What is everyday clutter (and how to tackle it!)

So…you look around the house and there’s a ton of messy patches – I get it, I’ve been there, it all starts to meld into one! If you have done some work around decluttering your house i.e. donating/selling – it’s actually gone out the door and you STILL have mess….read on dear friend.

You need to find homes for your stuff and start putting it away. But don’t worry, it’s easy if you develop some small and easy habits. Soon enough, you’ll be automatically putting things away, your home will look SO much tidier AND you’ll be able to find stuff when you need it (this still makes me smile!!).

Identify what you’re keeping

As I always recommend when starting a declutter session, grab some bags/boxes and designate them ‘Keep‘, ‘Bin‘ and ‘Donate‘. First of all, if you’re working on a space and you find something that doesn’t need to stay, make sure you put it in the ‘Bin‘ or ‘Donate‘ piles straight away – don’t make yourself sort through things multiple times!

recycling and waste bins

If it helps, you could also sort what you’re keeping in bags or boxes for different rooms or different types of things e.g. things for upstairs/your bedroom or stationery. I often do this when I realise things have crept into a room they shouldn’t stay in – I’ll make a little box of stuff to take back upstairs and put it back all in one go.

Let’s make some decisions

There will undoubtedly be some stuff that has a home and just needs to go back – easy peasy. Now the rest is the harder stuff, the stuff that you’ve unconsciously not been making decisions about where it goes and therefore it just gets put down where there is a free space. Clutter is after all, delayed decision-making (I love that quote!). So lets make some decisions:

storage box
  • Group like items together, so you can see how much you have and choose a home accordingly. This could be a drawer, a box or a jar.
  • Now, where makes most sense for those items to go? Where do you use them most often? If you don’t use them often or you don’t have room nearby e.g. tools, where is best to store them out of the way until you need them?
  • Go with your gut on these decisions, it will help you remember where you’ve put things – you can always change things later if it’s not working for you – nothing is set in stone so don’t panic 🙂

Developing good habits

You want to avoid the frustration you’ve been having about the mess and not being able to find things, right? So let’s keep it nice and tidy.

Remember, it takes the same 5 seconds to put something back RIGHT NOW as it will a week from now…

Try to catch yourself putting things down where they don’t belong and instead spend 5/10 seconds putting it back in its new home where you can find it again next time. Remember, it takes the same 5 seconds to put something back RIGHT NOW as it will a week from now. That’s a week of it annoying you (consciously or subconsciously) that you could avoid!

If you have a lot of things to go back, what I find can work well is a catch-all box for during the day, this has been a game-changer for some of my clients. You can put things in it that need to go back in a certain room or say, upstairs, so that you’re not doing a crazy amount of back and forth (unless you want to get more steps in). BUT make sure you put that stuff back at the end of the day.

I find even 5 minutes of a tidy up at the end of the day can make a big difference in a short period of time. And the more you see the results of your good habits, the more likely you are to keep it up!

Let’s get going!

Now that I’ve helped you identify the items in your house that don’t have a home and what to do, you can conquer those piles that have been annoying you. You deserve a space that works for you, not AGAINST you. It just requires a little bit of self-awareness, small habits and your home will make you smile again! Go forth and conquer!

2 thoughts on “What is everyday clutter (and how to tackle it!)

  1. Lizzy

    Nice post! I like the catch all box (we call it a gubbins box in this house). I just struggle to empty it at the end of the day and end up with a bigger and bigger gubbins box that one of us will finally crack and deal with 🤣

    • Louise

      Haha, you’re the only person apart from my hubby I’ve heard use the word ‘gubbins’! I’ve been trying to attach certain chores to things I always have to do, so like I could empty the catch all box when the kids are getting ready for bed. Do you think something like that would help?

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