About a month ago (or was it two? What is time?) I went on a massive decluttering and organizing purge. We live in a small city space with a very minimal amount of storage, so the stuff piles up SO. FAST. It seems this very much intrigued you all (and slightly stressed you out? 😂) When I posted all this clutter I was purging on Instagram stories. Many of you asked for my de-cluttering/organizing tips, and as someone who is about as far from type A as one can get, I don’t have any personal tips for you. The truth is, I just couldn’t take it anymore and I wanted everything gone! (I love the good old KonMari method and I can be pretty ruthless about getting rid of stuff when needed!)
Of course, fast forward a month later–and I somehow feel like I’m losing sight of my organized home already. (#Life.) But there are a couple tricks I learned from Kelly that I am trying to put into practice to keep the clutter in check. (As well as two “rules” I think are helpful!) Keep in mind, these work best AFTER you have done a giant deep-dive purge of your whole house and are looking to move into “maintenance” mode versus damage control mode. 😆
Four tricks to help reduce clutter
The basket trick:
I think this is the easiest and most genius. Any time you have a few extra minutes, take a small basket that you have lying around, and fill it with stuff to donate. Keep a larger bag/box/etc somewhere hidden out of the way and place the items in there, and when it’s full–take it to Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc. This feels very attainable to me and because you’ll always be motivated to fill up the basket, it’ll help you clean spaces out more quickly!
The “5 things” trick:
As an alternative (or in addition to), you could use Kelly’s “5 things” trick. She tries to do this daily which admittedly is just not in the cards for me. But whenever I think about doing it, it’s easy to do! Just 5 things a day to get rid of. This is so easy. It could be toys, socks that have no matches, extra cups (you don’t need THAT many tumblers!)–whatever! It’s very easy to be able to find 5 things to toss every day! Like I mentioned above, having a large box or bag to store donations in makes it easy and keeps them out of sight–just donate it when it’s full!
The “everything needs a home” rule:
Okay this one isn’t actually from Kelly, it’s just a well-known rule I’ve seen again and again and I know it to be true. If everything in your house has a “home” it will drastically reduce clutter. This is where I always get into trouble, are when new items come into the house and are not assigned a home. That’s when things start living on the counter, on desks, tables, etc.
Identify and enforce “no clutter” zones:
This is just a personal preference that I think is very individual from person to person, but the rule in general works across the board. Everyone is different in what makes them tick. What one person sees as clutter, another person might look straight past. So identify what “clutter zones” you can’t stand and make a rule that you won’t leave things there. This is easier said than done, but when I’m speed cleaning, I try to focus on these zones first as this gives me the most “bang for my buck” in the clutter department. Even if the rest of the house isn’t perfect, if these zones are cleared–it makes the whole house feel picked up.
For example: toys should be out of sight. (June’s toys either fit in her cupboard or are hidden behind the couch. If at any point they are spilling out of these two areas, I know it’s time to purge them. I am RUTHLESS about the toys.)
Two other common areas for us: The dining room table (which is the drop zone for everything and it drives me CRAZY) and the kitchen countertop. When dealing with a small space, it’s virtually impossible to never leave things on these two surfaces but it makes me a feel a lot better when I regularly ensure they’re cleared off and I obey my rule that nothing gets “left” there (aside from the appliances that “live” there).