Skip to main content

How to Declutter Your Home

Through minimalism, I have learned that less is often more. Working towards being a minimalist, I even work on a blog Angie's Abnegation.

A clean decluttered home is a happy home!

A clean decluttered home is a happy home!

Daily Habits That Will Keep Your House Clean

Have you ever got up on a Saturday morning and spent the better part of the day cleaning the house? Have you ever started cleaning the house, and your kids ask, "Who is coming over?" Have you ever wondered, "How did my house get this way?"

You have probably gotten into lousy cleaning habits if you have ever asked any of these questions. The best way to clean your house is a little at a time by creating daily habits that you end up doing without even thinking, such as:

  • When you finally crawl out of bed, take the two minutes it takes to fluff your pillow and pull up the covers.
  • Right after you get ready, take a washcloth and wipe the counter and sinks of the bathroom.
  • Keep a recycle bin near where you keep the mail. Before you even set the mail in its designated spot, toss the junk mail so that you only have essential items to go through.
  • Clean the kitchen as you cook.
  • After using the restroom at least once a day, scrub the toilet with the toilet bowl brush. You will find you do not need toilet bowl cleaner as frequently, if at all. Better yet, use a brush that comes with a disinfectant in it.

Habits take 21 days to take root. All you have to do is focus on these habits for less than a month. Soon you will find that you are doing them without a second thought, your house is staying cleaner, and you have less Saturday morning scrubbing to do.

To complete all of these items each day will take just a few minutes. But if you let this add up until the end of the week, you will spend much more time picking up and scrubbing than had you done it throughout the week. Plus, it is nicer to have a clean house that doesn't feel like an effort rather than one you spent all day accomplishing.

A decluttered closet is heaven on earth.

A decluttered closet is heaven on earth.

10 Minute Cleans

The most significant deterrent to cleaning is the amount of time you know you will have to put into it. That is why it is good to use a timer, so you know there is an end.

Set a Timer

First, choose a hot spot that needs to be decluttered, cleaned, purged, or scoured. Once you select that spot, set a timer for 10 minutes. Work like crazy. Then when the timer goes off, stop until the next day. Resist the urge to keep working. If you do, the chances are that you will resist cleaning for 10 minutes the next day and thus fall out of the habit.

Be Consistent

It is good to choose a part of the day when you always clean a hot spot. Maybe the 10 minutes after you put the kids to bed, the 10 minutes when you get home from work, or the 10 minutes before you get into the shower. It doesn't matter when it is, but be consistent.

By cleaning a little every day, you will find that you clean more than spending an hour every once in a while.

Here are 10 great hot-spot ideas to get you started:

  1. Go through your medicine cabinet and throw away all expired medications, lotions, sunscreens, etc.
  2. Pick through your closet or your child's closet, filling a bag full of clothes that do not fit you or that you do not wear.
  3. Sort through a collection of papers or mail. Recycle some and file others.
  4. Take a trash bag and spend 10 minutes filling it with things to throw away.
  5. Go through your books/movies/CDs and find ones you want to donate/throw away/give away.
  6. Grab a box and fill it with things to donate to Goodwill or other similar organizations.
  7. Spend 10 minutes either putting old photos in albums or, better yet, scanning them to an online album.
  8. Toss old spices you never use.
  9. Clean out the fridge.
  10. Vacuum under the couch and chair cushions.
Get a peaceful sleep in a clean bedroom!

Get a peaceful sleep in a clean bedroom!

Why Clutter Cannot Be Cleaned

Many assume that clutter needs to be organized. Although clutter can be arranged in the short term, the chances are that if there is a lot of stuff, it will soon be in its original state very quickly.

Much of the stuff that gets moved and misplaced, you only moved to find what you wanted. The more things get moved, the less organized you become until you become overwhelmed and reorganize the area once more.

To truly clean clutter, you must get rid of it. If you notice that there is an area that never stays clean, there is just too much stuff.

For instance, your kids' room is probably the prime example. If you were to go through all the items on the floor, you might find that they only play with a handful of them. They placed the rest there to get to the desired toy, which is true not only for our kids' messes but also for our own.

An organized closest will serve you right.

An organized closest will serve you right.

Further Help: Fly Lady

If you need further help and great ideas, I found that the Fly Lady has fantastic recommendations. I am not affiliated with her, but I adore her programs.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Angela Michelle Schultz


Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 18, 2018:

Thank you, we are actually taking a more minimalist approach as a family. I even started writing a blog about it called Angie's Abnegation.

Mizbejabbers on May 17, 2018:

This is good advice and at one time I did some of the very things you suggested. Years ago in another life I kept a letter-perfect house because that husband kept us moving around so much that we had very little. It was so easy to clean, even with small children. Now 40 years later and a pack-rat for a husband, I give up. I'm thankful for my abundance now, but sometimes I long for those minimalist days. This is a very good article, well written and organized.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 16, 2018:

Larry, she probably has developed some really great habits. That was something I had to learn the hard way. My husband is the one who is naturally clean. :)

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 16, 2018:

That is a very good practice!

Larry W Fish from Raleigh on May 16, 2018:

Angela, my wife is a specialist at keeping our one bedroom apartment clutter free. Honestly, I don't know how she does it. It it was just me living my myself I am sure it would look nothing like it does now. Thanks for a great article.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on May 16, 2018:

Very nice tips for organizing the things. I follow this habit of devoting some minutes daily to cleaning before going to take my bath. It gives much relief and a good amount of satisfaction that everything is fine.