Easy to Follow Tips to Keeping Your Home Clutter Free!
Want to learn how to organize your home? Does a clean home seem to be a dream you can’t ever achieve? Sometimes the reality of your to-do list and your kids piles up to what can be an enormous amount of mess. Some days you just feel like it’s too much to even try.
First…take a deep breath. We’ve all been there. Somedays the idea of cleaning seems like a dark cloud you just can’t escape. Let’s tackle this problem together with some simple steps toward changing the mess and gaining control!
Before you can make a strategy to tackle your mess, it’s important to figure out what your goals are for your home. This will help you organize your home and make the most of your time. Take a few minutes and write down what you hope to achieve in de-cluttering your home.
- Are there things you always seem to see out that you would like to have put away?
- Are there certain hot spots that constant bug you (like your kids’ rooms or the kitchen)?
Organize Your Home: Identify the Problem
The first part of organizing and getting ahead of your housework is to identify the problem. What kind of mess do you have?
- Is it just clutter that piles up or do you have moldy food living under your bed?
- Do you have laundry that never seems to be clean?
- Should your kitchen sink be declared a hazard waste dump?
Knowing your mess can help pinpoint how to get ahead on cleaning it up!
Related: Jump Start to a Clean Home
Where is the mess?
The first question to ask yourself is “Where is the mess?”
If you look around your house and have hot spots for mess, start making a list of those places.
For me, I know the kitchen is a huge hotspot and not just because of cooking and dishes. My two year old loves to bring his matchbox cars into the kitchen and zoom around my feet anytime I am cooking, baking, cleaning or whatever in the kitchen.
And trust me…those little cars are NOT something you want to discover with your foot in the dark!
Maybe hotspots literally encompass your entire house. That’s ok…focus on the ones that bother you the most for now!
When is the mess?
Ok…you might be thinking “My house is messy ALL. THE. TIME.” Absolutely, this probably is the case, or you wouldn’t be wondering about how to de-clutter your home! Just take a moment and figure out when the mess is happening.
- Do your kids come home from school and drop a full school days worth of possessions all over your entryway?
- Does your baby throw breakfast all over your kitchen?
- Do you have a huge collection of dirty clothes littering your floor at bath time?
Knowing when these messes are happening can help you to stop the messes BEFORE they get out of hand.
How do you handle the mess?
Take a look at yourself. Living in clutter is going to have an effect on your marriage, parenting and self-esteem. Think about how YOUR mess impacts you day to day.
- Are you at the point where you just sigh and except that mess is mess?
- Do you avoid inviting people to your home because you are embarrassed of the state of your home?
- Do you find yourself retreating and hiding from the mess?
- Are you beyond overwhelmed?
Understanding how you respond to dirty and clean can help you prioritize a cleaning schedule.
Simple Steps to Getting Ahead of your Clutter
The key to tackling a BIG PROBLEM is taking it one small step at a time. Don’t start with huge objectives at the beginning. Start with small steps.
When you organize your home, less is more. Simple is best.
Have you ever seen the movie “What about Bob?” In that movie Bob (Bill Murray) goes to his therapist and is told to take baby steps. So he leaves muttering “Baby steps down the hallway, Baby steps out the door…” as he slowly shuffles his feet taking itty bitty steps.
This is how we should approach cleaning a big mess…with baby steps!
Step 1: Do something every day
The first baby step is to get in the habit of doing something every day.
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
There should be a small list of things that you don’t go to bed at night until they are completed. Be reasonable with this list. Don’t make it your whole house cleaning. Pick a few (2-4) quick tasks that you can do in less than 5 mintues.
Ideas for this list:
- Gathering dirty clothes and putting them in a central location (basket, laundry room).
- Walk through your downstairs with a trash bag and pick up anything that is trash and put it in the bag.
- Wipe down your kitchen counter.
- Fold blankets in your living room.
You get the idea. These are small things that over time add up.
A great tip for these small tasks is to fill a laundry basket with items that are in the wrong spot. Take that basket and put those items away. You will be amazed how much one laundry basket full of items can make a huge difference.
