Jun 282012

This is another post in a series on the more practical side of life: cooking, cleaning and organizing in order to make room for the good stuff.

Since we’ve been married, Dan and I have lived five different places. The longest we were in once place was a little over three years. This is a great way to keep clutter under control. Each time we moved we sorted through our stuff and got rid of things we didn’t need.

But now we’re more settled and we’re in a house. And everyone threatens that with a bigger place the clutter will grow. But I’m even more determined to keep clutter down. Why? Because clutter contributes to chaos. And I’m a chaos loather.

So if moving every few years isn’t on your agenda, what are some ways to keep clutter at bay?

Make Shopping Purposeful

This one is fairly easy for me. I don’t like to shop (I know, I know, I’m hardly a woman). But whether you like shopping or not, making purposeful trips will keep you from bringing home things you don’t need.

So, make a list and stick to it. Don’t head to store when you’re bored. Or hungry. Or feeling like your house (or you!) need a complete and total makeover. And remember, just because something is inexpensive doesn’t mean you need it.

Have a Designated Donate Spot

Designate a box in your garage or laundry room to toss in things you don’t use. It’s amazing how much easier it is  to let go of something if you have a place to put that something. When the box is full, head to your local thrift store and make a donation.

Bonus: if getting rid of things is really difficult for you, tell yourself that you can go through the box again before taking it to the donation spot. That way you’ll have a little time to see if you actually miss it.

Find Your Decluttering Style

Perhaps you’ll do best committing to get rid of one superflous item a day. That’s 365 fewer items cluttering up your home in one year!

Or maybe you need to go drawer by drawer, closet by closet, room by room and really tackle everything that’s piled up over the years.

Or perhaps you need to take a look at what doesn’t have a spot. One of my housekeeping goals is to have a place for everything. If it doesn’t have place, something needs to go.

Others find it helpful to have a “item in, item out” rule. For instance, for each new piece of clothing you buy, you find an item of clothing to donate.

Whatever your decluttering style, it won’t work if you don’t stick to it. So find what works for you. Because a decluttered house is a calmer house. And I don’t know about you, but calmer is always welcome here.

What are your decluttering tips?


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 Posted by at 12:01 am

  10 Responses to “Clutter Reducing Habits”

  1. I’m with you, sister. I loathe clutter. We are majorly attacking this in our home (as you already know!). And yes, the moving thing helps reduce s t u f f. I love knowing everything I own and where it us!

    Great suggestions

  2. My tips to help someone start out?? Read Tsh Oxenreider’s – Organized Simplicity – and Jen Hatmaker’s – 7 – books! ;)

    The tackling one room at a time thing helps me move forward… Keep it doable. And sometimes you just have to completely empty a room out, then you realize you won’t want to fill it back up with stuff.

    • I’ve heard great things about both of those books but haven’t read either of them. I’ll have to add them to my endless list of books I’d like to read…

  3. I’m the same; I don’t like clutter and am pretty minimal. Sometimes I regret throwing something away but for the most part I like not having stuff take over. Your first tip is really the best one for me. One of the ways to declutter is to refuse to buy or bring things into your home in the first place. I’m very mindful of how I buy so that I hardly buy anything, and when I do, I know it’s valuable or meaningful or useful.

    • I’ve occasionally regretted getting rid of something but it’s pretty rare. Yes, the best way to keep clutter at bay is to avoid it in the first place.

  4. Great tips. I hate clutter and I wish I had more time to sort things out. We try to do two rounds each year and tackle the whole mess room by room and closet by closet without putting too much pressure on ourselves. We were both raised by parents who believe in keeping things around in case you need it later so it’s not easy for either one of us. Thankfully, we both want to reduce our “stuff” as much as possible.
    Moving used to help a lot but like you, we have settled down so we have to find other ways.

    • I hear you on the time factor. I’m doing what I can to make being clutter free a way of life so that eventually it takes very little time to declutter.

  5. [...] Here are some clutter reducing habits. [...]

  6. [...] Stuff gets in the way. The more stuff we have, the more time we spend managing it. Fewer clothes mean fewer loads of laundry. Fewer toys mean less time picking them up at the end of the day. Reducing clutter now will keep us from being overwhelmed when the baby comes. [...]

  7. […] our finances. With our stuff. With our […]

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