When you live in a small house it doesn’t take much for it to become cluttered, especially if you have pets and kids. Doing things that people who live in larger homes don’t even think about, like buying something new to replace an old item that is broken or worn out, but not throwing the old item away, can lead to a disorganized and cluttered home before you know it.
If you live in a small house or apartment that has become cluttered and feel that you need to get a handle on your organization skills and clean up your act, these tips below can help you make the most of your home’s space. After all, your house should be a sanctuary, a place where you feel more comfortable than anywhere else.
Concentrate on Cleaning One Area of Your Home at a Time
Facing the task of decluttering your entire house can be overwhelming and may even lead some people to give up before they even get started. Instead, try choosing one or two areas in your home to declutter, such as your kitchen counter space or bedroom closet. Make piles of items you want to keep, items to throw away and items to donate. Once you are done making the piles, take care of the items right away by putting them in the trash or in your car (for items you will donate). Once you have decluttered one area, move on to the next one.
Use the One-In One-Out Rule
Believe it or not, this simple rule can go a long way toward preventing clutter from building up in your home. Every time you bring a new item into your home, whether it’s something you’ve purchased or a gift, remove another item from your home by throwing it away or donating it. This rule should apply to everything, from clothing to furniture to kitchen gadgets.
After a couple of months, you will be surprised by what a difference following this simple rule can make in the appearance of your small home.
Place Items You Don’t Use in Storage
If your home tends to get cluttered because you don’t have a lot of storage space, you might want to consider putting some of your belongings in storage. Storage facilities are available just about anywhere in the country. Some storage companies will even come to your home, pick your items, store them, and deliver them back to you when you need them.
One of these companies is Livible, a San Francisco storage company that provides remote storage in several U.S. cities. According to the company, some items can be stored seasonally to create extra space in your home and make your home more beautiful for guests as well as for yourself. “Anyone who lives in a small space like a tiny apartment or tiny house knows that you have to work at making a marginal space as livable as possible. Your home and your space is a reflection of you and your family, and taking the time to invest in it by putting items you only use seasonally in storage, or learning some new organization tricks, is more than worth the effort,” a Livible spokesperson said.
Set Aside Designated Areas for All of Your Belongings
Setting aside a designated space for each item in your home means that items such as scissors and car keys will always be easy to find when you need them, which can help save you time and reduce anxiety and stress. Once you have decided where you want everything to go, it’s important to make sure that you stick to putting items back where they belong when you are done using them. You should also make sure that everyone who lives in your home is aware of where things should go and takes responsibility for putting them away properly.
Think Before You Buy
If items seem to be coming into your home with no immediate purpose, you might want to look at your buying habits. Many people purchase items because they are on sale or because they like the way they look even if they don’t really need them. Even if you think you might use something in six months or a year, there’s no guarantee that you will, and in the meantime you have to find a place to store it. When you commit to buying only what you really need, when you need them, you can keep the clutter in your home to a minimum.