8 TIPS FOR A DAILY DECLUTTERING ROUTINE
Decluttering feels a BIG task sometimes. Too much stuff, too much to do and, for many of us, a limited amount of time, energy, support and motivation to help us get it done. In this article I’m sharing some simple tips on how to create a daily decluttering routine and why it can help you stay on top of your home and your stuff.
WHY CLUTTER ISN’T GOOD FOR US
For many of us, clutter builds up every day and it takes up space in our homes, on our countertops and in our minds. Clutter costs us more than just space, it costs us time, energy, money, peace of mind and, at the extreme, our physical and mental health.
Research shows that clutter causes extra housework, extra allergens and extra distraction and lack of focus.
A cluttered home is therefore not the most relaxing, welcoming and restful place to spend time in and come back to at the end of the day!
WHEN DECLUTTERING FEELS OVERWHELMING
We might be aware that clutter isn’t good for us, but getting rid of that clutter often feels overwhelming and off-putting. Too much stuff to move, not knowing how to get rid of it, what to keep and faced with the familiar problem of what if you need that item someday so do you keep it anyway and ‘just in case’?
What starts out as a little pile of clutter soon builds up and becomes a clutter mountain, squeezing us out of our homes as the clutter takes hold instead.
CREATE A DAILY DECLUTTERING ROUTINE
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at time.
Your cluttered home is a bit like eating that elephant. You approach it by taking one bite at a time.
What about tackling your clutter a little bit each day too? No need for a stressing yourself out and spending all week catching up on decluttering. Or frantically dashing round the house with a trash bag just before your mother-in-law visits.
Instead, let’s try doing a little bit of decluttering every day so the clutter never really gets a chance to build up.
In this article I’m sharing some tips on how to create a daily decluttering routine that works for you and your home.
8 TIPS FOR A DAILY DECLUTTERING ROUTINE
Here are some tips to include in your daily decluttering routine. As much as possible, commit to doing them each day. When you have a busy day, or don’t feel able to do them one day, just do the best you can. There’s no judgement here, just gentle encouragement to create flexible systems that will actually work for you.
1. Collect rubbish and put it in the bin
Rubbish is clutter that’s usually pretty straightforward to deal with so try to put all your rubbish into the waste or recycling on a daily basis. Don’t leave it lying around to deal with tomorrow.
Use your waste collection days as a useful weekly date in your diary to empty all the bins, put the recycling out and get rid of any rubbish clutter around the home. Knowing that the waste will get taken away automatically is a great incentive for having a quick hunt around your home for clutter (safe in the knowledge it won’t be waiting for you to finally get rid of it for days or weeks!).
2. Clear kitchen countertops and worksurfaces
Our kitchens work hard for us and they’re busy places. Having clear surfaces means it’s easier to keep clean, prepare food on, serve up meals from and tidy up afterwards.
Every day, perhaps before or after mealtimes when you’re in the kitchen anyway, give your surfaces a declutter. Remove random piles of stuff that’s built up during the day, put away pots and gadgets that you’ve been using and give the surfaces a clean and wipe. Keep them clutter free because this way it’s easy to identify any sneaky clutter hotspots that are trying to build up!
3. Tidy up the entrance way
The entrance way by your front door is another area that works hard with people and stuff coming and going. It’s also the first space that guests and you will be greeted by when they step into your home so it’s helpful to make this a clear space, with easy access and that creates a good first impression for visitors.
Check for bags, shoes strewn around, coats on the floor and random stuff dumped there that should be homed elsewhere. Check out Pinterest or your local home improvement and décor stores for helpful organisation systems to maximise use of space and that are easy to use by the whole family.
4. Put clothes away when you’ve finished wearing them
The floor is not a wardrobe (unless you count it as a floordrobe!). When you get undressed, take a moment to hang your clothes up, put them in the laundry or fold them up ready to wear again tomorrow.
