With three kids, the amount of toys and school papers that we accumulate can get pretty out of control. Now that they are finishing up school and will be home for the summer, I’m trying to get a head start on decluttering before those tiny tornadoes come storming in.
Here I’ve pulled together a few tips and tricks I’ve found that have made a big difference in streamlining our home. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t build it up too much in your head or the task will seem insanely daunting. It’s best to go around the house bit by bit instead of telling yourself and everyone, “Okay, today we are going to declutter the entire house!”
7 Simple Ways to Streamline and Declutter Your Home 1 of 8
Ditch the clutter that comes with stacked up magazines (while also being green) by getting the Next Issue App. This app Includes Dwell, Travel & Leisure, Wired, GEEK, Architectural Digest, and many more. Since the subscription allows usage on up to four devices, everyone in the house can add their favorite reads to it, too.
Try to follow the rule that if you bring one new thing into the house, you have to take out two things. You can either toss or donate the items. This will help you limit the number of unimportant items in your home that would just make the house look messy.
Turn all your hangers around in the closet so that all your clothes are facing one way. When you wear an item of clothing, you can turn it the other way. After a few months, see which clothes you haven't turned around. Those are the ones you can happily donate.
Each morning when you are preparing your cup of tea or coffee and are letting it sit to cool a bit or steep, use those five minutes to declutter a small area in your house. This could simply be the papers on the table. Allowing yourself bits of time here and there to declutter doesn't make it feel like such a daunting task. You might find that it will quickly become habit to pick up at this time of day, too.
Plan out a morning where you can go through your bills and accounts that are still sending you snail mail. There are many accounts now that allow you the option to go paperless. This can significantly lower the amount of mail you acquire per week.
I tend to be the person that likes to fill up the empty spaces in my house. I like a cozy feel, but that coziness can quickly turn to clutter. When you're cleaning your room out, create empty spaces here and there that you can tell yourself are specifically for staying empty. This doesn't have to be anything like a huge wall, but maybe half a shelf. These empty spaces can really help make the room less cluttered.
Set up one bin in your child's playroom to be used for "junk." These can be the toys that don't quite have a home yet and are little knick-knacks. As the bin starts to fill, you can start to go through and donate the toys you don't want. Having one specified bin can help from ending up with several junk bins all around the room.
Jacinda Boneau is a fabric designer and founding co-editor at Pretty Prudent, the premier design and lifestyle blog providing inspiration and instruction to help anyone create beautiful things, food, and experiences for their friends and family.