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13 Easy Habits to Change Your Cluttered Ways for Good This Time

Alright, let’s face it: your “organized chaos” is really just a mess. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. 

You secretly envy super-organized people who seem to have everything all figured out. And you wouldn’t dream of someone stopping by your house unannounced. 

Well, it’s time to join their ranks. Here are 13 simple habits that will make you change your cluttered ways for good. No magic tricks, just practical habits you can start adopting today. Take it one step, one day at a time. Just start with one of these habits for a week and see what happens.

Set a Daily Tidy-up Time

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Let’s be honest, nobody likes cleaning. But setting aside just 10-15 minutes a day can make a world of difference. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in such a short time. 

Instead of letting mess pile up, you’ll keep it under control and save yourself from those dreaded weekend cleaning marathons. It’s a small investment of time for a big payoff in sanity.

Adopt the One-In, One-Out Rule

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Here’s the deal: every time you buy something new, get rid of something old. It’s like a balance sheet for your stuff. This simple rule keeps your space from becoming a storage unit. You’ll start thinking twice before making impulse purchases. Less stuff, less stress.

Use a To-Do List

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A to-do list isn’t just for Type-A personalities. It’s a lifesaver for anyone who wants to stay organized. Writing things down clears your mind and keeps you focused on what needs to get done. Plus, there’s something incredibly satisfying about crossing things off that list. You’ll feel more in control and less overwhelmed.

Create a Decluttering Schedule

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Don’t try to tackle your whole house at once. Break it down into manageable zones and work on one area at a time. A decluttering schedule helps you stay on track and prevents burnout. It’s like eating an elephant one bite at a time. Before you know it, your entire space will be clutter-free.

Deal with Mail Immediately

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Mail is a sneaky clutter culprit. Don’t let it pile up on your counter. Sort through it as soon as you get it. Toss the junk, file the important stuff, and move on with your day. Kick the dreaded mail mountain and keep surfaces clear.

Keep Flat Surfaces Clear

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Flat surfaces are clutter magnets. Make it a rule to keep them clear. It’s amazing how much tidier your space looks without random stuff scattered everywhere. You’ll save time not having to move things around constantly. Plus, clear surfaces are just more relaxing to look at.

Use Clear Storage Solutions

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Invest in some good clear, storage solutions. Bins, baskets, and shelves can work wonders. Having a designated place for everything makes it easier to put things away. No more hunting for lost items or shoving stuff into random drawers. Organized storage saves time and reduces stress.

Donate Regularly

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Get into the habit of donating items you no longer need. Regular donations prevent clutter from taking over your space. You’ll feel good about helping others while keeping your home organized. It’s a win-win situation. Plus, less stuff means less to clean and maintain.

Digitize Paperwork

A woman uses a smartphone to scan the barcode to pay monthly bill or digitizing paper bills to a computer.
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Paper clutter is the worst. Go digital whenever you can. Scan important documents and store them on your computer or in the cloud. You’ll free up physical space and make it easier to find what you need. Digital files are searchable, and you won’t have to dig through piles of paper.

Practice the 5-Minute Rule

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If a task takes less than 5 minutes, do it right away. This simple rule keeps little tasks from piling up and becoming overwhelming. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in just a few minutes. It’s all about momentum. Small actions add up to big results.

Limit Your Wardrobe

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Keep only the clothes you love and wear regularly. Donate or sell the rest. A smaller wardrobe means less time spent deciding what to wear and more space in your closet. You’ll quickly look good and feel more organized. Plus, laundry day becomes a breeze.

Label Everything

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Labels are your new best friend. Labeling makes it easy to know where things belong. It’s a simple hack that keeps you organized without much effort. No more guessing where to put something or searching for lost items. Your future self will thank you.

Establish a Nightly Routine

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Spend a few minutes each night tidying up before bed. It doesn’t take long, but it makes a huge difference. So go ahead and set a five-minute timer to get something done. 

Waking up to a tidy space sets a positive tone for the day. You’ll feel more in control and less stressed. It’s the perfect way to end your day on a high note.

Theresa Bedford is a nationally syndicated writer. Her work has been seen on the Associated Press Wire, Blox Digital, and MSN. She writes about productivity, money, and simple living to help people focus on what really matters in life.