Once you’ve conquered your clutter using the tips in our previous blog, you’ll want to keep it that way so you don’t have to go through it ever again. That’s often easier said than done but we have several tips that will go a long way to keeping your organized and clutter-free.
Beware of flat surfaces, especially near the front door. They quickly become a spot to drop your stuff as you walk in and will get cluttered quickly. If you have a table near the front door, trying keeping a large flower arrangement or other decorative items that will discourage dropping and dashing. If you just can’t fight people dropping their keys and coins near the front door, put a bowl near the door for it all to go in and keep it confined to a manageable area.
In other areas of the house, you’ll need to be vigilant about clothes not being laid over chairs or books left laying around or children’s art supplies on the dining room table. Designate a spot for these items and make sure everyone in the house knows to take the extra 15 seconds to put it where it belongs.
If you have small kitchen appliances on your counter that you don’t use every day or even weekly, find a place to store them like a closet, pantry, attic or basement. Having them off the counter will give you more space on your counter and make the kitchen feel more open. Also, get rid of things you don’t really need such as super specialized gadgets that you never use or all those plastic storage containers filling two cabinets when you only really use 3 or 4 all the time.
One big trick for closets is to add a second tension rod about halfway down the wall. This is a cheap and quick fix to double your closet space and give you a second rod for hanging shirts. If you have wall space in your closet, install some hooks to hang things like scarves, jewelry or hats. Check out Pinterest for closet storage ideas. There are so many ideas on there that are inexpensive, easy and genius.
You can use hanging shoe bags anywhere. They aren’t just for shoes! Hanging shoe bags are great in a bathroom closet for holding toiletries and equipment. They can be in a craft room to hold craft supplies or even the garage to hold things like trash bag rolls or tools. They let you see what’s in there quickly and easily, keeps items separated and extends your storage area by bringing it to the back of a door.
A tip that will save you some trouble and heartache later is to get rid of the cardboard boxes. If you absolutely must keep what’s inside, doesn’t it deserve to be in a plastic container where it won’t be susceptible to water, insects, and rodents? Transfer everything to plastic tubs with tight-fitting lids and label the outside so you know what’s in it.
One of the biggest secrets to staying on top of clutter is not procrastinating. Often tasks only take seconds or a few minutes but the more you put off then the more they add up and you end up looking at hours of cleaning instead. Open and sort through your mail as soon as you get it. Do the dishes immediately after dinner. Put things away as soon as you are done using them instead of just setting them down. It’s the little actions that add up to a big difference.