Whether you're a small space dweller or live in a three story home, clutter happens. Luckily, if you're on a mission to simplify your life, you probably have less "stuff" to clutter up your space. But clutter can happen nonetheless. Whether you have littles whose toys always seem to creep their way out of their playroom, or dishes that tend to stack themselves up everywhere except the cupboard, it can be frustrating to deal with life's clutter when you're busy going to and from work, errands and having a life outside of cleaning up messes.
One of my favorite things about simple living is how much it lessens my cleaning routine. I (generally) try to stick to a nightly routine that will ensure that the house isn't cluttered when we wake up, because nothing says "good morning, have a stress free day!" like waking up to a house that's still a mess from the night before. #sarcasm.
Here are my favorite ways to keep my house *mostly* looking picked up in the midst of daily chaos.
1. Make Sure Everything Has A Home
Most obviously and most importantly— every single item in your house should have a "home". This makes cleaning up so much easier and ensures that you don't just add to the clutter problem by moving the same clutter to a different part of the house.
2. Spend 20 Minutes Before Bed Doing A Quick Pick Up
If you have a bigger house, it may take a little longer, but spending a few dedicated minutes picking up before you turn on Netflix or jump in to bed will help tomorrow be a clean slate.
3. Minimize What You Don't Need
I've found that most of the clutter in our house is caused by random items we don't actually need. While some items may not take up a lot of space, when you have a room with 14 misplaced knick-knacks (that's what the cool kids call them these days, right?) or random toys from your child's toy box that get thrown everywhere more than played with- it may be time to let go.
4. Make Your Bed
There's something about a freshly made bed that encourages me to continue the productivity. It's an instant way to make a room look neat.
5. Keep Doors Shut
Since our house is on the bigger side and since my children are both walking (crawling) tornadoes, I've gotten into the habit of shutting the doors to rooms that we aren't in. It keeps the mess contained in one area, and keeps the other rooms clean.
6. Make Sure You Have Enough Storage Space
Similar to number one, everything must have a place to live. If you are running low on storage space, buy a few cute baskets to store blankets, toys or shoes in. Install some open shelving on one of your walls to keep books, dishes, toys or really anything at all. And never underestimate the power of a few good under-the-bed totes.
7. Give Yourself Grace
Here's a secret- no one's house is perfect all of the time. And if it is, I would dare to say that it's because there isn't enough "life" happening inside. Our homes are meant to be lived in, and yes, keeping them clutter-free can help with stress and freedom to do things other than clean, it's important not to make it the "ultimate" thing.