By taking a moment to pick up these small messes everyday, you leave less opportunity for them to become big messes.
I also recommend doing one full load of laundry everyday, from start to finish. Wash it, Dry it, Fold it, Put it away. One per day is manageable and helps keep laundry from getting overwhelming.
If you are lucky enough to not generate enough laundry for a full load every day, try every other day. The key is just not let it pile up!
Step 2: Enlist help
Chances are good you didn’t make the mess by yourself. You don’t have to clean it by yourself! Let your family help you organize your home.
If you are married or have roommates…sit down and have a conversation with your cohabitants about what each of you can be responsible for each day. Remember small things add up. Not everyone has to deep clean the bathtub, but having reasonable expectations that are communicated can help a lot.
Think about little things like:
- Putting dishes in the sink after they are used.
- Emptying the trash can when it is full.
- Restocking the toilet paper.
These small tasks can help alleviate the load and the pressure on you.
Also, don’t forget your children!
Children can and SHOULD learn to clean.
Even small children. Toddlers can learn the value of clean by working alongside you as you pick up. Give them simple tasks and make them fun.
You can make putting toys into a bin a game. You can give them a baby wipe and let them wipe table tops alongside you while you clean with the heavy duty stuff!
If you are unsure about what types of chores you should be giving your children, check out this Age-Appropriate Chore List!
Step 3: One Big Clean at a Time
When it comes to bigger messes. Take them one at a time. Maybe for you this means one big mess per day. Maybe you can handle one big mess in the morning and one after dinner. Maybe you only have time and energy for 2-3 big messes a week.
Whatever your schedule needs to be to work for you, be consistent. Make a list of those big messes if you need to. Make a rotation of big messes and you are gonna organize your home in no time!
Each time you tackle a big job. Just do that job. Start to finish.
Don’t get distracted by other things that need to clean.
They will have their turn. One big job at a time…that’s it.
Step 4: Purge
Once you have your small daily tasks in hand, you big messes on rotation and some little helpers…it’s time to think PURGE!
This step can be amazingly freeing. Chances are good you have tons of things in your home you don’t actually need, use or really want. Purging is when you just get rid of those things.
Your method of removal is completely up to you. Donate them, pass them on to someone who will use them, or just throw them out. Depending on what you have…it doesn’t really matter where it goes as long as it goes PERMANENTLY.
This purge step can happen as often as you feel you need it to and be as invasive as you are comfortable with. I recommend taking a large trash bag and donation box around one room (or cabinet or shelf, whatever amount of space you are purging).
Throw items you don’t use (or haven’t touched other than to put away in a month) in either the trash or the box and only put away the items you actually need to keep. Getting rid of unnecessary items with these little purges will make a WORLD of difference when you are cleaning up those messes.
At first you might be hesitant to get rid of somethings. That’s totally ok…get rid of what you are comfortable with.
Overtime, you will find purging more comfortable and you will hold onto less.
Ok…now that we have gotten through these easy steps…do you feel better? If you feel like you are still lost and need more help, skip down to the “Need Serious Help?” section!
Tools to Help you keep things Clean
There are some small items that help cleaning easier, give you more bang for your buck and help you organize your home faster. Here are some tried and true favorites:
- Simple Rubber Gloves: I mean who wants to touch gross things with your bare hands?
- Quality Cleaning Supplies: If you want to put your natural health conscious cleaning supplies on autopilot, check out Grove Collaborative. When you sign up and spend your first $20, you get some fun free products and you can customize your cleaning supplies needs and have them shipped to your home on your schedule.
- Microfiber Cloths: These help to pick up dust and germs. They can be cleaned easily and are safe around children.
- Simple Cleaning Caddy: Easily move cleaning products from one room to the next!
- Simple Closet Hanger: Get clothes and other closet items up off the floor and separated with a simple and inexpensive foldable shelf.
