Tip #1 Never leave a room empty handed!
Make it a habit to take at least one thing with you every time you leave a room. Moving items with you helps get them back to where they belong or collects them by the door if they need to leave the house altogether. Here’s a few tips to start the habit…
Heading to the kitchen? Take a quick glance around for a dirty cup or dish.
Going by the laundry room? Grab a load of laundry or empty hampers on your way.
Needing to go upstairs? Look for items to take with you. Leave a basket at the bottom of your stairs to collect items and take those upstairs a few times during the day.
Leaving the house? Take something with you. Do you have items to donate or recycle? Maybe some books to return to the library?
Just got home from work? Collect any drink bottles and wrappers to throw away. Keep a couple small reusable bags in the car to make this easy. Take coats, bags, shoes, etc. when you get home for the day.
This is a simple habit to start with your children. Make it a game to always take one thing when leaving a room.
Tip #2 Keep the Kitchen Counters Clear
Nothing makes a kitchen feel smaller than cluttered counters.
• Take a look around your kitchen. What’s on your counters? How much of it do you use at least several times a week? Consider your counter space valuable real estate. Only keep the items you use the most deserve a spot.
• For less regularly used appliances and other items, find a convenient, easily accessible location to store them. Next, move those rarely used appliances to your pantry. (Re: that gigantic mixer you only use around the holidays!)
• For daily kitchen clutter, take a few minutes after every meal (or while you’re waiting for things to cook) to tidy things up. Ever notice how a couple dishes on the counter or in the sink tends to grow into a big pile when you’re not looking? Wash or rinse dishes and immediately put them into the dishwasher. Don’t even let them touch the counter.
• Also, empty your dishwasher as soon as you can so there is always a place to put the next round of dirty dishes.
A little practice makes it easy to keep it up.
Tip #3 Take 15 minutes to tidy before dinner
Some people say tidy up each night before bed…but we like do a 15-minute tidy before dinner. While you’re waiting for the meal to finish cooking, do a quick sweep of all the stuff that built up during the day. Here are a few ideas…
• Put away toys that were played with during the day. Hint: This is a great way to get your kids involved
• Straighten up the couch cushions and pillows
• Fold any clean clothes that are in the dyer and put them away
• Quickly wipe down the bathroom sinks and mirrors
• Clean any dishes that have accumulated in the sink during the day or put them in the dishwasher
• Have your children clear the kitchen table of any homework or projects before they set the table
Tip #4 Make a Habit to declutter seasonally
Changing seasons is a natural time to purge. Here are a few ideas for your next spring cleaning…or summer, fall and winter. You get the idea.
• As you bring out seasonal décor, look for broken items that need to be fixed or tossed. Donate items you just don’t use any longer. They might make a great addition to someone else’s space.
• When changing closets over from winter to “not”…we’re in Texas so our seasons are HOT and not so hot…keep a bag ready for clothes that don’t fit, aren’t in great shape or just don’t fit your life any longer. Throw them out or recycle them. (Hint: Old t-shirts can be cut up for garage rags.)
• Take a quick look through your medicine cabinet. Running low on something? Add it to your shopping list. Get rid of expired medicine – but don’t throw it in the trash or down the sink. You can get bags to properly dispose of medication at many pharmacies (e.g., Sam’s and CVS.) Click on this link to find the closest disposal location to you https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e2s
• Do a sweep of your pantry. Toss expired spices and canned goods. Start a list of things you need to replace. Donate goods that haven’t expired, but you know you won’t use. Are there items you have WAY too much of? Make a mental note to leave those off your shopping list for awhile and use them up.
By ensuring everything is tucked back into its designated space, you get to end your day in a neat and orderly space. A little bit of effort each day keeps clutter from conquering your space.
Now it is your turn…What’s your best kitchen clutter busting tip? Share with us in the comments.
Check back soon for more Clutter Busting Tips!