Home and Living

The Simple Guide to a Clutter-Free Life

[Image - Leeroy]
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Horrible, isn’t it? Tidying up. All that stuff has to go somewhere, but where does it belong?

Clutter can happen before you know it, especially when kids are involved. The coffee table that was once a clear and open plane, where neatly stacked magazines lived and the TV remotes could always be found – with room to put your feet up – has become a swarming scrapyard of clutter. It’s once shiny surface tarnished; blemished with mug stains and a congealed lump of what can only be ketchup. 

Never fear, we have some great tips to help you reclaim your home and find clarity, peace, feng-shui, positive vibes… or whatever having a tidy and organised home brings you.

Find everything a home

The main reason why we find an abundance of cluttered objects in our homes is that they have nowhere else to go. It’s important to remember that clutter is made up of individual objects – this may seem obvious, but we often just see clutter as a collective mess of equally stray items. Look at each one and think about where it “should be” in a more permanent sense and if it doesn’t have a home, now’s the time to give it one.

Boxes and bins

Boxes are the ultimate clutter-eliminator for any household. Find a large set of boxes that match your décor and pile them up neatly in the corner of each room – they are a godsend for tidying up the kid’s toys or finding a home for your latest man-project.

Each room seems to generate its own unique kind of rubbish, like the study being full of post-it notes, apple cores and screwed-up paper from printing errors. A good-sized bin in an easily reachable part of each room is a great way to keep that inevitable cycle of rubbish from taking up your surface space.

Keep what you need

Be realistic with yourself about what you will actually use – is there a pile of magazines building up that you know, deep down, you will never pick up and read again? It can be painful at first, but chucking out all of the stuff you never use will free up space you didn’t even know you had.

Clinging on to objects that remind us of good times (even if they’re from just last weekend) is something sentimental dads do all too well. The way to organise the real keepers certainly isn’t to just throw out all those memories or wonderful children’s creations, but to find a home for them. A box with “precious memories” stamped on it or a particular shelf in the cupboard doesn’t just give you more space, but can also make your sentimental items more safe and accessible.

Think walls and shelves

Putting your kitchenware on the shelves can double your cupboard space while giving the kitchen a much more organised appearance. You can take this tip one step further by printing a quirky “glasses”, “plates”, “mugs” etc. on the wall behind – this gives them even more of an organised vibe. Also, try installing a row of hooks or a bar on one wall and hanging up kitchen utensils, this will free up the draws.

When it comes to the garage, compartmentalising your shelves is key to keeping it organised. Shelving in the garage tends to be pretty hectic, but by sorting the shelves into departments for different types of objects, you will notice things can be found twice as fast. Just as with the kitchen, a row of hooks or anything to hang your spare tools on will free up space for clutter to be stored.

Be consistent

Keeping an eye out for runaway objects can soon become an effortless habit and save you hours of tidying at the weekend. Just taking those few moments to put things back as you use them – washing up as you cook or putting things back in the cabinets straight after use – can give your place a consistently clutter-free feeling (rather than just for those few hours after a mad tidying session).