Decluttering is a little like losing weight. No matter how well you deal with your problem in the beginning, it will keep coming back unless you understand the concept of maintenance.
If you have gone to the bother of decluttering your home and making it more minimalist and free of mess, here are some tips on how to keep it that way so that you never have to have another moment of panic as you view a home that looks like a bomb exploded there (Welcome to parenthood, right?).
This step refers to simply keeping things the way they are by tossing junk when you realize you don’t need it, instead of stashing it in a pile that needs to be sorted over and over. Read your mail and immediately toss it, shred it, or deal with it and then put it into your file cabinet. There is no excuse for papers to be lying all over the floor, making it impossible to find them when you actually need them.
When you buy something from the store, put it where it is going to be kept immediately instead of setting bags on the floor and table. After the laundry comes out of the dryer, fold it and put it away immediately in the proper rooms and drawers. When you have five spare minutes, use it to tidy and clean up anything lying around. This is how you keep any huge messes from forming again.
In addition to your regular maintenance, it is important to declutter on a regular basis. You can decide to have a serious decluttering day every three months, every six months, or just whenever your home starts looking like a junk yard. Make it a serious appointment and tidy your home from top to bottom, giving yourself another clean slate to work with. An idea I learned from consigning kids clothing is to have a tote or hamper that you can quickly toss clothing that is too small, out of season, or you know your child will no longer wear.
Stop Buying Unnecessary Things
One of the biggest ways you can stop clutter in its tracks is to stop buying unnecessary things. By only allowing what you need to enter your home, you will cut down on the number of items you need to clear out later. Before you buy an item, think about whether you really need it, or if it is something you will regret at a later point in time.
Get Everyone on Board
You can’t conquer clutter alone, unless you live alone. If you are part of a family who lives together, or have roommates of any kind, you will need to make everyone a part of the decluttering team. Talk to everyone about your wishes to maintain a junk-free haven, and talk about the many benefits of living in a more minimalist way than you have been. Let the other household members know that everyone’s efforts will benefit everyone else, and that you expect cooperation and teamwork.
Decluttering is only half of the solution. In order to maintain a beautiful home, you will need to take steps to keep it that way after the original clean sweep. Use these tips to keep your home free of clutter for years to come.