7 Ways to Stop Clutter Before it Happens

There’s a pile of clothes on your bedroom floor, empty water bottles laying across every flat surface in sight, and piles upon piles of papers stacked up on your barely-visible desk…Sound familiar? Nothing screams “eye sore” like a clutter-filled space, but keeping tidy is no easy feat in such a busy, fast-paced world. That’s why we’re suggesting our favorite ways to stop clutter before it happens.

1. Follow the “One In, One Out” rule.

The rule is simple: For every new item you bring into your space, you should also throw out or donate an item. This rule works wonders for over-stuffed closets, but you can also adapt it to other areas of your space. For example, don’t get the mail until you’ve already recycled or stored yesterday’s mail, and toss any old food before you go grocery shopping.


2. Assign everything it’s own spot.

Life is busy, but what if putting things away was quick and mindless? We often leave our belongings laying around because figuring out where to put them is a hassle, but if everything has its own assigned spot? Putting them away barely requires a second thought.

Keep convenience in mind when you’re storing highly-used items, though. For example, that zip-up you wear almost every day will do better on a coat rack by the front door rather than folded and tucked in the back of a drawer.


3. Make it part of your daily routine.

Does your clutter ever pile up so much that you need an entire day to tackle and organize everything? Who even has time for that? Keep your clutter from getting out of hand by taking 5-10 minutes each day and making sure everything is where it belongs. Adopt this habit as part of your daily routine, like after dinner or before you get ready for bed.


4. Invest in organizational furniture and accessories.

Finding a spot for all of your belongings is much easier when you’ve got the right furniture and tools for it. Think of things like shelves, bins, racks, desk organizers and more. They’re much more convenient than just shoving your belongings out of sight in a closet, don’t you think?


5. Question your purchases with these three questions.

Do you often fall victim to impulse purchases? It’s a tough habit to break, but you can start by asking yourself these three questions when you’re about to buy something new:

  • Where will I keep this?
  • What do I need it for?
  • Do I already have something similar?

This should give you a better idea of how necessary your purchase actually is. Just like that, you’ll start bringing less clutter into your home.


6. Go digital where you can.

Things like bills, to-do lists, textbooks and other reading materials often have digital versions these days. Less paper, less clutter.


7. Say “no” to freebies and unnecessary samples.

How often do you actually use those free t-shirts, pens, and other little knick-knacks offered at events? What about those free samples that come with some of your purchases? These things seem exciting at the time because, well, they’re free. Keep in mind, though, that these are the types of items that often become useless clutter.

How do you suggest staying organized? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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  1. Mrs. J says:

    Thank you so much for this needed advice. This is me and I’m going to add to my things to do.

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