These clutter free homes all look, and feel great. What you don’t see is the homeowner’s 10×20 storage unit she has packed to the ceiling. Here are some tips to get you a clutter free lifestyle.
It’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful photographs online, or in design magazines. It’s a combination between luxury items, professional photography, and clean, clutter-free images. Your house can look almost as good as a Dwell magazine, without the luxury furniture and professional photography. The real key is clutter-free living. Here are some tips.
1) Eliminate drop zones.
When people come home from work, they drop their keys, mail, wallet, and phones, etc. into a ‘drop zone’. Drop zones can appear on any flat surface, typically near entry doors. They quickly render the surface unusable, and become an organizational headache. First, opt out of all of the unnecessary mailings your receive. Visit the Federal Trade Commission website here: ftc and opt out of call lists and mailing lists. Second, reduce key ring clutter. How many keys do you really need daily? New advances in door technology may soon render your house and vehicle keys obsolete, and you can use your phone or smartwatch to open doors. Check out: kevo.com . At $219 cost with battery replacement every 12 months, this may be for early adopters only. Consider moving to a place where you leave your doors unlocked for now.
2) Move seasonal items into storage.
It’s as simple as categorizing your items into Winter or Summer. Box up your winter items for storage, and bring back your summer items from storage all in one trip. Just one quick way to get the skis out of the mudroom and make room for your stand-up paddle board. You would be amazed at how infrequently you access certain items. How many of us have boxes in the basement that have never been unpacked since the last move?
Other ways of prioritizing your possessions is a rating system based on how frequently you need the item. Rate it 1 if you need it frequently. Rate 2 for occasionally or monthly. Rate 3 for seasonally, or up to 2 times a years. Rate 4 for items you may only need access to once a year, or less. Your 3-4 items are ideal for offsite storage.
3) One item in, one item out rule.
This is especially helpful for homes with children. Toys can easily get out of hand. In my home, every couple of months we pack up the majority of the toys scattered around and bring them to our storage unit. We bring back the boxes of toys that we packed up several months prior. The kids feel like they are getting new toys, and the euphoria doesn’t wear off for weeks. Another way to use this rule is for every new toy, one toy must be donated or disposed of. Make the kids part of it, as this is a helpful character building exercise.
A clutter free home is within reach! But is does take work. I hope these simple tips can get you started.