Is the fight with the clutter monster an ongoing battle at your house, like it is at mine? In this post I’m sharing 5 easy ways to simplify your home that I’ve learned over many years of homekeeping!
Simplicity vs Maximalism
Listen friends, my kids were little during the late 80s and the 90s. The era of maximalism! Colorful and stuffed full spaces were “in”. Each holiday had at least a tub full of decor to put everywhere. I’m not sure how I survived Christmas back in those days!
Still, I’ve never had a problem getting rid of things. I don’t really have sentimental attachment to them, and I get tired of looking at the same decor over time.
However, my house can still end up feeling cluttered if I don’t strategize.
A simplified home is so much easier to clean and to live in. I’m sure that I don’t have to convince you.
However, if you’re completely overwhelmed, you might want to read How to Declutter When You Don’t Know Where to Start first.
But for now, let’s get started!
1. Go through your rooms and eliminate books and magazines that you aren’t reading (or will ever read).
Be realistic. If there are some that you want to keep, put them all on one bookshelf or in square baskets or crates. This is more of a purposeful collection, rather than stacks of clutter.
Personally I love to listen to books while I’m doing other things. So I’ve been able to keep my book collection to a minimum.
2. When you check your mail, stand by a trash can or shredder.
Immediately throw away or shred junk mail or other pieces of mail that you don’t need. Most bills can be sent and paid online.
I remember looking through the Sears catalog and circling all of the toys I wanted for Christmas. No, we didn’t own a covered wagon, but thanks for asking.
However, store catalogs can all be found online these days, so no need to keep them. Unless you want to circle items and leave them around for your spouse to get the hint. Good luck with that.
Coupons come in handy sometimes. If you need to keep them, have a designated place for them.
We have a hanging wall pocket in our laundry room where all coupons go. If I’m shopping online or going out, I can quickly look through them. About once a month I go through and throw the expired ones away.
If you use fast food coupons that you get in the mail, keep them in your purse or car so that you’ll have them at the ready.
With just a little effort you can eliminate the paper pile up that happens on your kitchen counter or entryway table.
3. Get rid of seasonal decor.
This one may ruffle some feathers and I understand. When my kids were young I felt like I had to have all kinds of decorations for each holiday and season. But let me tell ya, buying that stuff, storing it, hauling it out and putting it away again, is NOT simple. It’s a lot of work as a matter of fact!
I love home decor as much as anyone. Well, actually more than most people I know!
However, I had to simplify in this area. Now, I depend on natural elements for my decor. Live plants, fresh flowers, pinecones, seashells, pebbles, scented candles and essential oils are all part of my seasonal decor.
I can change the scents and just gather from nature’s bounty as the seasons change. Usually it just gets thrown away after use (such as fresh greens that have dried out) or stored in a small space.
Food can also be part of your decor, such as a bowl of apples. Eventually they’ll get eaten and you don’t have to store anything. Heart eyes to that!
Using more neutral decor that can be changed up quickly is another tactic.
For instance, invest in a green wreath that you can add embellishments to according to the time of year. It’s a lot easier to change it up than to store six different wreaths.
Don’t even get me started on Christmas decorations. We’ll have to save that for it’s own post!
4. Keep wall clutter to a minimum.
I love a good gallery wall as much as the next girl. But I just can’t look at that much stuff all day
or keep it dusted!
Keeping artwork to a minimum is less clutter to the eye, which makes your home feel more relaxed. If you just love all of your artwork, consider putting up a picture ledge and rotate it every few months.
You won’t put any new holes in the wall, you won’t be buying anything new, and you’ll be enjoying just a few pieces of your art at a time. It’s a win, win, win!
5. Keep wall colors to a minimum.
A different colored wall in each room will make your home feel cluttered and hectic. There, I said it! Keeping all of your walls a similar (or same) color will keep your home feeling uncluttered, especially if you have an open concept.
Of course I realize that color is a way to express yourself. But keep in mind that color can cause an emotional response. You don’t want to feel uptight or upset in your home simply because of a color on the wall. It’s something to consider.
I’m definitely not telling you to be afraid of color. But for a peaceful feeling, simplified home, stick to a similar color throughout, or neutral colors.
We can get into how to determine your color scheme in another post. But for now, to simplify, tone way down the amount of colors in your home, for a less chaotic feeling environment.
There is always the option to add more color and pattern back in, once you’ve decluttered.
Simplifying your home can be easy and rewarding. I’ve found that simplifying helps me to appreciate the things I have so much more.
Rather than a burden, I’m grateful for my belongings, and can easily let go of the things I don’t need.
Plus the added benefit of more time to spend on the important things in life rather than managing “stuff”!
So what do you think? Will you simplify your home today? Maybe a few hours this weekend?
Let me know in the comments.
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