18 ways to reduce clutter

Feeling overwhelmed?

Don’t know where to start?

Here are some top tips to reduce clutter in your home.

reduce clutter and have a clean home

1. Stop the shop

Stay away from temptation, stop shopping for leisure, and remember all those things you have bought which are now gathering dust. Save money and reduce clutter.

2. Borrow don’t buy

Related to above, instead of shops use book libraries, toy libraries, friends and awesome community resources like Facebook Buy Nothing and Good Karma groups.

3. Unsubscribe

Staying away from temptation and FOMO also means avoiding junk mail – both physical and digital.

4. Create zones

Have a place for everything (and everything in its place). When devising a system for where things live, take three things into account:

– Grouping like with like.
– Storing frequently-used items near where they are used. 
– Decluttering as you go.

All of these practices make accessing and putting things away a breeze. Hence you reduce clutter.

5. Label your zones

This makes it not only easy to find things, but to put them away. Especially good if you share a home with others. 

6. Don’t put it down, put it away

Clutter attracts clutter. If you get in the habit of putting things away, the problem doesn’t breed.

7. Just say no to paper

Receipts, manuals, brochures – say no thanks or just chuck them immediately. These things accumulate and make bench tops messy.

8. Have a one-in, one-out policy

If you get new sneakers, discard your worn-out ones. If you buy a new toaster, say goodbye to the oldie. No need to keep superseded items ‘just-in-case’.

9. Declutter regularly

Accumulation is normal, but if a paper-pile or drawer becomes unsightly or dysfunctional, go through it. The more often you declutter small areas, the more you gain control of your home.

10. Use a maybe box

Ideally you make decisions only once, but if you encounter difficult items while decluttering, put them in a maybe box. Set yourself a ‘use-by’ date and put it in the calendar. What ever is still in the box on the date, can go – preferably without looking in the box! 

11. Rethink occasions

Birthdays and Christmas are huge clutter traps. Try to implement gift-free events. Encourage guests to bring a plate instead. 

12. Reconsider decorations

Do you really need new Christmas decorations every year? These things take up a lot of space for just a few weeks of joy. And don’t get me started on all the Halloween plastic. Reduce clutter by not buying it in the first place.

13. Do some matchmaking

Go through your Tupperware drawer and sock storage, and match everything up. You could have a halfway-house for a month or two – a box somewhere with odds, in case their mate turns up. But make sure you put a chuck date in your calendar, and get those lonely singles out the door soon.

14. Implement a go-zone

Putting everyday ‘grab’ items by the door (school bags, sunglasses, shoes) means they don’t take over other spaces, and are right where you need them as you leave home. This space will need a regular go-over to keep it tidy and functional. 

15. Ditch the decor

Do you have lots of ornaments, photo frames and souvenirs gathering dust? Look at them with fresh eyes and ask if you really notice/love/need them?

16. Go through your wardrobe

This is fun. Turn all your clothes hangers backwards, and turn them the right way only as you wear the item. Set a reminder for a year’s time to donate anything still facing the wrong way. 

17. Bathroom blitz

Pull everything out and only put back what you will use in the foreseeable future. Anything that may be used ‘one day’ should go, as well as expired products. 

18. Ask questions

Ask yourself with everything you touch – why do I have this? If you can’t answer it, reconsider its place in your home.

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