Do you wish you could establish more of a structured routine at home to stay on top of your household? Whether you live alone as a single, with your significant other, in a flatshare, or have a family: time is a valuable commodity. And you want to budget it carefully. Last thing anyone needs is to wake up to a mountain of cleaning and laundry on a Saturday morning after a grueling week of work, school, or managing the wee ones. Here are eight easy daily decluttering bursts you can integrate into your weekday routine. Making these a habit will keep your place tidy throughout the week so you have more leisure time for the things you really love. Plus they provide a sense of accomplishment with minimal effort!
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Sort Daily Post Immediately
Whenever you bring the mail in, sort it immediately instead of letting it stack up. Put any junk mail and flyers into the paper recycling bin. Open your letters right away and decide what to do with them. If they’re irrelevant notices you don’t need to take any action on, shred them. If you need to file anything like statements, then file it right away. Make a note of any dates you need to have on your calendar. Put anything you have to take action on or respond to into a to-do or action file at your desk.
Getting the daily mail out of the way is a super fast decluttering trick that prevents it from piling up on your kitchen counter, desk, or at the front door. Plus you’ll never miss paying a bill or circling back on anything you need to respond to.
Put Away Clothes
There are only two categories of laundry: clean or dirty. There is no in-between. Put clothes away at the end of the day. Don’t leave them out on the chair or in the bath. If something’s dirty, toss it in the laundry hamper. If it’s still clean and can be worn again, fold it or hang it, and put it away. Do the laundry when the hamper is full, don’t let the ironing pile stack up, and fold the clothes as soon as they’re dry.
Putting away clothes is a super fast daily decluttering routine that makes it so much easier to keep things tidy.
Never Leave a Room Empty-Handed
This is another easy, yet effective, trick to keep clutter at bay. Headed to the laundry room after doing the dishes? Take the dirty kitchen towels and washcloths with you. Getting up to make yourself a snack in the kitchen? Take the newspaper you just finished reading so you can toss it into the recycling bin. There’s usually something in every room that doesn’t actually belong there. Take it with you when you get up and move to another room so you can put it away.
Keeping everything in its place and picking up after yourself as you finish using things saves you the trouble of dealing with a much larger mess to tidy later on in the week.
Make Your Bed
If you can only do one thing a day at home, make your bed. There’s hardly anything at home that can look more unkempt and depressing than an unmade bed. It creates a huge focal point of cluttered, untidy havoc in the room. And it points to a larger issue: chaos on the inside. I actually doubt there is a successful person out there who gets into an unmade bed at night.
Air out your bed for at least 15 minutes in the morning while you start you day. Then make it. This is a quick daily pseudo decluttering routine that tricks the eye by making the entire room look instantly tidier. Plus it makes you feel like a champ ready to take on the day ahead!
Prioritise Tidying Over Cleaning
Tight on time at the end of a long day? Pick tidying over cleaning. I can feel you gasping. Hear me out. It’s more difficult to clean around clutter than to clean a decluttered space. You can’t dust off your chest of drawers in the bedroom if it’s full of jewellery and bras you haven’t put away. You can’t clean the bathroom properly if the floor is piled up with dirty towels and old newspapers.
If you’re short on time during the workweek, tidy up a little bit each night. Then when you have more time, hoovering the flat or wiping down the bath is a straightforward cleaning task because nothing’s in your way.
Do the Dishes After Every Meal
It’s no fun starting the morning in a dirty kitchen. Do the dishes, clean the cooker, and wipe the countertops and table after every meal. Your next cooking session will be all the more easier because a clean kitchen gives you a blank slate to work with. Plus, you’ll feel less stressed starting your day with a cup of coffee in a clean kitchen.
Keep Flat Surfaces Clear
Keep your surface spaces cleared off. The bathroom counter, the desk, dining table, coffee table, kitchen counter, and the bedroom dresser are all predisposed to serving as clutter catchalls where stuff accumulates. That can make cleaning hard, plus it looks messy. Don’t fall into that trap of depositing stuff on these flat surfaces; put them away instead. Get into the habit of taking action on things the moment they’re in your hand instead of leaving them out. Dirty bra? Hamper. Clutch you wore on date night? Back into the closet. Bank statement? File. Empty water glass? Dishwasher.
It’s actually very easy to keep flat spaces decluttered once you’ve made it a habit to keep things in their place.
Get Rid of Printed Matter
Magazines, newspapers, sales flyers and advertisements can stack up really fast if you let them. Once you’re finished with something, process it. Clip any coupons from flyers you want to hold onto, and then discard the flyer. If there’s a recipe, article or picture in a magazine you want to save, add it to your Evernote and then toss the magazine into your paper recycling waste. The same goes for the newspaper when you’re done reading it. Stacks of yesterday’s news and old magazines only add clutter your sitting room.
If you’re tired of spending your precious days off tidying up, try integrating these decluttering bursts in your daily routine. You’ll see measurable improvement very soon: by the time the weekend rolls around, there will be less of a mess to deal with, leaving more time for you.