You may be sitting in your house, looking around and thinking that it’s time to get clean and organized(Opens in a new window). But it can often feel overwhelming. How do you start decluttering? By taking on a few simple actions each day, keeping your goals small, and taking baby steps, you'll be able to better streamline your life, which can even reduce stress. You’ll get there in time and realize how good it will feel to get rid of the stuff that doesn't matter anymore.
Whether you're looking to clear clutter for the New Year(Opens in a new window) or all year round, start taking on these five life-changing habits to improve your home.
1. Hang, launder, or fold your clothing at the end of the day.
Allowing your dirty (or clean) clothing to hit the floor is a dangerous trap for adding clutter to your home. Free up your floor space by taking off your clothes right by your closet and immediately hanging up or folding the items that are still clean. Put the rest into your hamper. If there’s something that needs to be aired out or worn the next day, hang it on hooks(Opens in a new window) on the back of your closet door. This helpful tip will not only streamline your life, it'll improve your laundry routine(Opens in a new window).
2. Never leave dirty dishes overnight.
A sink full of dirty dishes can leave you starting off the day with a mess. Take the time to wash your dishes before heading to bed. Make the task easier with a good scrubbing brush(Opens in a new window). Better yet, add it to your kids' list of chores(Opens in a new window). You’ll be thankful in the morning when you start the day off right. Plus, save countertop space with this a dish rack(Opens in a new window).
3. Tackle the mail daily.
Take a couple of minutes every day to sort incoming mail. Recycle the junk, open up bills and letters, and file papers that are worth keeping. If anything needs attention, consider them “active” and place them somewhere safe — like an organized desk drawer(Opens in a new window) — so you can address them when there’s time.
4. Wipe down countertops at the end of each day.
To leave your kitchen fresh and tidy(Opens in a new window) in between thorough cleanings, get in the habit of wiping down your countertops(Opens in a new window) before bedtime. Make sure to keep basic cleaning supplies(Opens in a new window) easily accessible by storing them on a large turntable(Opens in a new window) under your sink. And corral your rags and sponges(Opens in a new window) in a stainless steel container with a removable bottom that makes it easy to keep clean.
5. Say “no” to useless freebies.
It’s hard to reject something free, but doing so can help steer you clear of unnecessary clutter and collections of items you never use. Does an excess of reusable water bottles(Opens in a new window) or bathroom drawer(Opens in a new window) full of tiny samples sound familiar? If it does, train yourself to say “no” next time these freebies come your way.
Continue simplifying your life with these must-have gifts to keep you organized(Opens in a new window).