I always find that my apartment is the messiest during the summertime. The weather is beautiful so I just want to spend every possible moment outside. There’s no time to sit around and organize my stuff – there’s no time to even pick up after myself! Every day is packed with things to do – and none of them involve cleaning up.
But in my opinion, there’s nothing better than rising with the sun on a warm summer day, waking up to a nice, clutter-free home, with sun pouring through the windows and birds chirping away outside. All it takes are a few simple steps. Here are my tips on how to reduce the clutter in order to fully enjoy those relaxing moments that you do happen to spend indoors.
1. Get Rid of It
Some of us hold onto things because of their sentimental value, some of us think “but I might need that…”, some of us don’t want anything to go to waste, and some of us just don’t want to spend the time sifting through everything. I like to follow the “one year” rule. A lot of the things I have are seasonal, but if an entire year goes by and I haven’t used something, it’s time to do something about it. You don’t have to throw it away, but you can certainly find a new (non-cluttered) use for it or donate it to someone in need! If you’re sentimental about your items, choose a select few that strongly hold certain memories for you and keep them… the rest can probably go. Just because you physically get rid of something doesn’t mean it will no longer be a part of your memory.
2. Store It Nicely
Group like items together and find a way to store them. This doesn’t have to mean loading up on (un-cute) plastic containers – find cool-looking glass jars and vintage wooden crates to store your stuff. If you have a good-looking storage solution, you’re more likely to put things where they belong… and keep them there.
3. Put it Where it Belongs – Right Away
“Ehh, I’ll just put that away later.” I am such a victim of this. SUCH a victim. Whether it be food, dishes, or clothes (especially clean laundry), I’m often in a rush, and most times I just don’t feel like doing it. I just don’t. But have you ever noticed what happens when you leave something where it doesn’t belog? The longer it sits there, the more you ignore it… and the easier it becomes for your home to start filling up with more unnecessary clutter. Please do as I say and not as I do. When something is ready to be put away, put it away! You’ll feel so much better after you do – and you’ll be that much closer to making it into a daily thing. Remember, kids: it only takes somewhere between 18 and 254 days to form a habit (haha).
4. Focus on One Thing
This idea can be used when it comes to cleaning – to focus on de-cluttering one room, or even just one area — but what I really think you should use this idea for is, of course, décor. I personally love to display my decorative items in little clusters… little clusters that take over every inch of space in my apartment, but sometimes it gets overwhelming and can feel quite messy. For a feeling of instant tidiness, take all those tiny little items and stick ‘em in a box (this box can be cute – see step 2). Now you’re left with endless space; an empty canvas. Fill that once-cluttered space with just one item. It can be anything – a candle, a vase, a rock collection. Now, when you look at that space, you’ll give more attention to this one item that may have gone unnoticed in the past. To be fair to all your little treasures, and to keep things interesting, change this one item up often – weekly, daily… it’s up to you! A decorative space that’s constantly changing will help keep your inspiration flowing, your mind moving, and your life happy.
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