15 QUICK AND EASY WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR SPACE
If decluttering your home seems too overwhelming or you’re stuck for time, motivation or confidence, here are 15 quick and easy ways to simplify your space and make the key areas of your home a little more clutter-free and organised.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SIMPLIFY YOUR SPACE?
Simplifying your space means different things to different people. It depends on how many people live in your space (your home), who they are and how you use your home. My home with kids and a dog might look different to yours if you’re a student in digs or you’re an avid handbag collector or DIY enthusiast!
I wrote this article to encourage you to look at your space afresh and simplify it. It’s not a list of things that you should or shouldn’t have or do. It’s about making YOUR space work for YOU.
Simplifying that space is about achieving a space which does work for you. It’s about considering what you want from your home and making it as easy as possible for it to function and support you, without depleting your time and energy looking after it.
15 QUICK AND EASY WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR SPACE
As you start to think about your own home now, here are some quick and easy ways to simplify your space. You might like to grab a notebook and pen to jot down any thoughts along the way.
1. Hall and entrance way
First up, a practical project! Pretend you’ve gone out for the day doing your usual daily activities and come back into your home. Do you have bags, coats, keys, hats, footballs, books or anything else that you tend to dump by the front door? Create a system for organising this stuff so that everything has a home – a place to be stored when not in use. Your entrance way is the first place that you and your guests see as you walk in through the front door. Be mindful of what kind of impression and feeling you want to create!
2. Keys, purse and wallet
These are the items that many of us tend to need whenever we step out of the door but how many times have you reached for them but can’t find them?! I was always losing my keys until I made a place near the front door where I can keep them. I find a drawer works well as it’s close enough to hand but not in sight for all to see.
3. Clear your counters
Even if your cupboards and drawers are a little stuffed full, having clear worktops, counters and table surfaces will help your home appear clutter-free and more spacious. They’ll also be easier to keep clean. Clutter attracts clutter so if you make a point of keeping the surfaces clear, anything that’s dumped on that surface will stick out like a sore thumb and you’re much more likely to put it away!
4. Watch those clutter hotspots
When you’re clearing the counters (above) make a mental note of what sort of clutter builds up. You might even notice some other piles of clutter lurking in the corner of your bedroom floor or on the shelves in your living room. These are the places, just like the hallway we started out with above, that are clutter hotspots. It’s where clutter builds up and my own kitchen worktop, for example, used to be a definite clutter hotspot. See if you can identify 3 clutter hotspots in your own home and come up with a way of decluttering them.
5. Re-assess your home accessories
I love cushions, mugs and photos but I also know that I love a simple space to live in. Take a look at your walls and shelves and peek inside your kitchen cupboards. The items you use to accessorise and add interest, colour and individuality to your home should enhance the space but they’re also a really easy way to make a home look cluttered even if you’ve decluttered all those cupboards and drawers.
We often pay attention to our general stuff but walk straight past the decorative stuff that we see every day and don’t always consider as clutter. Can you have one less cushion? Donate an old mug you don’t use in favour of the one that you always look for when you’re making a coffee? What about one less photo or piece of wall art so you can make your favourite stand out more?
6. Get a different viewpoint
We often see what we always see. Have you ever come back from holiday and noticed something about your home that you hadn’t noticed before? Maybe the cobwebs on the ceiling or that pile of books you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t got around to?
Take a video of your home and watch it back, go out for the day and return with fresh eyes, ask a trusted friend for their opinion, ask your kids what they think. Look round your home objectively and see if that space REALLY looks and feels like you want it to. Read more about clutter-blindness and how to overcome it.
7. Have a change
Simplifying isn’t always about decluttering. Sometimes it’s just about having a different viewpoint or perspective. We get stuck doing the same things, looking at things in the same way, making the same choices and… we always get the same result.
What about bringing some new changes and opportunities by making changes in your home. You might find that this simplifies your housework, makes a space more calming, inviting, useful or just gives the space more energy! Move the furniture around, change the colour scheme or lighting, paint a wall, remove a chair or table, get rid of the TV. It doesn’t have to be permanent but it might give you some new ideas!
Decluttering is step 1. Clearing away the things that you don’t need, want, use, appreciate or value in some way. Organising is step 2. But, it’s a lot easier to organise when you have less stuff.
Pick just one room or area in a room and organise it. Start somewhere easy and be kind to yourself if you find it difficult. Sort, arrange, use drawer dividers for big drawers, use hangers for clothes, hanging or cardboard files for paperwork, label things, come up with systems so you can find things, alphabeticalise, scan, archive, shred, delete. Make a shopping list of things you need to help you get organised and any spare stocks of things you need.
Organising might not sound very exciting but it’s a great way to be productive, efficient and save yourself a lot of time for more fun things in life!
