Creating a clutter-free home doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it take zero effort to maintain. Keeping an organized home clutter-free and tidy takes small daily habits to keep your home functioning well. Below are a few habits that I think are both realistic and easy to follow.
1.Handle Physical Mail immediately. I always recommend switching to online banking and receiving bills and invoices electronically but there are a few exceptions when physical mail is essential. Once the mail arrives at the house, don’t let it sit on the counter and pile up. Process it right away, recycling what can be discarded and sort what needs to be addressed or filed. A simple paper divider or paper tray in a kitchen corner or office is a great idea for the “in between” papers being received at the house and the filing cabinet.
2. 10 minute tidy before bedtime. Every night before my family heads to bed, we do a quick run through of the main floor and tidy. This isn’t something that takes more than 5-10 minutes and usually consists of:
- filling and turning the dishwasher on
- clearing off all counters in kitchen
- any wet laundry to go in dryer
- all clean and folded clothes put away
- lunches made for next day
- play room tidied and all toys put away
3. Keep Kitchen counters clear. Besides the everyday essentials, the kitchen counters should be kept clear. Making easy storage space for items like blenders and toasters allows them to be easily and quickly put away when you aren’t using them the other 23 hours of the day. Having clear counters will help to prevent you from ‘storing’ items in the kitchen and finding homes elsewhere.
4.Clean dishes after each meal. The rule in my household is whoever cooked, doesn’t clean up. (so that usually means I am cleaning). Most of the time nothing else is started until the dishes have been cleaned and loaded in the dishwasher. This includes wiping down all the counters and putting away any leftovers. We are even teaching our 3 year old to return his plate to the sink and put his napkin in recycling. Once the kitchen is clean and the dishes are done, half the house is basically tidy!
5. Complete 1-2 minute jobs immediately. Clutter often occurs because of procrastination, small jobs left unfinished that end up becoming major tasks. Try thinking of it this way; If a job can be completed within 2 minutes, tackle it right away. Jobs such as taking out the garbage, folding a towel, making a bed or sweeping the kitchen can all be completed in 2 minutes or less. Tackling these smaller jobs will help to minimize the impact the bigger tasks have.