No matter how hard you try to keep your home organized, you may find that either you or your family members have bad habits that undo all of your efforts. There are often hotspots around the house for clutter, from the kitchen to the bedroom, and once you fall into certain habits, they can be hard to break. Here are some common household habits that cause home clutter and solutions to keep your home organized.
Tossing Items Into a Closet
In almost every home, there is a closet that holds a bunch of different items. From linens to cleaning products to winter coats stored away, this space can quickly become a catch-all for things you don’t use daily or are simply hiding away when family and friends visit. With a cluttered closet like this, it can be hard to find the things you need.
Solution: Instead of tossing these items into the dark depth of a closet, create a system. Install shelves from the floor up. This will help determine how much space you have for storage. Use bins, baskets or boxes with labels so nothing will be missed. For items that don’t belong together, such as cleaning supplies and winter coats, find appropriate homes for these items in different areas of the home.
Throwing Mail on the Counter
One of the most common causes of kitchen clutter is stacking piles of mail and paper on the counter. Come home, check the mailbox, head inside and toss it out of your way, as the last thing you want to do after a long day is sift through your bills. Not only can this cause clutter and stress, but it also takes up valuable counter space.
Solution: Start with an organization system for your mail. Place a stylish, yet discrete tray on your entryway table or kitchen counter where you can place your mail until you are ready to read it. Avoid mixing important mail, like bills and insurance information, with junk mail, like menus and unwanted catalogs, by placing a simple, design-friendly waste basket in your entryway. Just be sure to take one or two days a week to go through your tray and empty out your wastebasket to keep it from overflowing.
Leaving Shoes Around the House
If you have a family full of children, it’s common to find their shoes strewn across the house. From a pile of sneakers in the entryway to a pair of shoes on the living room floor, this can quickly become a tripping hazard, in addition to adding unwanted clutter and dragging dirt and grime throughout your home.
Solution: Put a shoe rack in your entryway, mudroom or garage to keep shoes organized and reduce the amount of dirt tracked throughout your home. If you have a closet by your door, consider adding shelving to the bottom to create your own shoe rack that is also hidden behind the door, clearing up space to reduce clutter and tripping hazards. Consider putting shoe racks in every bedroom as well to store shoes for different seasons.
Piling Dirty (and Clean) Clothes on a Chair
Whether you get home from a tough workout at the gym or you are tackling multiple home chores at once, clothes often don’t find their way to the dresser, closet or hamper. Clean clothes may get folded, but never put away, sitting on a chair in your bedroom. Dirty clothes may end up piling up on the bathroom floor or in a corner of the bedroom. Either way, this causes clutter that can result in a musty smell and increased dust.
Solution: Invest in a few hampers with lids and place them in convenient locations throughout your home. Place one in the bathroom (or two, one for clothes and one for towels) and one in each bedroom for dirty laundry. This will give you a place to store your dirty laundry without being able to see it everywhere. For clean laundry, get in the habit of putting it away immediately. Keep spare hangers near the washer and dryer for easy organization. Working with labels on dressers and in bins and baskets in the closet can also prompt you to stick to an organizational system.