5 Ways to Stamp Out Clutter! 👞

5 Ways to Stamp Out Clutter ~ Our Cozy Den

Sometimes it feels like fighting an uphill battle to keep clutter at bay in my house. Let’s face it, we have 6 people in our house almost 24 hours a day. My husband is a full-time student in seminary, which meets 1 day a week, 9 months of the year. My kids are homeschooled. And when people are home all day, home gets messy.

Here are some of the ways I keep my house somewhat cleaner. I’m not perfect, by any means. I look at homes like this and drool over the simplicity. Maybe someday I will get to that point, but everyone is a work in progress, right?

Tip #1: Institute a waiting period before purchases.

How many times do I buy things that I don’t really need? More often than I’d like to admit. One way I combat this is by having a waiting period for all purchases. This means anything that’s not on my list has to wait! For me, it’s 3 days, but for you it could be anything — a week, 24 hours, whatever sounds good to you. I write down all things I need on my refrigerator list: groceries and household stuff like batteries, printer paper, shoes for a kid. It has to be on that list for 3 days before I will buy it. That means I don’t spend a ton of money on sales, clearance racks, or other impulse buys!

Tip #2: Have a PURGE WEEK twice a year.

And get the family to help! Get rid of 10 items per person per day. If you have 6 people in your family, then that’s 420 things GONE from your house at the end of the week!! Turn this into a game — there are endless ways to pull this off! You could do $1/day per person into a jar, and take the money and go out to dinner at the end of the week. Or you could let the kids choose 1 new toy/gift to replace the 70 things they gave away. Or even better, take the family to go see a movie — and don’t bring any more clutter into the house!

Tip #3: Digitize.

I try to go digital in every way of my life possible. A hard drive takes up a TON less space than a bookshelf. This includes things like:

  • reading ebooks instead of physical books
  • buying digital movies instead of DVDs (and I often get them for FREE because I opt to not have the free 2-day Prime shipping on Amazon purchases)
  • buy pdf homeschool books or scan books and paperwork instead of keeping bulky paper books all over the place
  • sign up for e-billing with all of your bills & banks
  • instead of picking up pamphlets and fliers, take a photo of it with your phone
Tip #4: Minimize gifts.

Americans go overboard with their gift giving. Seriously. If you look at Christmases and birthdays 200 years ago, kids didn’t get a pile of toys. They would get a few cherished items. And guess what? Kids still loved Christmas. Go figure.

We keep our Christmas gift-giving for our own kids to 3 simple gifts, like Jesus got. {Read more about that here.} As for gifts from the grandparents or aunts & uncles, we love to suggest gifts. No, they don’t have to get what we suggest, but most of the time they want to get something that they know will be truly loved. I love to suggest experience gifts, rather than physical items. This would be things like movie tickets, restaurant gift cards, memberships to local zoos or museums, or a day trip getaway!

Tip #5: Let go of the guilt.

So many times the stuff that keeps piling up in my house is stuff that I didn’t even bring in! It came in as a gift from a well-meaning friend or relative. It took me a long time to figure out that just because something was a gift, that doesn’t obligate me to keeping it forever. If you don’t love it and use it often, get rid of it!

 

Tell me! What are your favorite ways to keep clutter at a minimum?

5 Ways to Stamp Out Clutter ~ Our Cozy Den
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