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Maintaining a Low-Clutter Environment

Less Clutter, Less Stress!

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Updated March 22, 2014

Getting your home more organized feels great. However, just as it takes effort to maintain weight loss over time, a clean house takes a little ongoing effort as well. Fortunately, this effort can be minimized with the help of expert advice. The following are some of the best bits of advice from the clutter-clearing experts:

Keep A Schedule: This is a wonderfully organized way to maintain a clean house, especially for those who work best when they have a list of "to-dos" to follow. Sarah Agguire, About.com’s Housekeeping Guide, has some excellent schedules to follow for daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning so you know what to do and when.

Follow the 30-Second Rule: Not to be confused with the dubious ‘Five-Second Rule’ (which entails eating food off the ground that’s been there only five seconds), this powerful rule by Sarah Felton of Messies Anonymous goes something like this: If a job takes around 30 seconds or less to do, do it immediately. This applies to putting away your shoes, sorting mail, and other small jobs.

Watch Your ‘Hot Spots’: Remember those piles that you just got rid of? Clutter tends to accumulate in the same places--the front door, the kitchen table--little by little each day. Flylady Marla Cilley recommends that you focus on the areas where you tend to leave clutter at the end of each day so they don’t turn into big piles again.

Put YOUR Things Away: Once you have "a place for everything and everything in its place," you’re ready for this important companion rule: When you take something out, you should simply put it back.

Take 15 Minutes: Flylady recommends that you put on some music and take 15 minutes a few times a day to clean. You can get a lot done in 15 minutes, and it doesn’t impact your schedule too much to do so.

Stop Receiving Junk Mail One simple way to cut down on paper clutter is to get rid of the junk before it comes in! About.com’s Environmental Issues Guide, Larry West, has some simple instructions on how to stop receiving junk mail.

More Simple Tips:

  • If you bring something in, get rid of something.
  • Do a light cleaning at the end of every day.
  • Do a more thorough cleaning once a week (or hire someone to do it for you, if it fits your budget.)
  • For every item you bring in, get rid of something.
  • Have people over more often, and really enjoy your home. Live like you really appreciate your newly beautified haven, and you’ll be automatically more likely to maintain it.
Related Video
How to De-Clutter Your Home

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