6 Easy Habits to Keep Your Home Clutter-Free
The answer is to create simple, consistent daily habits aimed at maintaining order without exhausting ourselves.
Think about some habits you already have.. You probably take out the trash when it’s full, brush your teeth in the morning and before bed, tie your shoes when you put them on your feet. Many tasks you perform each day happen without you giving them much thought. That is because you have done them so many times they have become habitual.
Using that automatic impulse to perform a task is the key to helpful habits. Let’s use your innate ability for habit-formation to help keep your home clutter-free.
The following “rules” or “habits” can be performed easily and regularly. Remember that a habit doesn’t form overnight. Stick with it. Record your progress. Get a buddy on board to support you. If you need help reach out to one of the organizers at Imagine Home Organization.
Habits require 3 factors to take root and become automatic.
1. Repetition (The more times the more solid the habit)
2. Trigger (Something that reminds your brain it is time to perform the habit)
3. Reward (That feel good moment when you realize the result of your action)
Here are some habits to keep your home clutter-free:
1. Put things away where you will use them next
Trigger: When putting something away, ask “Where will I use this next?”
Reward: Next time you’re at the store and your bags are with you in the car, celebrate your foresight and pat yourself on the back. One less plastic bag to waste!
2. Let it go when it breaks or fix it right away
Trigger: When something breaks, ask, “Am I willing to fix this right now? If not, why not let it go?”
Reward: When you open your junk drawer to discover… NO JUNK! You have effectively saved yourself the time and guilt involved with fixing (or not fixing) that item. (Note: It is GREAT to repair broken items. The point here is that if you aren’t willing to pull out the superglue now, you probably won’t be tomorrow either.)
3. Shop with intention
Trigger: Seeing the checkout button or standing in line at the checkout in a store.
Reward: More money in your pocket. No guilt over impulsive purchases. Less clutter in your home.
4. One minute rule
Trigger: When faced with a task ask yourself how long it will take. If the answer is less than one minute – Time to act.
Reward: Boost in self-esteem, less piled up on your task list, less clutter, less stress.
5. Take something along with you
Trigger: Getting up to move to a different room.
Reward: Saved time, fewer trips, less clutter.
6. Don’t put it down, put it away
Trigger: Holding an item which needs to be put away. Ask yourself “Where is this item’s home.”
Remember, putting it away shouldn’t take more than a minute – which gives you an opportunity to practice the one-minute rule as well.
Reward: Quicker cleanup and less clutter.
You CAN create these habits. You WILL see the benefits start to take shape in your home. Take note of what your space looks like today and check back in with yourself in one month. You will know you have succeeded when you perform these habits without having to think first.
Before long you will just scoop up those shoes by the front door and take them to your daughter’s room without a second thought. Habits save us time and they also make us more productive. So use them to your advantage and see how tidy your home becomes.