When it comes to keeping your home clean, we all know the basics. For some, that means keeping a chore chart or having a family day dedicated to cleaning the house but how often do you get rid of unneeded items?
Countless studies prove the harmful effects of clutter. Clutter gives you anxiety, limits productivity, and can actually influence weight gain! Not to mention that those surrounded by clutter are more likely to exhibit sleeping problems.
In our current climate, the last thing we or our family needs is more stress, and now that roughly 40% of Americans are working from home, having a clear and clean house is more important than ever! Before diving into tips for removing clutter, let’s define what it is and where clutter might be hiding.
What is Clutter?
Clutter is a collection of things lying around in an untidy mess that commonly has no home and needs sorting. As busy moms, we tend to keep stuff around our homes because we haven’t decided where to put them, and we have psychological clutter in our lives because we haven’t taken control and decided what is and isn’t important to us. Both physical and psychological clutter sends signals to our brains that our work is never done and creates guilt, anxiety, and the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Types of Clutter
The most common types of clutter might be hiding right before our eyes. Let’s discuss the most common types of clutter and tips for getting rid of them.
Stuff Without a Home
The most common type of clutter is simply belongings without a home. This type of clutter could be mail that has yet to be opened, read, and dealt with, beach chairs you’ve yet to put in storage, old ornaments that didn’t make it into the decorations box, and more! This is the type of clutter that is going to take some extra steps and time to deal with. Before you throw them onto any shelf, make a storage space for them.
Just Plain Trash
This type of clutter is the easiest to get rid of but might be disguising itself as belongings or items of value. Look around your home for unread magazines, items that need repair, or have expired. If you haven’t thought about the items in over a month, get rid of them.
Sometimes the most common type of clutter is the freebies or discounted items we scored in the past. Any items that seemed like a win in the store, might now just be taking up space and need to go!
Just in Case Items
As bulk shoppers or anyone preparing for the apocalypse might know, stocking up on items you know you’re going to use might sound like a good idea. But once extra items become an abundance of clutter, a line needs to be drawn. This could mean getting rid of extra home decor items, unperishable foods, or cleaning items.
Items of Sentimental Value
We all have those items we just can’t get rid of like baby clothes and gifts from our loved ones. Find creative ways to store these items or take digital pictures of them for memory.
Now that you know what clutter is and looks like, you are ready to declutter like a pro. Interior designer and advisory board member for Home Life Digest, Caitlyn Davidian, recently said in an interview, “Our home is a space for us to flourish in, to personalize and to respect” so here are five science-backed methods for getting your home in tip-top shape!
How Busy Moms Can Declutter Their Homes
Decluttering your home can be broken down into five easy steps. Follow along for organizing tips for busy moms.
1. Start Small
Instead of wanting to do it all in one day, declutter one space at a time: a drawer, a bookshelf, a closet, a room. Habit-formation advice, paired with small changes has been tested as a successful behavior change strategy you can incorporate into your decluttering plan.
2. Schedule Decluttering Sessions in Your Family’s Calendar
The best way to spear-head decluttering as a busy mom is to schedule in decluttering sessions that work with your family’s calendar. Start by adding a two-hour decluttering session (not cleaning, decluttering) on weekends every other week, as you see fit. This can include a quarterly toy and clothing decluttering session as little ones outgrow their belongings. Don’t forget to reward your family to motivate them to keep up the good work!
3. Get the Entire Family Involved
The first person you can enroll is your partner. Then, enrolling the kids as they grow up helps avoid more clutter and sets them on the right track for the future. Establish a lifestyle of minimalism by leading by example.
4. Implement the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule refers to a family’s 80% use of only 20% of their belongings. From kitchen appliances to clothing we tend to favor certain belongings and use them frequently. Especially now that your children’s coursework is online getting rid of items they won’t need can clear space and offer peace of mind.
5. Declutter Memorabilia
The last tip for busy moms is decluttering memorabilia. If those seashells from your honeymoon and that dress you loved before kids no longer serve a purpose then get rid of them. Memorabilia often keeps us stuck in the past and can prevent us from moving forward.
Lastly, the most important part of beginning your decluttering journey is reminding yourself that getting rid of unneeded belongings can only benefit you and your families’ mental health. We live in a time of uncertainty and chaos, so start small and don’t expect change overnight. Creating the perfect home oasis takes dedication and consistency so lead by example and take each decluttering session one day at a time.
Read about how you can quickly declutter your home office, or get some practical tips to declutter your kids’ toys.