Clutter has a way of sneaking up on people, as it slowly accumulates until it’s out of control. If you’ve ever tripped over shoes when you walk in the door or had to shove piles of mail off the counter to prepare a bagel, you might have a cluttered home.
When figuring out how to keep a tidy home, the first step is identifying which areas of the house tend to collect the most clutter. The next step is finding a way to control those tiny pockets of chaos. Read on to learn about five of the most cluttered places in your home and how to keep them in order.
1. Declutter your entryway
The entryway in most homes tends to be a dumping ground for shoes, book bags, coats and so forth. When considering how to keep this area clean, you want to think about the best way to create a tidy place to hold all of the items that pile up.
For example, shoe racks would be an excellent means of organizing footwear that gets daily use, such as school and play shoes, while a coatrack or hooks on the wall can immediately get purses, coats and book bags off the ground. In addition, many people toss their keys or wallets on tables inside the door. You can control the area and prevent a cluttered home by setting out a basket for these items.
2. Tidy up the kitchen counter
Your entire family gathers in the kitchen, so countertops can quickly disappear under coffee cups, mail, magazines, schoolbooks and homework. And since everyone uses this spot, it’s only natural to make tidying it a group effort.
Have the kids pack up magazines, books and assignments immediately after they’re done reading or working with them. Additionally, make sure everyone in the family knows that dishes should be washed right after they’re used, not left on the counters.
To keep envelopes in order, use a basket or a wall-mounted sorter to hold your mail. However, make sure you sort the mail daily so it doesn’t build up. Any junk or circulars can be recycled, bringing you one step closer to not having a cluttered home.
3. Create order on your desk
Another place mail and papers like to gather is on your desk, giving anyone who sees it the impression that you can’t control your cluttered home. Prove them wrong by sorting bills and important paperwork into stackable filing trays. Label each tray to make sure everything has a set place. Think of the best ways to organize your important papers, like creating a bin for receipts, another for bills that need to be paid and a third to hold notepads or journals.
Additionally, be certain to use containers to corral smaller office items like pens, paperclips and rubber bands. The key to reducing clutter is containment, and desk organizers are one small step you can take in figuring out how to keep a tidy home.
4. Simplify closets
Closets easily top the list of areas that can become overwhelming with the amount of clutter they contain. It’s so easy to toss items inside of closets without looking and then shut the door. Out of sight, out of mind, right? That’s all well and good until you open your closet one day and can’t find anything because there’s so much mess piled on the floor.
As you think about how to keep a tidy home, keep organization in mind. Even the most chaotic of closets can be spruced up with some solid organizational tricks. For example, shelves and racks can keep shoes off the floor, while hooks on the closet door can be used to keep scarves, ties and even jewelry in order. When you embrace organization, you let go of your cluttered home.
5. Organize the garage
There are horror stories about disastrous garages, and with good reason. Many people use their garages as a catchall for all the items they don’t want to store in the house. When you think about it, the garage is really just an oversized closet. And like the closet, the key to keeping your garage in check is organization.
If you’re really invested in figuring out how to keep a tidy home, gather the family for a group purge of all the items that have been stashed over the years. After you’ve cleared out any junk, organize your garage using methods such as shelves, pegboards and overhead storage bins.
A cluttered home can be a stressful place to live in, and you deserve to be able to relax after a long day. Take the time to recognize your home’s clutter zones—and the steps to clean them up—and you can spend less time worrying about tidying up and more time doing the things you enjoy.