Have you ever noticed that when your environment is neat and tidy you feel sharper and more at peace? That’s not a coincidence. Research shows that clutter can reduce our ability to focus, lead to cognitive overload and even negatively affect memory. Taking the time to clean away the clutter is a simple yet effective way to improve your mental performance and boost your mood.
But it’s not the easiest task if you tend to err on the messy side. Luckily, we’ve got some great tips to help you make way for a more peaceful environment free of distracting clutter.
- Switch to Reusable Options — Maybe it’s just us, but we find that the overflow of food and household goods in reserve can cause a ton of clutter. Whether it be an entire drawer dedicated to Ziploc bags or the under-sink shelf overflowing with backup dish soap, these items can hog up essential storage space that could be better used. Consider investing in reusable food storage bags, beeswax storage wraps, refillable cleaning bottles, etc. to eliminate excess. Ditch the single-use cups and flatware for better-quality reusable options.
- Give Everything Its Own Place — The No. 1 rule of living a clutter-free lifestyle is making sure that you honor the mantra: Everything has its right place. The problem is that many of us have so many random things that just don’t belong anywhere, so they wind up in piles on the kitchen counter or tossed into that dingy corner of the garage. Here are a few tips for keeping your home free of clutter by giving everything a special home.
- Hang a wall-mounted mail bin in the kitchen or entryway to house loose paper, mail and more. These come in many decorative options, so they won’t deter from your stylish home décor.
- Invest in organizational systems or shelving in the home office, basement and garage. You can do this affordably by combining metal shelving with large plastic bins. Break out the label maker and go to town!
- If you’re struggling to find storage space, invest in solutions that help you find hidden nooks and crannies, such as under-bed storage containers.
- Put things back. The “everything has its right place” strategy only works if you actually put things back where they belong. Make it a habit!
- Invest in purpose-built storage solutions rather than relying on old cardboard boxes. For example, switch to a hanging wrapping paper storage unit to keep those awkward rolls and gift bags neat and tidy.
- Organize drawers with drawer organizers and in-drawer separators. This will help keep the messiest junk drawers a bit tidier so you can see what goes where at all times.
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- Purge the Pantry — Why is it that the kitchen tends to be one of the most clutter-prone areas of the house? The pantry especially is a bit of a hotbed for messiness. Invest in high-quality kitchen storage containers to make storing dried goods, snacks and more a total breeze. Separating your food items in bins or baskets is a great way to reduce the clutter associated with open bags and boxes. It also makes it easy to see all your food and how much is left.
- Clean Out the Fridge — If the rest of your house is perfectly spotless and free of frustrating clutter, you’re only going to get upset every time you open the fridge. Make sure you clean out any old or uneaten food items and use refrigerator organizer bins to keep everything neat and tidy. This is a great way to ensure that your fridge stays clean because you can frequently remove the bins and clean them out rather than deep cleaning the whole thing.
- Neaten Up Your Cables — We all have dozens of electronics and charging cables in virtually every room of the house, which can create a bit of a cluttered aesthetic on the floor or countertop. Neatening up your cables can help you clean up your space visually while also preventing dust buildup. Use cable organizers, Velcro strips or even electrical tape to attack cable clutter.
- Revamp Your Closet — Like the fridge and pantry, the closet is one of those spaces that’s prone to an overflow of stuff. But, with so many great closet storage solutions out there, it’s one of the easiest to revolutionize. Consider investing in simple closet decluttering staples, such as drawer organizers, belt hangers, clothes storage bins and shoe shelving.
- Use Labeled Baskets in the Linen Closet — The linen closet is usually the last place to get reorganized, but it’s one that’s fairly easy to tackle. Fold or roll your towels, sheets, tablecloths, linen napkins and blankets and place them in large storage bins or baskets. Use your label maker to mark each bin with the item and the size (twin, queen, king, etc.) so you can grab exactly what you need without toppling over a sky-high pile of stuff.
- Keep Usable Surfaces Clean — Don’t get us wrong — we think there’s a time and a place for maximalist décor. If you love the eclectic, artsy look of layered artwork, sculptures, photos and candles, just make sure to relegate it to an area that isn’t used for working or eating, such as the mantel or high-up wall shelving. As a rule, leave décor off dining tables, coffee tables, desks and countertops. A centerpiece on the dining room table or a candle on a side table won’t hurt, but try to keep these spaces mostly free of knickknacks or artwork.
Source: Kostikova Natalia/Shutterstock.com
Taking the time up-front to implement a clutter-free environment is so worth it in the long run! Once you have the proper storage solutions and strategy, you’ll only have to spend a few minutes here and there to keep things in order for the long run.