4 Tweaks to a Clutter-Free Home

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I don’t know about you, but when my house is in utter chaos, I feel like my life is in chaos. Piles of dishes and laundry to fold can totally derail me. My endless to-do list can make me feel like I am not accomplishing anything.  I don’t think I am the only mom who feels like this.

Clutter affects us in so many ways and there is so much research proving that clutter is affecting pretty much every area of our lives. It affects our marriages, kids, keeps us in debt, hurts our productivity, our health, and our diets, and so much more.

Why do we as women see our homes as a direct reflection of us. If our house is put together, then our lives are put together. But there is a catch 22- I wanted to spend quality time with my kids, but when I did, my house suffered. I felt like I had to choose spending quality time with my kids and live with a messy house or have a clean house and not interact much with my kids.  I was realizing that I didn’t want either. There has to be some middle ground. This was the catalyst for my personal journey toward a more simplistic and minimalistic lifestyle.

Personally, I felt like I was in a rut and didn’t know where or how to start. I decided to listen to decluttering and organization books. I use the Hoopla App from my library so I can listen to audiobooks for free. Check out my post 4 Surprising Free Resources at the Library for a complete list of library resources.

While listening to the decluttering books on my phone, I started getting rid of the excess in my house. Listening to these books was so motivational for me. One of the first minimalism books I read was “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. Check out my post here to learn more about this book.

I had several epiphanies on my journey. I realized that every item I own takes up my energy and time; I only wanted to keep what was important to me and my family. When I started to recognize how clutter causes such an emotional response in me, I was more driven to deal with my possessions. Clutter stifles my productivity and creativity.

I started to look at where most of my time was spent and it was in the kitchen making meals, cleaning, doing dishes and laundry. I was constantly picking up toys and shoes and random things dropped on the floors. I started to look at ways to free up time and creating small changes to make my life easier.

Here are some of these small tweaks that really help maintain our home…

ONE

Ditch the Dish Drying Rack

The drying rack was taking up prime counter real-estate, and I wasn’t good about putting the dishes away. I would make the excuse that the dishes need to dry for hours and sometimes days. I now use a towel to dry my pots and pans and everything else that I don’t put in the dishwasher and put them directly away. Check out my post 5 Steps to a Tidy Kitchen for more kitchen clutter hacks.

TWO

Run your Dishwasher at the Right Time

My dishes always seemed to accumulate because the dishwasher was running during meal time. So the dishes piled up while we waited for the dishwasher to finish running.  The dirty dishes from the meal filled the sink, so I didn’t have room to wash the pots and pans. This was a perpetual cycle of dish chaos.

Now I run the dishwasher after lunch so we directly put the dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink. I unload the dishwasher before I start on dinner and then the dishes stay under control. Just figuring out the timing of running the dishes and loading them, has lightened my dish load significantly.

Discover when you should run your dishwasher so you can directly put dishes into it. Many people run their dishwasher at night and unload it in the morning. This didn’t work for me because it added one more chore to do in the morning. It derailed my morning routine.

THREE

Make Your Bed

I never used to make my bed, because I had the mindset that it was a waste of time.  I’m not sure what pushed me to try to create this new habit. I was surprised how my bedroom felt so much more relaxing and peaceful when the bed is made. I felt less sloppy when my bed was made, even if I was the only one who would see it. By making my bed, I also realized that I could start a new habit and be consistent. This was my baby step to adding more routines to help keep my house tidy.

FOUR

Have Routine Family Clean-up after Dinner

We started playing upbeat music after dinner while we all clean up. We clean up after the meal and the main living spaces. When we all pitch in, the cleaning process is so much faster and it makes it routine. I used to try to have family clean-up before bed, but it was so hard to be consistent with it. There were so many other routines for bedtime that adding one more didn’t work well for us.

These new small routines had a major impact on how our house runs and gave me momentum to continue to get my house into the peaceful oasis I wanted. We still have days where we slip up, but we are improving. What routines and tweaks have you made that helps you gain back your time?

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