Do you have a routine in place to help keep your home clutter-free?
Keeping on top of the clutter can be especially hard with active kids at home that constantly contribute to the mess. Truth be told, I find it challenging to have every room picked up and clutter-free at all times.
What I do have is a routine in place to help me plan and stay on top of it. There are things I do every day, as well as on a monthly, seasonally, and yearly basis to help keep our clutter at a minimum. I hope to inspire you to make that plan of how you will stay on top of the clutter.
Once A Day:
1// Make Your Bed: this is an easy thing to do to help your day start off on the right foot. Research shows that people who make their beds are happier.
2// Manage The Clutter: Make this a family effort! Consistency is key in requiring your kids to pick up after themselves (they need lots of reminders). Try to not make piles but to deal with things as they come. I have folders in my kitchen that help me organize the clutter.
3// Sort The Mail: I don’t like to deal with mail on the daily but rather a few times a week. When I get the mail, I make sure it’s at a time when I can sort it. Make a junk pile, a pile to file and a pile of items you need to tend to. Again, I use my folder system to put items I need to deal with into the home & school file.
4// Clean As You Cook: leaving the dishes dirty makes the food dry and harden on everything. This will waste more time because it will take longer to clean. I find that the stove is easier to clean when it is still mildly hot from using it.
5// Sweep/Dust Buster/Vacuum: My boys make a big mess on the floor after eating and if you don’t clean it up the mess will start trekking around the house. I use my dustbuster and get under their table quickly after meals. I sweep the kitchen and family each night after cleaning up after dinner.
6// End Of The Night Check: After dinner, I clean the kitchen, wash off the countertops, put items on the stairs that don’t belong downstairs and I tidy up the main living area, the family room. It helps to start the next day fresh and organized.
Once A Month:
1// Have A Donate Box: I have a box always available to add items into it in the garage. This box is full of various items for Goodwill. It’s a good idea to always have a box going for donation so when you come across an item no longer needed it has a place to go.
2// Desk Drawer and/or Junk Drawer: I don’t know about you but this drawer gets messed with by everyone and it always needs to be cleaned out and sorted each month.
3// Pantry: This area usually needs to be looked over once a month because again everyone’s hands are in it and it inevitably needs to be reset and organized back to normal.
4// Laundry Room: Random items tend to collect in this room and need to be sorted through. This area usually collects sports stuff, random items that need special cleaning, items to go to the garage, tools that were used, or things from outings that need to be put back away.
Once A Season:
1// Kids Clothes: This area always needs editing by the end of every season for us. Kids grow and clothes get torn up or stained beyond wearing again. We combat this task by always having a plastic bin in each of our boy’s closets. When an item no longer fits but is re-wearable from Luke’s clothes it gets added to the bin for Tyler to use down the line. When Tyler no longer fits into something I make the decision if it will go to a family friend or Goodwill (box in the garage) or the trash. Besides doing this, I also still need to go through their dresser and closet at the end of every season. This is also a good time to look and see what I need to get them for the next season so we are prepared and ready.
2// Garage: Make sure it is still functional. I don’t know about you but this is another area for us where things get moved around a lot and messed up. I usually need to throw away broken items & trash, put things back where they belong, and clean off the shelves with some wipes. Determine if a new area is needed to be assigned to a group of items.
Tip: We get 3 large trash pickups a year and when you clean this area it’s a good time to determine if a large trash pick up is needed to declutter. You don’t need to hold on to your trash, schedule the pickup and get it out of your living space.
Once A Year:
1// Paper files: We still keep a large file cabinet. This houses a variety of items and documents for us. I only like to keep 2 years worth of bills and statements. I also keep files for Important documents (marriage license, passports, baptisms, etc). I keep a file for the cards I do want to hold onto, a file for manuals for our home and kid stuff. After a year’s time, not all the files but a few need to be edited. I make two piles, throw away and shredding pile. Don’t throw away documents with important info printed on them, always better to be safe than sorry.
2// Desk: We have a couple of desks but the one in the kitchen always needs to be cleaned out. We have 4 drawers and a cabinet and you’d be surprised how much gets dumped into these areas. Our needs change every year too so it’s a good time if you want to reorganize this area to fit your needs better.
3// Clean out your closet: This is a dreaded task, especially for me but it definitely needs to be done. If you don’t tackle this task it gets overwhelming. They say if you haven’t worn it in 3 years to get rid of it. If you really think the style will come back and you aren’t ready to part ways, add it to a container that fits under your bed. Don’t forget to check in on the container too and edit items. Honestly, it stresses me out when I look at my closet and half of the things are not wearable. Force yourself to edit your clothes that are hanging and clothes that are in your drawers.
I hope this checklist gives you a starting point of areas you can clean out starting today. Then work your way to the monthly, seasonally and yearly areas. Trust me when I say if you stay on top of this checklist it is easier to maintain and have your home be clutter-free. Let me know if you have any questions or if you need ideas on how to tackle this declutter checklist.