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10 Steps to Controlling Clutter

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Clutter. Unless you spend your day in bed, chances are you have clutter to deal with. If your home is like mine, you may even discover that clutter seems to multiply before your very eyes! If you have kids as I do, I have seven of them, clutter can quickly overtake every room in your house.


I know from talking to others about clutter, that I am not the only one who can feel overwhelmed by clutter. So if clutter seems to control you, know that you are in the company of most people I know.

While clutter is a part of being human, it seems, it is something that can be tamed. It will take some time and effort, but if you are like me, it will be time well spent as your sanity may be on the line!

I have found 10 key principles to keep from drowning in clutter. Are you ready? Let’s go!

1. Dealing with clutter takes a commitment

Dealing with clutter can be tedious and dealing with clutter isn’t too exciting either, but it does take a commitment to keeping on top of things.

2. Realize that dealing with clutter is an ongoing thing

Clutter busting is something you need to do every day, but then again so is washing dishes, making meals, and doing laundry among other things.

3. Staying on top of clutter is key

Things can quickly turn from having some stuff around to mirroring what the aftermath of a tornado looks like. The way to avoid being buried in clutter is to stay on top of it. Period.

4. Everything has a place and everything in its place

In order to take care of clutter, everyone in your home must know where things go. Even things like unopened mail, stray papers, and homework in progress has to have a place to belong.

5. Live minimally

It goes without saying that the less you have, the less you have to create clutter. Living simply is really the first step in keeping clutter at bay.

6. Practice discernment when decided what does and doesn’t enter your home

Before bringing anything in, no matter how small, decide whether it really should come into your home. Is it really something you need? Deciphering between a want and a need will serve you well in controlling clutter.

7. Set aside time to declutter every day

For years I have been spending 10 minutes on each floor of my home, twice a day, decluttering. When you go on a picking up clutter frenzy for 10 minutes, it is amazing what a difference you can make in that 10 minutes. In maintaining this simple practice, I spend 30 minutes a day, twice a day, tackling clutter. This is huge.

8. Implement time blocks when decluttering

Decide on a start and an end time when decluttering. I love, love, love a timer for this – and so do my kids. You can really get a lot done if you, and your kids, are racing the timer!

9. Purge regularly

Things are almost always coming in your home, and things should really be leaving your home in much the same pattern. The more stuff you take in, the more stuff you should be purging. If you no longer have a use for something and you can’t repurpose it, then it needs to go. Whether you give things away to someone you know, donate the things you get rid of, or sell things, make a plan for getting these things out of your home and put it in motion.

10. Just start

If there are times that your home looks like a bomb has gone off, believe me, I understand. I find clutter can easily take over on a day when I am gone for the better part of my day while my kids are all home. I don’t know how it’s possible, but mom being gone in a license to get out all the stuff they know I wouldn’t want to get out, at least not all at once. When clutter overwhelms you, take a deep breath and just start. Dive in. I really can vouch for the fact that you won’t drown!

If you are alive, chances are you’ve got clutter to deal with, and if you’ve got a family, that clutter only multiplies exponentially. Although it can so easily take over, clutter can be controlled, and these are the simple things you can do to control the clutter in your home rather than having it control you.

What are you waiting for, let’s get started!

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