- Over the Door Organizers: These are amazing for bathrooms and bedrooms. Get some of those little things up off the floor and give everything a “home”.
- Toy Storage Shelf: This is a great option for organizing kid toys. It helps to encourage them to clean along side you and still have their toys available.
- Foldable Storage Bins: Easily and Quickly turn any shelf into hidden storage with simple storage bins. These come in so many colors and sizes. You can customize them easily to your needs. Organize your home and jazz up your decor!
Related: Jump Start to a Clean Home
Need Serious Help?
If you are just plain overwhelmed by the idea of ever coming out of this fog of a mess. It might be time to take some serious action. I cannot recommend The Organized Home Course from Hillary at Pulling Curls enough.
It’s so thorough and speaks right to the heart of the matter. Let’s get this mess figured out! She gives actionable tips and real help to organizing your home and most importantly…keeping it that way!
How do you know if this course is right for you?
- Does the thought of a visitor in your home give you a panic attack because you feel embarrassed or know there is no way you have enough time to clean?
- Do you find yourself spending time that should be focused on family stressing about how messy your home is?
- Are you seriously lacking the motivation to try?
If you said yes to any of these questions…you might seriously want to give The Organized Home Course a try!
If committing to a course makes you weary ( I know, I feel you!) Try Pulling Curls Free 5 Words to Get Organized Challenge first and discover whether or not her teaching style is a good fit for you! You can’t go wrong with FREE, right!
Conclusion for How to keep your home organized:
Just because the clutter of daily life comes and invades our home, doesn’t mean we have to except it. Getting on top of your home and the messes created there is important for making change.
Teaching yourself some simple steps to make a difference in your family’s clutter is crucial to staying organized and mess free.
These simple steps will help to get you started on your cleaning journey!
If you love these tips, please save this image to your cleaning Pinterest Board:
Here are some helpful links for organizing your home:
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- Jump Start your Clean Home
- Decorating With Succulents
- Free Baby Clothes Organization Stickers
- Decorating With Custom Canvas Art
- Free Party Menu Organizer
- Free Kitchen Food Labels for your Pantry
Doing a little every day definitely helps the clutter not get overwhelming. And we do a seasonal purge too. We’re always surprised at how many stuff we accumulate in a matter of months!!
Seasonal purges are a great idea!
I struggle with clutter! We have done several big purges recently and have a few more that need done. This is a really timely read for me!
I’m glad it was timely. Clutter is such a time suck and can be so overwhelming!
I did a lot of these steps about two years ago. One of our big issues was the kids backpacks, and they were only in preschool at that time. We built a backpack station for all of their school things and it helped so much! My boys have had chore charts since they were both 3 years old, so they share some of the work around the house. We have a community garage sale coming up in about 6 weeks and I can’t wait to go through and purge all the things!
A backpack station is a great idea. It’s important to have things in place to help let kids know where things are supposed to be put away!
Awesome tips, I will recommend it to my family and let give your post a read. I think knowing whats the problem is a key to be professional house keeper.
Your post is very informative & helpful! While I don’t normally do the cleaning myself at home, I do believe in minimalism & a clutter-free lifestyle. Those with kids have a harder time cleaning up.
Yes. Kids have a way of making a mess!
There are some really good tips here for sure. I always find that a good tidy up helps the mind and feels much better too x
I am doing a massive home organization project today. So glad to come across these tips!!
Good luck with your organization!
I feel like IM never ending organizaion in this house! But I guess thats part of life!
The biggest issue I have is the paper clutter! It’s awful! I serisouly need to sit down and go through all the mail and random papers we have in bags, piles and the junk drawer.
Definitely. Paper can definitely pile up over time.
Having a clean house is so important to me but sometimes it feels like I’m just spinning my wheels. Enlisting help is such a good idea and one I really need to do.
Ooooo so many great tips! I’m someone who always cleans up right after anything so my house is usually pretty organized!
Enlisting help is top of the list for me and very busy folks. I say, don’t try to do it all by yourself.
Nice ideas and guide that home owners can surely follow through.