If you have a habit of letting clutter pile up, these decluttering tips will help you turn your home into a more relaxing and orderly environment.

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Important Decluttering Habits

Do you let clutter pile up because you plan to clear it away later? Perhaps you think you’ll have more energy or time to deal with it in the future. Maybe you put off tasks because you don’t have systems in place to address the accumulation of everyday items that can lead to a cluttered home. Well, we all know what happens when we put off dealing with clutter. It grows! One pile turns into twelve. One stack of papers eventually multiplies and fills your desk. You run out of room for things you need and love, and you become overwhelmed because you feel your home environment is stressful rather than peaceful.

So how can you turn your home into a consistently relaxing and orderly environment?

The answers are simple, but it’s easier said than done. Bring in less, let go of more, and learn new habits to deal with the everyday clutter that threatens to take over your home.

It will take time to reset your habits and tidy up your home, but you can start today with a plan for transformation. The secret to keeping clutter from taking over is to deal with it now, not later. When you handle clutter appropriately, right in the moment, it is much easier to manage your home. You will feel less overwhelmed and more in control of your belongings and schedule. You’ll be more likely to recognize clutter for what it is: something you don’t want in your home, not even in small quantities. Once you make a habit of dealing with clutter now versus later, you’ll make better decisions about what to buy or bring home, eliminating clutter before it even crosses your threshold!

Here are 15 easy, do-it-now decluttering tips to make into daily habits.

Attractive blonde with paperwork.

1. File papers as soon as you know you need to keep them.
2. Keep the dishwasher empty.
3. Clean the dishes after dinner.
4. Put clothes away as you take them off.
5. Fold, hang or put away laundry as you take it out of the dryer.
6. Put away cosmetics after use.
7. Wipe off bathroom and kitchen counters before you leave the room.
8. Take belongings to their rightful locations, rather than letting them pile up on surfaces.
9. Immediately shred unnecessary paperwork; don’t stack it up for shredding later.
10. Recycle unnecessary mail right away.
11. Reset your desk to order at the end of every day.
12. Clear the kitchen counter before bed.
13. Immediately hang your coat and bags as you enter the house.
14. For every new item you bring into the home, remove one or two things by discarding or donating them.
15. Tidy up a cluttered surface while you talk on the phone—use speaker phone to free your hands!

When you get in the do-it-now mindset, you’ll realize decluttering and tidying a home is not only possible now, but also it’s easier and more effortless than you thought!

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About the Author

Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels is the author and creator of one of the top home decorating blogs on the web, The Inspired Room. She has been featured on such sites and publications as HGTV.com, Apartment Therapy, and Ladies Home Journal.

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  • All great tips! I always use “phone” time to get mundane tasks accomplished. I need to get a headset, though, since I end up with the crooked neck cramp:)

    • Writer Eva

      I agree. A headset works much better, both for you and for the person you are speaking to. I dislike trying to hear what someone says when they use a speaker phone. They don’t realize how garbled it sounds!

    • Thanks for reading Seana! A bluetooth headset would definitely help

  • Kathie Briggs

    I am a (recent) widow with a house for sale and I thoroughly endorse the habits you have outlined. I have incorporated almost all of these into my routine. Before we put the house up for sale, when my husband was still alive, I started paring down by finding at least 10 things every day to get rid of (recycle, donate, throw away) and after about 6 months I had really simplified. It wasn’t easy but yes, less can really be more. Now I am so glad I did that because keeping things perfectly in order is so important for house showings. These habits took a while to establish but now they are automatic. The only one you mention that doesn’t work for me is an empty dishwasher. I can see the benefit however if one has a family. I’m alone so my version is a dishwasher that I would not be ashamed to open in front of anyone. I still haven’t sold the house but at least its appearance is one thing I have control over.

    • Thank you for reading, Kathie. You make a great point about how the habits becoming automatic. And once you see the results you’re inclined to stick to them. Glad these helped and please let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Writer Eva

    Keeping my work area organized was important to me. Especially since I often worked for bosses who didn’t and who still expected me to know where everything was! I had one boss who “organized” all his customer and project files in piles on the floor of his office. Another dumped everything on his desk and then would call for me to come find a certain paper that was “in this mess somewhere.” Fun times!

  • sayee

    These are really great suggestions and I would love to follow these rules. But with a super active toddler and a slob husband I find the clutter going out of control more often than not. I find it simply impossible to keep up. Not to mention that I have a full time job , 3 hours of commute everyday and no help from the hubs.

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