As long as you live in a family setup, you will always find yourself dealing with a lot of clutter. It might seem impossible to change your environment if you are used to dealing with piles of clutter. Kitchen counters, dining tables, and coffee tables are some of the places which attract family clutter. The good news is that achieving a clutter-free home is possible with the right attitude, tools, and strategies. Once you learn how to manage clutter, you will realize it takes little effort to maintain a tidy environment. If you are tired of constantly cleaning surfaces, here are ten designer friendly ways to keep family clutter under control.
10. Strategically place stick-on hooks on your home entrance wall
After a long and tiresome day, it is only natural to drop everything on the nearest flat surface once you get in the house. Keeping family clutter under control requires a lot of discipline. Maintaining a positive habit has more to do with what is right than how you feel. So no matter how tired you feel after a stressful day, train yourself always to put things where they belong. Get a place to hang your work bag, and make sure at the end of the day, it goes into the rightful place when you remove your bag.
If you feel this is difficult, use the stick-on hooks. The next time you get home, try to analyze what you are holding. You could have a shopping bag, keys, and a coat. Find a place where you will be putting all the items you constantly carry. Hooks are a better and easier solution than hangers. After a long day, hang your coat on the chair instead of throwing it on a hook. Paper items are one of the main contributing factors to family clutter. According to Mother.ly, to sort this out, place recycling bins on the front door. Storing smaller items like tote bags can be a problem. You can solve this by hanging them on hooks. Try regularly changing the contents from school projects, and dry cleaning, to library books.
9. Hang Cooking Tools on the kitchen wall
Kitchen counters are more prone to clutter. A cluttered surface is a real problem if you want to prepare a meal. If you have a small kitchen, you must find a way to store kitchen items and maintain a clean and clutter-free space. One easy way to make the kitchen surface clutter-free is to hang cooking tools on the kitchen wall. You can do this by purchasing a stick on hooks or a metal rail and drilling it on the wall. The use of floating shelves is another incredible idea. You can put utensils, knives, and spices on these shelves. The metal rails and stick-on hooks can be used to hang cooking spoons and pans.
If your kitchen is located at the house’s entrance, you can try adding sorters and wall hooks where you can place keys and mail. If you still feel that this space is not enough, but an organizing tool that you place on the fridge. This tool is essential because it not only creates spaces but also helps to ensure that the kitchen surface only holds what is important for daily use.
8. Keep daily necessities on the kitchen counter space
A kitchen is a place where all the magic happens. Small kitchen appliances may not be so small if they take up much space on the kitchen counter. If you have a small kitchen counter, it helps to limit that space to appliances that you use daily. It would help if you stored everything else in the kitchen cupboards. If you feel that the space is too small, train yourself to put away appliances once you are done using them. This will help keep family clutter under control and will not take too much effort. Maintaining a clean and clutter-free environment requires a collective effort from every family member.
Another idea is going out of your way to ensure things are organized. For example, a microwave is used in the kitchen to reheat food. If there is no space in the kitchen and you have extra space in the dining room, you can consider moving the microwave to the dining area. According to Houzz, walking all the way to warm food might be uncomfortable, but it will go a long way in ensuring that your surfaces are not overcrowded, leading to more clutter. Another useful option would be placing small appliances on a wheeled cart in a corner.
7. Keep your dining table set
The dining area is an important space because this is where we enjoy meals and bond with family. Maintaining a neat dining set will make it easy for you and other family members to resist the temptation to clutter up this area. One of the ways to keep family clutter under control is to clean after every meal. For example, if you are having an evening dinner with your family, ensure that you clean the table once you are done. You can try to set breakfast items on the table. This will make it easy to have a clutter-free table and helps to have a smooth morning routine.
After breakfast, clean the surface, and place fresh cutlery and placemats for lunch or dinner. This routine will make the dining area clutter-free, and you will be less tempted to leave items lying around in the evening. If your family has pets like a dog or cat, placing a napkin over dinner dishes can help to keep the prying paws from the stack of dishes. You can also use a set of candles or flowers. The secret to a clutter-free surface is to understand that more attracts more. The more disorganized you are, the more you are likely to make your space unattractive with unnecessary clutter.
