rubber bands, thumb tacks, electrical tape, coupons and old vitamin bottles. In your living room, you can use an old basket to hold magazines and newspapers. A colorful egg crate in each child’s room is a good spot for stray toys. This will contain the clutter rather than allowing it to spill over into the rest of your house.

Establishing Routines
Getting into good routines will also help to eliminate clutter. As you walk into the door, place your purse or briefcase onto a table near a coat closet where the item will stay unless you need it. Hang your keys on a hook or place them in a candy dish.

Sort your mail over the trash can the moment you bring it in. Hang a plastic filing pocket on the wall near the trash can for bills and important letters. Throw away the junk mail immediately.

Set Item Population Caps
Another way to halt the amount of clutter in your home is to set a rule that limits the number of items that you have in your home. Every time you bring in a new item, such as a magazine or a new article of clothing you must then recycle or donate an older item that performs the same function. This will prevent you from having too many things in your home that you don’t use. It may also save money by stopping impulse buying.

If you have lived with clutter in your home all of your life, cutting clutter may be difficult at first. But as you develop new habits and your home becomes cleaner, the process becomes easier. Some homeowners actually look forward to decluttering their homes as a clean environment lends towards a sense of order and well-being.