Don’t let clutter take over your home! This post will help you identify the most common clutter zones and give you a few ideas on how to conquer them.
Batting clutter is something we all deal with. And some areas in our homes present more problems than others. But it IS possible to keep your house looking tidy from day to day. And it doesn’t even require intense cleaning or immaculate organization.
Knowing which areas contribute MOST to the look of clutter will help you prioritize which zones to conquer. And sometimes, it could be as simple as adding a basket or two!
1. ENTRY WAY
Think about when you first walk into your house. Are you greeted by a mess of shoes, backpacks, sweaters, purses, hats and bags? The door you most frequently enter through can easily become a dumping ground.
But an unorganized pile of everyone’s things doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture in your home. With a little thought and maybe a few hooks and baskets, this part of your home no longer has to be an eyesore.
If you don’t already have a mudroom, try adding some hooks to the wall to catch purses and backpacks. Or if you have a coat closet, consider switching to hooks instead. They’re much more convenient than battling hangers…especially for quick exits when you’re running late! (They’re easier for kids to use too!)
A designated place for shoes is also a must. If your family keeps shoes by the door, find some sturdy baskets. Instead of the messy look of shoes strewn all over, they can be contained while still being easily accessible.
For keys, loose change and other small items, decorative trays are a stylish and practical solution. And if placed conveniently by a door, you just might find yourself losing your keys less often!
2. FLAT SURFACES
A flat surface is clutter’s best friend. Desks, tables, chairs, dressers…They too frequently become holding grounds for everything we “mean” to put away.
Find a flat surface in your home that always seems to collect clutter. What types of things end up on it most? Do they really have another place to go? Often times clutter collects when there aren’t specific and convenient locations to put these items away.
Sometimes, what ends up on these surfaces actually does need to be in that general area. But rather than leaving it to look messy and disorganized, consider adding storage solutions. There are plenty of stylish baskets, boxes and containers that can be used.
Not only will these areas look more tidy, but you will also be able to find what you need easier. No more sifting through a pile to find something!
3. OPEN STORAGE
Be aware of open storage. It can be a wonderful way to display items. But it can also become a way to display clutter.
In areas where shelving is meant to be decorative, remember…less is more. Too much can look messy and disorganized.
In areas where storage is the main purpose, try grouping like items together and using baskets and other storage containers. This will look much cleaner and will allow you to stay more organized. You might even be surprised to find that you have even MORE space to use too!
Crowded countertops can make even a clean kitchen look messy. Be intentional about what you leave out. If it’s not decorative or totally necessary, consider storing it in a cabinet or drawer.
Find a system you like for collecting and storing papers. Try storing your knives on a magnetic strip on the wall instead of on the counter. Consider matching containers for spices, herbs or ingredients you like to leave out.
There are a lot of great kitchen storage tips on Pinterest. But the main goal is to have as little as possible on the actual surface of your countertops. This will help your kitchen seem more open and tidy. And what stays on your counters should add a decorative touch.
Bills, junk mail, school papers, invitations, coupons, letters…paper seems to collect faster than it can be dealt with! Whether it ends up in neat piles or strewn all over a surface, it can become a definite contributor to clutter.
A lot of times, this is because we just don’t have the time to take care of it right away. Maybe you have a system for filing papers. But during a busy week, it just ends up on a counter, desk or table alongside all the paper that just needs to be thrown away.
A filing cabinet of some sort is a great thing to have. But you need a system that allows you to take care of paper quickly and conveniently too. Try finding a small filing container that can be placed somewhere near your entrance door or in the kitchen.
Have a file folder for each of the main categories of papers you collect (bills, children’s schoolwork, invitations, etc.). Either right when you get paper, or at the end of each day, quickly sort through your stack. Throw away what you need and sort the rest into these folders.
Every few weeks as the folders get full, you can then take the time to put things into a filing cabinet or drawer for longer term storage. But having something smaller and in a convenient location makes it so much easier to keep on top of the day to day paper.
Even the most organized pantry can become cluttered. It gets used a lot and added to constantly. One of the best things you can do to keep your pantry from looking cluttered and disorganized is to add baskets and bins.
This isn’t something that needs to be expensive either. Dollar stores carry plenty of buckets and baskets that will help sort all the small items you have in your pantry. Whatever you use, you will find it so much easier to find things and keep it all organized.
Take a day to assess what you most commonly keep in your pantry. Then find yourself some good baskets, jars, cereal containers, snack bins, and whatever else you need. Once everything has a place, your pantry will feel much less crowded!
If you want a uniform look, grab matching containers. You could also go a step further and add cute labels if you’d like.
Laundry. One of paper’s biggest rivals when it comes to clutter. Especially with multiple children. If you don’t already have a system in place and laundry is constantly looking for a home, then it’s time to get organized.
If you have space in your laundry room, shelving with baskets is one of the best ways to keep your clean laundry under control. If you don’t have the space or the means to add shelving, you can still use baskets. You can keep them stacked in the laundry room until they’re needed or even store them in each person’s closet.
When you’re getting clothes out of the dryer, immediately sort them into baskets. If you don’t have time to put the laundry away right then, it is at least all separated. This will save you time when putting it away later. (Or save you from digging through a large pile of clothes days later…it happens to the best of us.)
There are many fun ways to display pictures and art made by your kids. But art can add up quickly. Especially if you have multiple children. And even the most organized displays can fill up and become cluttered.
So how about going digital? When you’re ready to rotate out your child’s artwork, take a quick picture of each and put it in a digital file. This is especially helpful for art that is large or delicate.
You can even print those pictures out if you’d like! Prints and photo books are so much smaller and easier to store. Whether you’re placing it on a shelf for kids to flip through or storing it in a child’s memory box, you can keep things clutter-free AND preserve your child’s precious creations.
It doesn’t matter if you have rooms full of toys or a minimal collection of playthings, toys can easily make a space look cluttered. Toy storage and organization can easily be a post on its own. But here are a few things that can help keep a room from looking messy and overcrowded.
- Shelving units. Rather than having a toy box that everything goes into, consider bookshelves and shelving units. Having items sorted helps children get to what they want quicker, rather than emptying the entire toybox.
- Boxes and bins. Especially ones that are opaque. Organize smaller items into boxes and bins. Looking at a few boxes – rather than being able to see all of their contents on shelves or the floor – is less to look at. This adds to the look of a clean and organized space.
- Labels. Labels make it easy to know where to put things. This is especially helpful when children become old enough to help clean up on their own.
10. BEAUTY SUPPLIES
It doesn’t matter if you are a minimalist when it comes to beauty supplies, or if you could fill a closet with all you have, there are ways to keep your stuff from looking cluttered.
Try putting your makeup brushes in a stylish canister. If you like to store your makeup in drawers, use drawer organizers to keep your things grouped conveniently. If you store your makeup on top of a vanity or countertop there are many useful desk organizers, even ones normally used for office supplies.
Sort your lotions and creams into baskets or drawer organizers. Try storing your nail polish in a cute bag or even a spice rack. Cabinet door organizers make great solutions for your hair styling tools.
Anything you can do to minimize how much gets left on your surfaces will keep things looking tidy. And adding storage solutions inside your drawers and cabinets will help keep it all accessible and organized.
Battling clutter is something we all deal with. But a few thoughtful organization techniques (and a few stylish storage containers) will make it a battle we can win.
What are your biggest clutter zones?
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