Decluttering Your Home for Better Day to Day Living

Annalee Sawiak, Chief Sustainability Officer at Furniture Bank, driving sustainability and expansion.

‘Decluttering Your Home for Better Day to Day Living’

Guest blog post by Katherine Oaks, Modernize

We’ve all dealt with those moments where we simply can’t believe how things have piled up so high—in corners, on surfaces, and balled up in drawers. It’s not that you’re messy, it’s that you simply don’t have a system! Implementing little habits and changes to keep your space clutter-free not only helps you feel good—it can decrease your daily workload tenfold. At Modernize, we think you should work smarter and not harder, so here are a few helpful ways to stay clean and keep clutter at bay for better, everyday living.

Tip 1: Spend 10 minutes a day tidying up

The stress and nervous anticipation that comes from tackling a huge, messy area can easily deter even the most determined declutterers. So when it comes to cleaning up an entire house then you can imagine how unlikely you are to actually get it done. The best way to solve this problem? Spend 5-10 minutes a day tidying up your space. Whether it’s right as you wake up and are waiting for the coffee to brew, when you bring in the mail (and are about to create even more clutter), or right before bed as you are getting ready for the day ahead, take just a little bit of time to get things organized. This way you aren’t overwhelming yourself with an intimidating and unruly task that pretty much guarantees you won’t succeed. A bonus? It might just become a really, really great habit that you do more often and, gasp! even every day.

Tip 2: Pick a few things that don’t have a home and give them one

Okay, okay come on now, you can admit it. There’s probably a handful of perpetually floating items that clutter up your counters or the back of hall closets just waiting to wreak havoc on your clean home. If this is the case, dedicate some time to making a list or taking a good and honest look around to identify and wrangle those annoying little clutter critters! Give them a forever home (box, basket, drawer, etc.) and rest easy knowing that wool hat or extra tape measure won’t be an eyesore or hog up precious space anymore.

Tip 3: Designate a space or container purposefully to collect clutter

Because you need one. Even the best organizers out there need a designated area for clutter. The truth is that day-to-day living accumulates a lot of stuff and things don’t always get put away where they are meant to be—in some cases, they might even need to hang out on your side table for a little while and that’s okay! Living better also means being realistic and knowing what you need on a daily basis to get through the day without being hard on yourself or consumed by clutter. This tactic works well for families with small children or (dirty) teenagers who can’t yet comprehend the concept of cleanliness and functions as the perfect way to teach them the meaning of “organized chaos”.  

Tip 4: Giveaway your things

Sometimes clutter occurs because we have a lot of excess things in our home. Hopefully, after you’ve grown somewhat accustomed to frequently decluttering and identifying what has meaning, purpose, and function in your space you’ll be able to donate the right items to charity. Places in the Greater Toronto area like Canadian Diabetes Association Clothesline, the Toronto Public Library and of course Furniture Bank accept gently used and loved pieces and will help to pass on your extra properly and with care. It certainly beats throwing things away and adding to overflowing landfills—and it’s worthwhile to know that your efforts are also helping someone in need.

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