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You’ve done it! You cleared the clutter from your home!
And boy, do you feel gooooooood, or what?!
And gurl, you should feel good! In fact, you should feel absolutely amazing!
And of course, don’t forget to treat yourself to that mani/pedi/massage/night out/staycation that you’ve been waiting for.
That said, I have a truth bomb I need to drop on you:
Your work has just begun.
Here’s the thing…you don’t want to be one of those people who make their space look awesome, only to find it cluttered and messy again in a month, right?
Well then you have only one choice:
Keep your home clutter free.
But there’s good news: while your work has just begun, the hard part (decluttering) is over. Now you’ve just got to establish ways to prevent having to do the hard part again.
So with that, here’s my list of the top 5 essential rules for maintaining a clutter free home:
1-) Designate appropriate spaces
Everything you own should have a designated space in your home. Period.
But this can be easier said than done, especially if you live in a small home. You may find that while you originally thought the best place for your pet’s supplies is your small pantry, it actually left you with too little space for your family’s food. And so you have to designate a new space for fido’s 75 lb bag of dog food.
And that’s OK. Finding the right spots for the right things can be a process.
2-) Be mindful
In the chaos of life, being mindful of where we put our things can feel low on the priority list.
But let’s say that this morning you were rushing to get the kids ready for school. You sit down to brush your hair and one of your kids spills his/her cereal all over the kitchen.
What do you do? You throw your hairbrush onto the couch and rush to clean up the mess.
And when you finally get back to getting yourself ready, you forget where you put the hair brush.
So you decide to buy more hairbrushes (aka clutter) “just in case” you lose one again.
This kind of thing happens to the best of us. However, the bottom line is that becoming disorganized happens when we aren’t paying attention to where we’re putting things. So if you want to keep your home organized and clutter free, it’s time to get in the habit of being mindful of where you’re putting things, even when life gets hectic.
3-) Purge regularly
New belongings have a way of sneaking into our homes through shopping, gifts, etc. So it’s extremely important to purge as regularly as possible to keep clutter at bay.
Personally, I always keep a donation box going. Whenever I’m in a cabinet or closet or drawer and notice something that I no longer want or haven’t used in a while, it gets sent to the donation bin.
But some people prefer to do set decluttering sessions. If that’s you, just be sure to schedule those decluttering dates at minimum once a month!
4-) Buy intentionally
“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.-Will Rogers
Hands down the best way to keep clutter at bay is to minimize the amount of new stuff coming into the house. And while you don’t have a ton of control over the stuff that people give to you, you certainly have control over the things you buy.
If you’re the kind of person who buys impulsively then buying intentionally can take practice. But over time it will get easier. Just stick to it!
5-) Make use of special occasions
Special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas often mean new stuff. And if you’re not ready for it, where to put that stuff can quickly become overwhelming.
BUT here’s the thing: you know ahead of time that there may be an influx of new things into the house. So you can prepare for it by doing specific “pre-occasion” purges.
Better yet, you can ask people not to buy physical items and instead ask for gifts that bring memories or a donation to a cause. Bottom line? Take advantage of special occasions to lighten up your life a little.
Your home can remain clutter-free. With some discipline in following these 5 essential rules, you’ll be on the right track!
And if you’re still on your way to getting your home clutter-free, these posts will help you out: