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4 Easy Ways to Have Less Clutter In Your Home Starting Today

Having less clutter in your home might be easier than you think. By changing just a few basic habits, you can get rid of the clutter that gets in your way every single day.

One day last week, when I rolled out of bed at a ridiculously early hour (because I like starting my morning routine while my family and most of the sane world are still asleep), I walked into the kitchen and immediately got a knot in my stomach.  

The same thing had happened the day before…and a couple days before that, too. The house that was supposed to feel quiet and peaceful was feeling oppressive and chaotic. It wasn’t fun.

Dishes stacked on the counter with the words "4 easy ways to have less clutter today"

After a few days of feeling an uneasiness until halfway through the morning, I finally realized the surprising culprit:  The dishwasher.

Now, I have a perfectly nice dishwasher, and I’m very thankful for it.  But I do not like to unload it. Not even a little. It’s a task that I tend to put off until I don’t have any choice but to get the job done.  

So, while the dishwasher sits full of clean dishes, the kitchen counter gets piled up with dirty ones. Sometimes, it gets completely covered with dirty dishes that fill the sink and every flat surface within reach.

Then, I feel a knot in my stomach when I walk into the kitchen. Well, that’s no fun.  

The Truth About Clutter

It’s a fact that having less clutter in your home might seem like an impossible task.  It can be downright overwhelming to even think about facing it all.  

It’s also a fact that sometimes you might be so fixated on the seemingly insurmountable “stuff” – the sports equipment all over the garage, the sewing supplies covering the dining room table, the random pans and dishes crammed into the kitchen cabinets – that you totally overlook the basic clutter that’s right in front of you and is the source of the most frustration in your everyday life.  

Instead of focusing on all those problems you can’t seem to overcome, there are several very basic and fairly easy things you can do to win some pretty significant battles in the quest to have less clutter every single day. And these things are so easy that you can simply build them into your regular routines without having to block out a bunch of extra time in your already-busy day.

Pink and cream sweater hanging on a rack

4 Easy Ways to Have Less Clutter

1. Unload the dishwasher and put away the clean dishes.

I don’t know why I hate to unload the dishwasher.  It’s not like it’s a hard or dirty job.  For some reason it’s just annoying. Unfortunately, a dishwasher that’s full of clean dishes usually means a counter full of dirty dishes.  

And while you might not think of messy plates and used cups as “clutter,” pay attention to how you feel the next time you walk into your kitchen when it’s piled with last night’s dinner dishes.  

Do you feel anxious? Overwhelmed? Have a knot in your stomach? 

Yep, it’s clutter!  

Decide the best time of day for you to unload your dishwasher and then make sure you always run it in time for it to be clean when you’re ready to put it all away.  

If you’d like to unload the dishwasher in the morning, be sure to turn it on the night before. Or if you’d rather unload it while you’re making dinner in the evening, plan to turn it on after the breakfast dishes are loaded up.

Whatever time you decide works best for you, plan it into your routine and stick to your schedule. Run the dishwasher at your appointed time, even if there’s room for another plate or two, so it’s always ready to unload and reload with the dirty dishes before they pile up and turn into visual clutter.

2. Put away clean laundry.

Laundry never ends. Never. Never ever.

When you leave the unfolded laundry piled up in baskets or dumped on the furniture, you can’t even pretend that you’ve reached the end of it. And honestly, even if it’s folded in those baskets or stacked neatly on the stairs, it’s still a pile of something that’s out of place. (That’s sort of the definition of “clutter,” isn’t it?)

Do yourself a favor and fold and put away the laundry every single day. One of the best and easiest ways to accomplish this is to fold the laundry straight out of the dryer, before you even put it into a basket. When you only have to tackle one dryer’s worth of laundry, it only takes a few minutes at a time and then it’s DONE.

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3. Deal with the mail. 

Mail is my nemesis.  

Of course, so are the dishes and laundry. But the mail is my biggest enemy of them all.

Admittedly, I can procrastinate dealing with mail like a pro. But if I were to set a timer and see how quickly I could deal with it each day, it would be shocking (and slightly embarrassing that I let it pile up so often). 

Whenever you bring the mail into the house, deal with it right then and there. Commit to either take care of it, file it, or trash it before you’re ready to collect the mail the following day.

If there’s something that requires more time or that you need to show to your husband, then take care of it as soon as possible. Regardless of what comes into your box, most likely it can all be dealt with in less than five minutes. For real. Set a timer and see how quickly you can manage it each day, before it piles up and takes on a life of its own.