6. Focus on multipurpose spaces
Multipurpose spaces are important, but they can be hard to keep tidy and clutter-free. Combined spaces like having a dining area in the home office can prove difficult to keep clutter-free. Keeping easy, specific, and obvious storage items is one of the ways to make such a space function well. This storage space will be clear to anyone, not just yourself, that this is where you should put things. You can consider using labeled wall-mounted files if you have a home office. According to The Spruce, the more multipurpose space you have, the more you must devise ways to keep these spaces clutter-free. For example, a craft space combo in the home office will require keeping a closed cabinet labeled and including clear, labeled containers.
5. Choose organizing purchases carefully
If you love organizing, you are sometimes drawn to purchasing every container, shelving unit, and box that will keep your life in order. Most of these organizing items that are bought without forethought end up being part of the family clutter. Before buying an organizing box, make sure it will be useful to the family. Try to declutter as much as possible before you organize what is remaining. If you think a certain organization method will not work for your home, try to research and establish the right type of organizer that will work for you.
4. Place your ‘once worn’ clothes in a designated bin
Sometimes you will find that you have worn a sweater for a few hours, then remove it. According to you, the sweater is not dirty enough to be washed but is not clean enough to go back to the closet. You feel it is possible to wear the sweater one more time before washing it. One contribution to bedroom clutter is leaving such clothes on flat surfaces in the bedroom, like the floor, bed, and dresser chair. Instead of dumping your once-worn clothes on any surface, find a specific place where you can place them. According to Becoming Minimalist, a good solution is to find a basket or bin where you can place these clothes instead of throwing them on the chair or the bed. If you have a wide closet, place a basket in one corner or leave a drawer you can use for this purpose. If that is not possible, use a laundry basket to hold this item. You can label it to differentiate it from the laundry basket for dirty clothes.
3. Downsize your bed size
Do you value your sleep? We all treasure that precious moment when we get to rest and relax our bodies. It is estimated that if you live an average of 75 years, you spend a third of your life sleeping. As mind-boggling as it might be, the truth is sleep is an important part of human life. If you prize your sleep, try to create a restful environment around your bed. Cluttering your bed and nightstand are habits that negatively affect your sleep.
Instead of cluttering your bedroom stand with all your items, try buying a petite table. Use this table to place only the necessary items that you use daily. If you love reading, avoid piling all your books on the table. You can only read one book at a time. Choose that one book you are reading and place it on the table. If you journal daily, neatly arrange your journal and pen on the table’s surface. You can also place a scented candle and a glass of water and end there.
2. Avoid Clutter Catchalls
Placing a clutter basket or tray on the kitchen counter or coffee table seems like a perfect clutter-free idea. It is a smart idea but wait until the basket is full and overflowing with clutter until it spills on the surface. Remember, the rule of nature is clutter attracts clutter. If you have unnecessary random items lying around like pens, hair brushes, buttons, and loose change, it is more likely that you will leave other larger objects around, creating a whole mess.
It is hard to maintain one clutter basket for all items. An easier and better practice would be to create a unique spot for every household item. For example, if you have pens and crayons all over, find a jar to keep them. Work as a family and train your kids to pick a pen, use it and return it to the jar. If they want to do some coloring with the crayons, create a habit of using them and return them to the jar. You can make your work easier by labeling the jar and calling it ‘Pens and Crayons.’ This way, every family member will be vigilant in maintaining a clutter-free surface.
1. Create a no-clutter zone on every surface
The law of nature states that clutter attracts clutter. Leaving a shopping bag or hair brush on any surface might look harmless, but the truth is one misplaced item attracts another. That one object you have left hanging around aimlessly will act as a big magnet in tempting you and other family members to clutter more items on the surface. According to Good Housekeeping, creating a no-clutter zone is a daunting task, but with discipline, it is one of the most effective ways of keeping family clutter under control.
You can start with one surface as you actively move to other surfaces. The trick here is to be consistent and start small. Psychologists say it takes about 21 days to adopt a habit. For starters, you can set a goal to clear one surface, like the coffee table. Constantly focus on ensuring the coffee table surface is free from clutter. It is easy to concentrate on one area until it feels like second nature. Once you can maintain this routine, create another goal, for example, the kitchen surface. Always ensure that there will be clutter on the kitchen surface at no particular point. Move progressively from one surface to another; before you know it, the whole house will be under control.