7 Habits That Stop Clutter in Its Tracks

A bright white kitchen with a breakfast bar and brass hardware.
Photo Credit: Canva.com

We all know that decluttering is critical to maintaining an organized home. But what if we could stop clutter from happening in the first place?

With some daily focus and intention, you can transform your living space into a peaceful, balanced environment. I’ve compiled some of the best habits that will keep your home organized.

The best part? They don’t require a lot of time or energy every day!

1. 20 Minute Daily Tidying

When you tidy up the house every day, you don’t need to spend a ton of time each session! By “tidying,” I mean cleaning up clutter and messes like:

  • Mail and bills (toss the junk mail immediately)
  • Pick up clothes and toys and put away
  • Clear the kitchen counter (put away pantry items, spice jars, etc.)
  • Clear off the bathroom counter
  • Pick up any messes in the entryway or other “drop zones”
  • Empty trash cans
  • Unloading and loading the dishwasher to prevent sink clutter

Whenever I need extra motivation, I set a timer and challenge myself to get everything cleaned up before it goes off. Sometimes, I can get it done in half the time I expect!

2. One In, One (or Two) Out

A wooden table with piles of clothes to keep, donate and discard. Stop clutter in its tracks by letting one item go for each item you bring in.
Photo Credit: Canva.com

One of the best ways to stop clutter in its tracks? Don’t bring ANYTHING new into the house without letting something go.

And if clutter is already a problem, I recommend letting two things go before you bring one thing new inside. (Just until you’ve reached a clutter-free state.) Donate items to charity, give them to friends, or sell them on a platform like Facebook Marketplace or ThredUp.

3. Regular Declutter Sessions

Once a month or at least every season, spend some time going through each room. Grab any items you see that:

  • Are broken
  • Haven’t been used in 2 or more years
  • No longer fit
  • You have too many of (count those spatulas!)

Feel stuck? I’ve got a list of 99 things you can declutter RIGHT NOW. I’m willing to bet you have quite a few of these…it’s time to let go!

4. Create Zones for Everything

The Best Way to Organize Your Home: Use Zones
Photo Credit: Organizenvy

“A place for everything, and everything in its place.” I love that saying. I take it to heart in my own home by having “zones” or areas where certain types of items belong.

Zones help you and everyone in your house remember where things should go. You can make zones for:

  • Kitchen items
  • Pantry stores
  • Closets
  • Garage items

(And so much more!) Learn all about how to create zones in your home here.

5. Have a Minimalist Mindset

Less is more. (More space, more peace, more balance in your life.)

Another great way to stop clutter: stay mindful about what you bring in and keep in your home. Here are some tips:

  • Only buy what you need, not what’s on sale.
  • Reduce your duplicate items. How many sets of sheets or towels do your really need?
  • Part with items you don’t use. Give them a good home to people who need them and will use them.
  • Focus on experiences and creating memories over things. (Memories last forever and don’t need to be dusted!)

6. Use the Right Storage Solutions

Photo Credit: Organizenvy

It’s much easier to prevent clutter from building up when you have good storage solutions in place. Look for ways to maximize cabinet space, pantry space and wall space.

Get as much off the floor and counters as possible. Just this step alone will have a huge impact on how you feel when you walk in the door.

I have tips and ideas for the best storage organizers for every space! Check out these posts for:

7. Make It a Family Affair

Maintaining a clutter-free home is much easier when everyone in the home participates. Get the other members of your household on board with the goal of a peaceful home.

Use labels on your storage organizers to help everyone remember where things go. Ask your family members to put things away when they come home instead of dropping them in the entryway or kitchen.

Small habits can make a big difference!

Related Articles

Beginner’s Guide to Organizing Your Home

Complete Declutter Checklist

Organize Without Spending a Dime

The Best Way to Organize Any Messy Room