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Clutter is insidious. It is something that creeps up over time, a new book here, some throw pillows there, after a while it can start to feel like it’s just the way things have always been. Not so. Clutter has a way of becoming the norm, the same way that tidiness and organization can become the norm as well. What many people don’t realize is that clutter is the culmination of a hundred different small, but impactful bad habits compounding over the course of months, even years. If you are serious about decluttering your home, here are 5 great hacks to a decluttered house.

Declutter Your House

Create a newspaper spot

If you subscribe to various papers or magazines, they can quickly pile up, especially since we don’t always have time to actually sit down and read them all. A newspaper here, and a stack of magazines there, in the bathroom, the living room, and the family room can quickly add up to mountains of material all over the house. Create a box or cupboard designated solely to storing papers and magazines, it’s a great way to eliminate scattered periodicals from your home.

Create a no-clutter zone

Establish a space (it doesn’t have to be an enormous one) that will become your clutter-free zone. Whether it be in the kitchen, at the front door, in the living room, promise yourself that you are going to keep the little odds and ends of your life out of this space. After you are comfortable that this space has become sacred, slowly expand. Create another, and another, until eventually, most of your home becomes a clutter-free zone.

Find a home for miscellaneous items

If there is a seemingly endless variety of “homeless” items around your house that serve a purpose, but are always drifting from room to room, counter to counter, pick a spot for them and make sure they end up there. Pick 5 items. Find a spot where you want them to belong, and when you find them wandering, return them to their respective places.

Donate to charity

One of the main problems with getting rid of non-essential items in your home is not knowing how you are going to do it. Throwing things away seems wasteful, and moving clutter from one room to the next is counter-productive. Consider making annual or bi-annual donations to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Both of these organizations have pick-up services, depending on your area, and are always looking for new donations to pass on to people less fortunate.

Get the whole family involved

Decluttering often falls under the category of domestic work and as such, whether male or female, can unfortunately become the sole responsibility of the person charged with those tasks. Getting the whole family involved, especially kids, whose concept of clutter is usually nonexistent, will make decluttering the house so much easier. Letting your kids know that their belongings, and those of the entire house, have set places will inevitably lead to less clutter.

Decluttering doesn’t have to become a full time job. You can set aside five minutes every day, or a bigger chunk of time once a week, to tackle clutter. Organization is a set of practices you train yourself and your family to live by. It may seem like a chore when you begin, but if you follow some or all of the above 5 hacks for a decluttered home, you will notice the place starting to shape up in no time flat.

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