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Clutter can have a devastating impact on how we feel about our homes and ourselves.

A messy home makes you feel overwhelmed, anxious and helpless, and distracts your attention from the things that matter. Really, how you ever tried to relax in a room crowded with stuff? It’s impossible, right?

Not only are you visually attacked with excessive stimuli, but you also feel guilt that you are not more organised – it’s a never-ending circle… or is it? You can break this loop today, if you decide to follow our seven commandments of a clutter-free life.

Let the size of your home dictate how much stuff you have

Have you ever looked at all the stuff you have in your home, and just thought “Well I definitely need a bigger house”? What if we tell you that you actually need fewer things? If you want to live without clutter, you will need to learn to live within your means, because, no matter how big your house is, if you don’t know this, you will still end up overcrowding it with things you actually don’t need.

Re-evaluate the things you own every now and then

De-cluttering is a major project, but only the first time you do it. The trick is that, regardless of how thoroughly you’ve cleaned your house of all the unnecessary items, new stuff will eventually accumulate, and make your life a mess. Make it your habit to go through your things and get rid of the things you don’t use anymore, a few times a year.

Increase your home’s storage capacity

Evaluate how many things you have, and how much storage capacity you need for every room. If you see that you truly lack in storage space, then you should do some updating.

First, use multi-purpose furniture (e.g. window bench and ottoman with storage). Consider hiring contractors for some more functional solutions. There are plenty of great companies across the country handling such tasks. They’ll not take up much of your space and will provide a great layout for organising different things.

Have a dedicated place to put away your junk

Even the most-organised person has junk in the house. The difference between an organised and unorganised person is that the former has a junk drawer. Yes, there is no reason to feel guilty for having a drawer for pens, rubber bands, and other tiny items you don’t have a place for.

Stop clutter with good habits

The key to maintaining a clutter-free life lies in developing healthy habits that will prevent stuff from piling up. Doing this on a daily basis requires less energy than one major de-cluttering project.

Some useful habits to embrace are cleaning the kitchen after each meal, fully completing works in and around the house, placing items in their designated locations (e.g. book goes in the bookshelf after you’ve read it) and folding clothes after wearing.

Adopt a one-in-one-out rule

Here is one specific way to fight clutter – adopting one-in-one-out rule. This means that whenever you buy one new thing (e.g. shirt, magazine, pot, etc.) you need to donate, recycle or throw away some old item. This will prevent the stuff from accumulating by limiting total numbers. If you want to stay ahead of clutter, upgrade the rule and make it one-in-two-out.

Fight consumer behaviour

This commandment might sound unrealistic to you in this day and age, but it’s a prerequisite for a happier life. A preoccupation with owning as many things as you can will not only clutter your home, but also devastate your wallet. Be aware that you don’t have to own everything you see on ads, and adopt the attitude of appreciating experiences over the material things. You will see just how quickly you will free your home of mess and feel happier and more fulfilled.

We’re accustomed to measuring our happiness with the things we own, but before we notice it, those things are overcrowding our homes and make us everything but happy. By de-cluttering your home, you will de-clutter your mind and get rid of unpleasant feelings of anxiety and stress, so start implementing these commandments as we speak. 

What measures do you take to de-clutter? Share with us below.

  • That place looks a mess! To try and look de cluttered, I have things shoved in every out of sight nook and cranny. I would need a new hubby to be truly clutter free, he’s such a hoarder

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  • i need to so some serious decluttering!

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  • Love these ideas, especially the one-in-one-out rule. I also find myself happier with less clutter, though sometimes the clutter is there from being unhappy and letting it go. All the more reason the be happy!

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  • Fortunately I’m a minimalist – I cannot live with clutter.

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  • I find storage containers are very handy. I bought a couple and assigned a box each to my children to keep their bits and pieces in and it has helped.

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  • Great tips, now to bring them in practice !
    I’m quite organized but gather too much stuff. I buy for example new clothes but find it hard to throw away clothes (things I still like and wear every now and then but not often).

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  • Great article! And so true! I always get down when my house is a cluttered mess. So much easier to feel happy when the place is tidy and uncluttered. I love the one-in-one-out idea. I think I am going to start that!!


    • Clutter free does give you more time for other things and you are right you do feel better with less.

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  • My favourite tip in your article is to fight consumer behaviour or consumption. It does take discipline to not spend and purchase material items. We only buy what we need and what we have planned to purchase within our budget. There is no point in having ‘stuff’ in your home that is never used and takes up space.

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  • Our bench is a magnet for clutter and it drove me crazy. So I culled some kitchen items underneath the worst spot, and have now allocated a home for everything that doesn’t have a home. It’s helped so much

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  • My Mum had a saying “Don’t put it down, put it away”. So, so true.
    Sometimes old clothes that are replaced are ready for the rag bag. If they are the right type of fabric they can be used for cleaning of some type. If you have “tradies” or handymen in your household they may appreciate rags. Mechanics use them for cleaning parts, tools, any spills and wiping any substances used off their hands. Painters have similar uses for them. Gardeners can use them for cleaning the tools, containers and hands of dirt and sap from some plants. You can use them for cleaning up spills, dusting etc in inside your house. Stains of concrete or paver driveway, paths or carport / garage floors.

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  • To de-clutter your home is a wonderful feeling!

    Reply

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