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clutter illustration

When you own a home, clutter is the enemy. If you’re tired of tripping over junk on the floor or sticking out of furniture, it’s time to take control by following these four rules.

1. Everything Should Have a Home

Oprah says that “Every item should have a place where it lives.” It’s impossible for clutter to form if you keep everything where it belongs, assuming that you decide that nothing belongs on the floor. By getting into the habit of putting something away if you use it, you won’t need to have long cleaning sessions in the future.

2. Don’t Start Something if You Can’t Finish It

Have you ever sat down with a pile of mail and gotten bored by the middle of the pile? If so, you’re not alone. The problem is that most people go and do something else, thinking they will get back to the mail later. Sometimes you can’t get back to the mail for a while, for one reason or another, and it just sits there cluttering up your home.

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Now think about all the other things you could be guilty of stopping in the middle of doing, like reading magazines, books, or other bills. They just sit around the house piling up, until one day you realize there is clutter everywhere.

The solution? Don’t start a task or errand if you aren’t going to be able to finish it. Although, you probably can. You just need to realize it!

3. Only Keep What You Need

There’s a certain attachment you get to the things you buy, and it’s natural. Unfortunately, if you get attached to everything, you could soon turn into a lesser version of a hoarder. It’s impossible to eliminate all clutter if you simply have too much stuff.

You need to honestly evaluate if you need each and every item in your home. If you don’t need it, get rid of it. Don’t feel that you need to trash everything though, many people enjoy donating their old unneeded possessions to people who could get some use from them. If they are particularly valuable, you could even consider selling them.

4. Want to Keep That Junk? Organize It!

Most homeowners have at least one drawer full of loose things. The most common things in these drawers are photographs and tools, among other actually useful things. When you need to find something in those drawers however, things get messy really fast.

If you must have these drawers, cabinets, or closets of loose things, organize them the best you can. Put loose photos into a photo album and get a tool box for any spare tools lying around. Grouping similar things together will not only tidy up your home, but will make it infinitely easier to find things when you need them.

Keep at it

If you’re finally ready to defeat clutter in your home, start putting those four rules into place right away. Be warned though, it won’t be easy and it’ll take some practice to build-up good habits, but the peace of mind of a clutter-free home is worth it. Keep at it!

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.