Keeping the house tidy is a never-ending task. It’s hard enough when there are just adults at home but when you add children, the job can become almost overwhelming.
Just about everybody has a bit of clutter. There are exceptions, of course, but for most of us leading busy working lives, the occasional muddle is inevitable. The trick is keeping muddles and mess to the minimum, and that takes a bit of planning and know-how.
Keep Less at Home
The common advice to keep only what’s either useful or beautiful is good. Not easy to follow, but a good principle. It’s also important to realise and accept that tastes change, and what seems vital today might become irrelevant tomorrow. Try not to get stuck in a rut by hanging onto things that have gone past the point of usefulness.
That doesn’t mean regular trips to the tip or charity shop. There are lots of things you want to keep, even when you don’t use them:
- Family heirlooms or inherited items that are precious but don’t suit your house.
- Children’s items or nursery equipment you want to save for new family additions.
- Bulky kitchen equipment that you go through phases of using, like a bread maker, food processor, deep fat fryer or espresso machine.
- Hobby equipment you’re not currently using.
- Collections of items you could do with thinning down.
There are all kinds of possessions we hold onto and love, but which take up space in cabinets without ever being used. Self storage is a good option for these kinds of items, solving two problems. First, it clears out space at home, so you have more room for the things you use, and second you get to keep your precious but unused items in good condition until you’re ready to start using them again.
Quick Decluttering Tips
While it sounds easy to reduce clutter at home, it can be a real challenge deciding what to keep and what to store.
- Let it be a gradual process. Tackle one room at a time, first throwing away anything broken. Gather types of items together for sorting. You might have lots of paper documents, for instance, that need shredding or filing. Keep them in a big pile to tackle all at once.
- Focus on one thing at a time to complete the job. Sort books, tidy up toys, clean out kitchen drawers, gather up cables and chargers etc. Don’t let yourself get distracted mid-task otherwise you’ll end up with a load of half-done jobs and feel like you’ve achieved nothing.
- Forgive the odd muddle. It’s okay to fall short of perfection in the quest for a tidy home. As mentioned earlier, it’s a process, not a once and done set of tasks.
Practical Storage Helpers
Storage furnishings can really help keep on top of clutter for those annoying little things we all have. Phones and tablets, cables and chargers, games controllers, spare batteries, notebooks, and pens… the list is endless.
- Have end tables with drawers and coffee tables with storage under the top. Invest in storage footstools or toy chests and boxes if you have collections of toys downstairs for children.
- Storage beds are great space savers too. Divans and ottomans give you somewhere out of the main cupboards for towels and bedding or linens. Or in kids’ rooms they’re ideal for larger play items or sports kit that don’t get used every day.
- Use shelving for storage and display. A shelf high up on the wall creates an illusion of height and space in a room since it draws the eye upwards, or you can create interesting display areas with shelving, mirrors, and lights in alcoves.
When you’ve figured out what kind of shelf you’d like and where to put it, remember to limit the number of items on display. Packing it full of items creates clutter, but just showing one or two larger pieces creates a display. Fewer items are also easier to keep clean and dusted so the house automatically looks and feels comfier.
Whether you choose to keep everything within your own four walls or investigate a self storage solution to help you manage your personal treasures, it’s always worth the effort. Having a tidy and organised home is mentally freeing, stress-reducing and makes everyday living a whole lot easier.