Imagine this. You open the door to your home and walk into a place of peace and tranquility. Is this what you see when you enter your home?
If what you see instead is a battleground of chaos, you have the power to change it with a few simple tips. Follow these quick tips to simplify your home every day and over time to create an environment where you can relax, enjoy and focus on living the life you really want. The state of your primary environment makes a huge difference on your quality of life, so what are you waiting for?
Here are 5 quick tips to simplify your home and create a home sanctuary.
1. Clear surfaces
The first tip is to keep your countertops, tables, and other surfaces clear. Seeing clutter on the surfaces in your home is a constant reminder of items unaddressed and things undone. It’s a distracting and draining visual stressor you can easily reduce by spending some time clearing off piles of papers, misplaced items and random things. Throw away what you’re able, put items back in their place, and if you’re unsure of what to do with some of them, put it in a box for now and tuck it out of sight to deal with another day.
When you’re done, you’ll immediately notice the benefits. The space feels bigger, allowing you to focus better and with more energy to go throughout your day. After experiencing and keeping this up for a few days, you’ll wonder how you dealt with all the clutter before!
2. Put it back when you’re done
Whenever you’re done using, wearing or taking out an item, take the few seconds to put it back where it belongs. The few seconds it takes you to put the item back may seem insignificant; it may be tempting to consider doing it later. Don’t give in to the temptation. When multiple items accumulate, the few seconds for each thing add up and quickly become overwhelming. If you must wait until later, designate a time at the end of each day for a quick ten minute pickup (perhaps when you’re brushing your teeth!).
This is easier said than done but if done regularly makes a major difference. Not only does it help with minimizing the clutter and keeping surfaces clear, it helps you to consider what you actually need.
3. Process incoming papers and stuff
Each day, new papers and things sneak into our home either by our doing or unintentionally through junk mail, promotional “free” items or gifts from others. Instead of letting these things accumulate, it’s helpful to regularly sort through and decide what you’re going to do with them.
If it’s not useful, something you love, reference material, or anything you need to take action on, dispose of it. It either goes in recycling, the trash or the donation pile (there is one ongoing in a designated hidden location within our household). On other hand, if the item is something you’d like to use or keep for reference, find a place for it and put it away.
The key is taking action on a regular, preferably daily basis so you’re very intentionally adding to your household instead of randomly accumulating throughout time.
4. Remove items you don’t love
Just because an item is already in your home, doesn’t mean it deserves to stay. Things come into our lives at a certain point and leave when its purpose or time has passed. As you come across items already in your home, periodically consider if there are any you’ve outgrown or don’t use anymore. Consider donating or selling if it’s still in good working condition. If the item is defective or worn, it’s time to recycle if possible or throw it away.
What about items with sentimental value that aren’t being used? For those sentimental items you cherish, by all means keep them! For the rest, consider taking a picture and then proceed with the options of donating, selling, recycling or throwing away.
5. Tackle one small area at a time
While the desire to organize and go through the entire house in one whole sweep is normal, it’s not realistic and will seem like an overwhelming task. All homes have areas that could use some work. It’s always a work in process.
As such, tackle small areas as you find the time. If you find yourself with an hour to spare towards simplifying your home, pick a drawer, a closet, or that box from the first step while you were clearing off those surfaces! If you feel motivated to dedicate a whole afternoon, perhaps you can get through a whole room. The key is breaking it down to a reasonable amount given the time you have available today.
The small steps you take towards simplifying areas within your home will add up over time. It will become easier and easier to maintain clear surfaces and put things back in their place as you continuing simplifying your home down to what works best for you.