9. Use your spare minutes
You might not have big blocks of time to carve out of your day but I think many of us can find a few spare minutes here and there. Perhaps whilst the kettle is boiling or the dinner is in the oven. These few minutes can be used to wipe down a surface, declutter a drawer, hoover the floor, sort the laundry, write a shopping list. Use these little windows of time to get the little jobs done.
10. Edit wherever possible
There are many times in life when I find that less is best. Less clothes in my closet means I wear and enjoy the ones I love more. Less direct debits coming out of my bank account means I save more. Less stress means a happier and calmer me.
If your space is stressing you out or it’s not working for you as well as you’d like it to, edit it. Keep one shelf of books not two. Clear your nightstand and keep just what you need for that night. Clear your spice cupboard, replace what you’ll actually use and free up some space.
You can edit your schedule in the same way by saying no every now and then, or edit your eating habits by cutting out unhealthy snacks and swapping them for healthy options. If more of anything (clutter, cleaning, debt, bad habits) is causing you unhappiness or uncertainty, try choosing less.
11. Make it easier to clean
One of the reasons I don’t like clutter is that I find it harder to clean around. Clear surfaces make it much quicker and easier to wipe away the grime but there are some other simple tips. Read more about some minimalist cleaning routines and how to spend less time cleaning.
12. Keep floors clear
The floor is a flat surface and flat surfaces tend to attract clutter as we can put things on them! Make a pact with yourself to keep stuff off the floors. No piles of toys or books stacked in a corner – give them a shelf or toy box to be stored away in when not in use. Stop flinging the day’s clothes on the bedroom floor before bed. Perhaps use an empty drawer or box in the wardrobe as a holding place for clothes that aren’t dirty enough to go in the wash, but too clean to hang back in the wardrobe. Clear floors are easier to clean (see the point above) and give the illusion of more space and flow between rooms.
13. Do a quick re-set before mealtimes
I like to do a quick tour of my home before meal times so I can collect up (or put back) anything that’s out of place. Little and often is a great motto for many things but it’s especially good for maintaining a clean and tidy home with minimum fuss. I get my kids to put their stuff away too before they have something to eat so we can share the load. I also do a re-set before bedtime as part of my own evening routine so that I’m not greeted by yesterday’s mess when I come downstairs first thing in the morning.
14. Give everything a home
I’ve mentioned it before but the key to making your home easier and simpler to look after is to find a home or storage space where everything lives. I fell into this trap myself recently when I bought some new water bottles for the kids and myself but failed to make space for them to be stored away. They lived on my kitchen counter and annoyed me no end! I kept having to move them, wipe around them and they ruined the line of my lovely clear surfaces! But, I didn’t have anywhere to put them so they stayed on that countertop for ages! Allocate a home or storage space for everything and you’ll find it much easier to have a simplified space.
15. Re-evaluate your space regularly
Things change in life and that includes how we use our homes and what we want them to do for us. Put a note in your diary or a reminder on your phone to re-evaluate your space every month or season. See if you can identify what’s working for you or what needs a little tweak.
Do you need more of something, or importantly, perhaps you need less of it?
- How is your family using the space?
- Do you have what you need where you need it?
- Have you set up routines for your home and for yourself?
- As you move around your home, try to look at it as a visitor would see it. What does your home say about you and would that message be the one you hope to convey?
Simplicity isn’t static. It’s constantly evolving as our life changes but simplicity does give us scope to enjoy those changes and make them work for us – including our space!
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU SIMPLIFY YOUR SPACE
Here are some helpful resources on simplifying and decluttering your home.
- How to declutter your home and life – Decluttering is the first step to simplifying your home, but it can be tough when you’re prone to hoarding, don’t know where to begin or you haven’t much time. This article gives you lots of helpful links and tips to make decluttering your home easier.
- How to declutter your bedroom – Often used as a dumping ground for things that you don’t know where else to put! Yet, it’s perhaps the worst place because not only does it clutter your space, but it can clutter your mind when really you should be winding down and relaxing before bed.
- Tips to simplify your wardrobe – Your clothes may be hidden out of sight in your closet so perhaps an afterthought for many of us. That is, until you come to get dressed in the morning and you find you haven’t got anything to wear despite a wardrobe full of clothes. Here are some helpful tips for curating a closet that works for you and your lifestyle.
- Simplify your space checklist – A little reminder about the sorts of questions you could ask yourself when it comes to clearing your clutter.
- How to create a calm family home – If you’d like calm instead of chaos but your space is home to your busy family, here are some helpful tips on creating a little peace amidst the bustle. A simplified space is not always a calm one, but I find the two often go hand-in-hand.
- Simplify Your Home – A complete guide and workbook to help you clear the clutter from every corner of your home and the mindset shift that will help you keep it away for good.
READY TO SIMPLIFY YOUR SPACE?
If you’d like to simplify your home and would like a little moral support and helpful tips, then I have something for you!
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