4. Buy things only when you’re ready to use them.

Look in your pantry and count how many cans and boxes you purchased months ago but still haven’t used. Take a good look – a hard look – at the extra packages of socks, the countless boxes of tissues, the clearance pants you’re hoping to shrink into.

Do you have books you’ve never read? Clothes you never quite fit into? How about unopened boxes of (now expired) cereal, or more cans of pumpkin puree from last year’s post-holiday sales than you will likely use in a lifetime? 

If you wait to buy something until you’re ready to actually use it, you could probably eliminate a whole lot of the accumulated clutter in your house.

And if you’re afraid you’ll spend more money by not snatching up a good deal or stocking up on sale items ahead of time, just think of all the money you’ve wasted on those deals you took advantage of without ever put the products to good use.  

And this isn’t about feeling guilty for past mistakes.  Don’t go there.  Just decide that today is a new day and you aren’t going to buy things until you’re ready to use them.  Then decide the same thing tomorrow.  And the day after that, too.

From Overwhelmed to Over It

Are you tired of being overwhelmed by things you have the power to control?  Decide right now that you’re ready to have less clutter in your home.  And then do something about it.  

Figure out when you want to unload your dishwasher each day.  

Start a load of laundry and keep it going until it’s folded and hidden away in your closets and drawers.  

Take care of the mail and refuse to let it pile up and become a problem. 

Bravely face the things you’ve spent money on, and then use it as motivation to think before you buy more “stuff.”

You can make simple changes to have less clutter getting in your way every single day! You can do it starting today!

Get My Top 50+ Super-Simple Cleaning & Decluttering Tips

Subscribe to SMALL DOSE DECLUTTERING and get simple tips every week to turn your house into the uncluttered home you didn’t know was possible…and it’s 100% FREEEEE!

Your email is safe with us. We wouldn’t dream of sharing it with anyone else!

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7 Comments

  1. My home is fairly under control but I need help with getting to projects more often. I got some inspiration from today’s lesson. Light bulbs came on when I realized doing them more often it would not take as long….duh. My cabinets are orderly but I don’t check expired dates often enough! Thanks for your help??

  2. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to help us busy overwhelmed and sick of the clutter moms. I am loving your blog and tips and I just wanted to say thank you. I finally feel I can move past the clutter and stress!!! May the Lord continue to bless you in your business ventures!

    1. Jessica, you are so sweet! Thank you for your kind words, and I’m so happy that Simple Everyday Home is a blessing to you! 🙂

  3. Cristina Uptmore says:

    I have been a follower for quite some time now and I am currently “converting” another Mom friend of mine by sharing your blog and classes with her. You have made the impossible seem quite possible. When I start sliding back into old bad habits because of a wrench in my routine (sickness, vacation, holidays, visitors) I am relieved to be able to go back to your website and start over, which is really now just picking up where I left off. You, are a miracle worker. You have no idea, my life was out of control and it was harming my mental health. You strategies and most ESPECIALLY your perspective (so real and honest, REAL LIFE) have no joke, kept me off meds. Thank you. I will continue to follow you and share you with everyone I know who battles in the trenches of home life!

  4. I finally have gotten my mail under control. I only check the box on Mondays which happens to be the night the trash gets put out for pick up. I throw away all of the newspaper ads first and then all of the credit card and insurance offers. Then I open the bills and put them in my bill paying folder and they all get paid on the 20th of the month. That usually just leaves things that need to be filed and I put them away. It took me a long time to get this system down and to actually do it. I used to wait weeks to deal with mail and had a huge pile that nearly covered my table. Now if I could just get control over the laundry.

  5. You hit the nail on the head. The dishwasher and laundry are the hardest for me. I’m sitting here with a dishwasher full of clean dishes and a sink full of dirty ones. The dryer is full and so is the washer. The clean clothes will go into a basket or a pile in a room we don’t use, until I fell like putting it all away. I’m in the middle of making a quilt and still need to buy batting. It will wait until I have finished the quilt top and ready to use it. Unless I find it on a really good sale. But I do intend to use it very soon. We just got the house ready for an appraisal and the stuff we have is ridiculous. Trying to stay on top of things and trying to get rid of the clutter too.

  6. I am just getting started in reading your stuff and I don’t know if you normally do this in your articles but I really love your real life picture of all the dirty dishes on the counters. Obviously it shouldn’t give me the excuse that it’s ok that my counters are like that sometimes but it helps to know that I am not alone.
    Thank you.

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