Now, I am no clean freak, but I do like things “tidy”. I de-clutter on a regular basis. If you have minimalist tendencies, you may appreciate the tips that are about to follow. Some of them you may even be putting into use. Either way, you will also appreciate having your tendencies supported by a like-minded fellow.
Now, there really is no secret to keeping a tidy home. It’s all a matter of strategy in how a person decorates and maintains. That way, even if someone stops by unannounced, your home can still be presentable and your friends, family and neighbors will be really impressed. They will wonder how you do it. They will consider that you may have secret super powers. But, really, it’s all in the design.
- Toss Out The Unnecessaries – Clutter has got to go. If you don’t need it, toss it. If it’s not sentimental, toss it. If you have a duplicate and only need one, toss it. If you’ve held onto something just in case you needed it and a year has passed without needing it, toss it.
- Stow Paper – Receipts and bills can quickly become unsightly piles of mess. As much as possible, go paperless with companies that send regular bills and statements. For the rest of it, admit the truth that you will not be filing them away in their appropriate place on a daily or weekly basis. Place all receipts and correspondence in large manila envelopes by month and designate a drawer, closet shelf, or file cabinet where they can be stored out of sight.
- Daily Items Have A Place – The coffee table is not the place to dump your keys and pocketbook. Assign a place for those types of items that tend to get strewn haphazardly about the house and use it faithfully.
- Put Things Away – Don’t dump dirty dishes in the sink. It takes no more effort to place them in the dishwasher. Don’t dump a pile of folded laundry on the bed which will then be relocated to the top of the dresser when you attempt to climb in the bed later in the night. Don’t dump video game cases on the floor. Put them where they belong.
- Routine Clean – There are certain things that need to be cleaned every day, like the dishes. Determine what your daily must-do’s are and perform the same routine day in and day out. It will soon become effortless.
- Don’t Do It Alone – If you have kids, a roommate or a life partner, they can all contribute. To avoid misunderstandings, have a written list of everyone’s responsibilities and when they are expected to be completed in a highly visible place that everyone visits, like the refrigerator.
- One Task – Whereever you may be, perform a small task of cleaning. If you go in the bathroom to wash your hands, wipe the mirror down while you are in there. It’s amazing how much can be done by the end of the day using this method.
And, when de-cluttering, even if an item is relatively expensive to replace, honestly consider if you are going to use it. Exactly how often do you really use your crock pot or bread machine? Could you live without it? If so, get rid of it. Think about how much space those small kitchen appliances are taking up.
Take that thought with you as you prowl through your living spaces and examine larger pieces of furniture. Is that enormous china cabinet necessary? What exactly are you displaying? Is there a purpose to this display? If not, sell it and for gosh sakes, use that darn china. I was given my grandmother’s china when she passed away. My mother grieved me to death with masterful guilt trips and I didn’t use that china for years. It stayed safely stowed away taking up critical space in my various tiny apartments. Finally, one day, I got the liberated (or rebellious) idea to just use the darn china. I have never regretted that decision and I think my grandmother would approve. Although, my mother won’t even speak to me about this decision.
So, often there are lots of things, even big things, in our home that we can certainly live without. We’re just conditioned to believe we have to have them. But we don’t. So, don’t just de-clutter by cleaning out cabinets and drawers or tossing out knick knacks. Toss out a coffee table or lamp or china cabinet and really embrace the simplicity of minimalist living.