Clutter seems to be the routine in homes of busy families. For one, families with small children have more belongings than most, not to mention less time to find a place for these items.
There’s much to be said about a pristinely-designed home, with all the elements working together in one style. From the frames to the rugs, every element should work together to give a home its showroom finish. However, all of the effort to create this dream home will be for naught, if you’re living in clutter. Disorganized items or too many things in a room completely hide décor. Instead, your guests may feel unwelcomed or even tense upon entering the crowded space. It’s difficult to know how to tackle a clutter issue or even when to recognize there’s a problem. But those who find themselves getting frustrated as they trip on items left on the floor or who struggle to find everyday items, on a routine basis, are usually the culprits. It’s important to not feel guilty or frustrated upon realizing you have a mess on your hands, as it’s easy for these items to accumulate with the busyness of life. However, when you discover an issue, it’s time to tackle the clutter head-on. A clean and well-organized home will not only feel tidier, but will help you to relax more in your home.
* Create a space where it’s okay to place items for a brief amount of time upon entering a home. Most people come in with mail, car keys, groceries, bags, and the like. They drop them off in the middle of the floor or all over the kitchen table and then forget about them. By creating a space near the door that can be easily cleared, you’ll avoid the mess that builds in main areas. Side tables by the door and coat racks are great places for these items. You need to also make sure everyone understands that it’s temporary; it needs to be put away within a day.
* You need to remove the excess items. Go into each room with three boxes or bags, and place these things in the keep, garbage or donate receptacles. Every home has these things, but they are the primary cause of your mess. Items you struggle to throw away, but don’t use often need to go into storage. If you lack a garage or attic space, find a storage unit nearby. Avoid placing these items in the basement, as it increases the likelihood of damage.
* It’s normal to have a few books or magazines on your coffee table, but it becomes unsightly when the stacks grow too tall or the magazines worn. To hide them, purchase attractive, decorative boxes to store underneath the space. Display the beautiful books, but tuck the others away in the box. It will not only add to the décor in the room, but also easily remove the clutter.
* Group similar items in each room together. Sometimes you’ll even need to go through each room in the house to collect items that have become scattered. It’s normal in a cluttered home to put items where they fit, instead of a designated area. But storing similar items like batteries or paper goods in one place will make them easier to find and reduce the mess.
* Reorganize your bookcases and reduce items on the shelves, which are prone to collecting dust and extra items. Remove the elements that don’t belong on the shelves, while weeding out damaged books. With fewer items you can showcase your most beautiful belongings.
Thomas M. Bird is a contributing author and interior designer. Throughout his career, he’s helped families design modern and functional homes. Additionally, he works with clients to better organize their belongings; he recommends rent a secure storage unit for sentimental, bulky and holiday items not regularly used.