Keeping Clutter At Bay

Keeping Clutter At Bay

When I design rooms, I want them to be livable spaces. I try to think about how the space will be used. What items will get tossed on this surface? Who will be sitting here? Will they have food? Wine? A sippy cup? Knowing these behaviors allows me to figure out what kind of storage should be present, what types of surfaces would be good and where to place decorative items.

While rooms that are lived in will rarely stay in their “original” designed state, no one wants to be in a room that feels overwhelmingly messy. After all, friends drop by unexpectedly and sometimes in-laws like to check in. No one likes saying, “Sorry for the mess.” So, here are a few tips to keep clutter at bay.

Designing this kid’s room we made sure there was a
place for all of her school and personal items.

1) A place for everything, everything in its place. It’s a saying for a reason. This means EVERYTHING. Where do keys or your purse go when you come home? What happens when you get the mail? Do shoes get removed before entering the house? This is what I mean about thinking through how you live. Make sure your home is arranged to make organization and neatness as easy as possible. For instance, when you get the mail you may not have time to deal with all of the pressing items immediately, but have a drawer where it goes or a filing system. Whatever works for you.

2) Stick to a schedule, have a routine (as much as possible). I love this sample cleaning schedule from Re-Nest. I’d encourage you to adapt to your own needs, print it out and stick it somewhere you’ll see it regularly (like the fridge).

3) Apply a little pressure. Having people over to your home on a regular basis can also be a great motivator to keep things in order. I’m not talking about doing a deep clean every time there’s a visitor, just making your place presentable. Also, having regular cleaning service stop by once or twice a month will motivate you to put things away so they can clean the nooks and crannies more easily.

4) No excuses. This has become my mantra with exercising lately, but it holds true for lots of areas of life. Don’t put things off because, in the end, even 15 minutes of tidying is much easier to deal with than an all-day mountain-of-stuff-clearing marathon. You likely do not have a free day, but very likely have a free 15 minutes. And if you’re having issues with procrastination, the aragonite stars we sell in the store are great to get you motivated!

Aragonite stars help with procrastination and
are available in our store.

5) It’s okay to look like people live in your home. Some people feel pressure that their home must be “perfect.” This is not necessary and ultimately doesn’t create the warm, homey environment guests love to be in. For instance, if you have your family take their shoes off before they enter the house, great! But instead of a messy pile in the home, think about a cute basket in the garage where they can throw them. Or even better, try to create a mud room in the garage that keeps the dirt in an “outside” space, along with hooks for backpacks that keep them from becoming a mountain of stuff on the kitchen counter or dining room table.

These are just a few ways I keep my home mess free. Is there anything you do to keep clutter at bay?