You did it! You’ve sorted, simplified and stored your belongings and developed systems to tackle daily papers, toys, laundry and dinner. Now that the hard part is done, all you have to do is maintain your clutter-free philosophy. Easier said than done. But to keep you on track here’s a few helpful tips.
Grab a laundry basket, your husband and kids and spend 15 minutes at the end of the day filling the basket with out-of-place items. You can have your kids focus on their toys and crafts, while you focus on bills, dishes and anything else. As you make a sweep to each room, put all those items in their proper place.
Karen Turner’s O-H-I-O isn’t restricted to mail management. You can use the Only Handle It Once approach to any space in your home. Committing to deal with dishes, or chores now rather than later will save you time and prevent clutter from inhabiting your home.
Pencil in a Plan
In Simplify your Space, Marcia Ramsland suggests creating a weekly and monthly plan of tasks you wish to accomplish. Whether that’s sitting down on Sunday night and coming up with a meal plan, or paying the monthly bills, get a day planner and pencil in your weekly and monthly To-Do’s.
Continue the Cleanse
As seasons come and go you’re likely going to rotate some of your belongings. As you pack and unpack seasonal items take the opportunity to further sort your stuff. Old damaged Christmas ornaments and lights can be tossed to make way for newer energy efficient lights. Also, if you’ve set aside items to be “fixed” and it’s been several months, chances are you’re not going to get around to it. Toss or recycle it and buy something that works.
Stuff is like a Tide
Just as the tide comes and goes so should the items in your house. Make it a policy that when new items come into your house, old items are designated into either the “toss” or “donate” bins. If you find yourself donating a lot of items, make a donation run part of your weekly or monthly routine.
Remember your Reward
Whether you’ve tackled the laundry, or did the recycling, remember to reward yourself for a job well-done. By giving yourself a little pat on the back you’ll be encouraged to keep up the clutter-free philosophy.