I have a box in my wardrobe that’s for clothes that are too clean to be washed, but that I’ll be wearing again tomorrow (like my jeans). I can throw the jeans in there, it’s easy to get them out the next day, but they’re not lying on the floor or a chair in the meantime. It’s a quick way to keep my bedroom clutter-free and not distracting for me to unwind ready for sleep at bedtime.
5. Do the washing up regularly
It’s easy for the washing up to build up quickly, especially when you have a busy family and multiple sets of plates, bowls and glasses.
One way to stop the build up of clutter in your washing up bowl is by having fewer plates and glasses so you’re forced to wash them in order to be able to use them again for your next meal.
The other way is to regularly wash and dry your crockery and cutlery instead of letting it build up into huge toppling piles. You could try habit-stacking here. After you’ve eaten, build another little habit on top of that one by washing your plate, glass and cutlery straight after as part of the mealtime process.
6. Put laundry away
Put a load of washing on as often as your household requires it. If you can, aim to dry, fold, (iron if necessary) and put away your laundry on the same day so that you go to bed with all the laundry done for the day.
I’ve found that if, for some reason, I don’t get round to completing the whole process before bedtime, it feels a much more overwhelming task to manage our family’s laundry than it would do otherwise.
Don’t forget to ask your kids and partner to help sort their stuff. They wear their clothes too so they can help put them away!
7. Make sure everything in your home has a ‘home’
One of the most important ways to make sure your home doesn’t get cluttered is to decide where things should go when not in use. Your stuff needs a home of its own too. Very often, it’s the stuff that we don’t know where to put that actually ends up getting left out.
So, tackling your clutter every day is as much about knowing where and how to keep and organise it, as it is about putting it away.
8. Put things away when you’ve finished using them
And, lastly, a simple but important reminder to put things away when you’ve finished using them. You can always get them out again if you do need to use them but getting into the habit of putting things away can save you time, stress, space and energy.
CREATING YOUR OWN DAILY DECLUTTERING ROUTINE
I hope you enjoyed this article with some tips for a daily decluttering routine. Some of the tips I’ve shared may seem obvious, but when life is busy and time is tight, it feels very easy to put some of these routines off until tomorrow or when we feel like it.
I also understand that sometimes it’s difficult to keep up these daily decluttering routines for different reasons. Perhaps you have limited mobility, health problems, struggle with ADHD or managing your home just isn’t a big priority for you with other challenges that might be going on.
All we can do is be aware of where and how our clutter builds up and just do what we can, when we can, to keep it at bay the best we can. In fact, slow decluttering, little and often, is generally far more effective and successful than doing no decluttering for a month and then trying to do it all in a weekend.
Clearing clutter is an ongoing lifestyle and mindset shift, not just a project that you can do once and be done with. Your clutter is far more sneaky than that! Thankfully though, just doing a little bit each day is a great way to help your home stay clutter-free.
HELPFUL DECLUTTERING RESOURCES
Here are some more decluttering resources that may be helpful and some links to other topics and articles I’ve mentioned:
- The cost of clutter: What is your clutter costing you?
- How to declutter your bedroom and why it matters
- How to declutter kitchen counters and keep them clutter-free
- ADHD cleaning tips: How to keep your home more clean and tidy if you have ADHD
- Simplify Your Home – A guide and decluttering checklists to help you clear your clutter and keep it away for good
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Let me know if you have a daily decluttering routine. Do you do anything else that it might be good to add to this list? What tips do you have to share with others who are struggling with clutter? Do you find it difficult managing your home and the stuff in it? What’s your biggest clutter painpoint?
Leave a comment below as I’d love to hear from you!
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I’m Antonia and on this blog I share practical inspiration to simplify your home, time and life. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest! You can also subscribe to Balance Through Simplicity and receive regular simplicity tips straight to your inbox for free. Make sure you never miss an article plus you’ll get a copy of my free Declutter Starter Kit as a welcome gift!