We’re habitual creatures us humans. It’s how our brain helps us be more efficient. If we don’t have to think about small daily things, we can use our brainpower for more important things, like keeping watch for stampeding mammoths and rampaging tigers.
Habits can be wonderful – if you have Good Habits like exercising, taking time out for self care or taking vitamins.
But then there’s the Dark Side…. BAD Habits. (Cue danger music!) We learn them from our families and we fall into them without thinking. We all have them. When was the last time you said “I have a bad habit of…”
[List here all the annoying little things that you do that you rather you didn’t]
Clutter causing habits are almost invisible. You look around your home and think How Did It Get This Way!!!!!! It seems to be a mystery.
It’s those sneaky clutter causing habits. You’re probably reading this because you have a suspicion that’s what’s happening at your place. Everyone who lives in your home has a clutter causing habit. Some worse than others.
- In the kitchen, mountains of open packets, cartons and bottles, chopping boards, knives and lunchboxes.
- Dishes in the lounge, in bedrooms, in the garage.
- Dirty clothes dropped any old place, clean laundry plopped down anywhere handy.
- Papers and crafts scattered around where they’ve been used.
- Shopping and bags and sports gear and library books plonked down in the easiest place when everyone comes home.
Because Clutter Busting is my thing – the removal, avoidance and permanent thwarting of clutter, I’m going to focus on the 5 main habits that cause clutter.
1. The Bad Habit Of – Dumping Things When You Get Home.
Make a coming home routine.
When anyone steps over the doorstep – Stop. Pause for a bit. This little chunk of time is reserved for clutter prevention and will only take 5 minutes.
Even if you’re tired, hang bags on hooks, put sports gear in the laundry, put shopping on the bench (and put it away asap). Put your keys in the key spot, plug your phone into the power.
Little groups of mini habits like this will make your life so much easier.
2. The Bad Habit Of – Not Making A Smart Spot For Things.
Making an easy place for everything you use that works for you (and your family)
Make sure that the things you use are in places that make sense to you and your family.
For example – Put dirty washing baskets in the bathroom, bedrooms or hall, wherever dirty clothes get dumped. Put them exactly where the clothes actually end up on the floor, even if it’s an annoying place. Eventually the basket can be moved to a better spot when it’s a habit to chuck clothes into it.
3. The Bad Habit Of – Not Putting Things Away.
Make it an automatic habit to put things back.
Breakfast is fast and crazy! Then you make a yummy after school sandwich, everybody’s happy and you all get on with sorting out homework and after school activities and playdates and getting a load of laundry done.
Then when it’s ready for dinner the kitchen looks like a bomb has hit it! The breakfast dishes and sandwich fillings and crumbs and mess all over the place! Wouldn’t it be great to walk in and find everything clear and ready to cook?
There’s 3 ways to sort this out:
- Put each thing away as soon as you finish with it.
- Put everything away when you’re done.
- Make sure that you go back a little later and clear up.
Guess which is easiest!
4. The Bad Habit Of – Bringing Unplanned Things Into Your Home.
Be intentional in what you bring into your home.
I’m not saying stop all shopping! But if you find yourself bringing Nifty Things You Never Knew You Needed into your home on a regular basis, those things are probably adding to your clutter problem.
Think carefully about where it will go, will it fit and how long you’ll be using it for. Will it need maintenance, will it need to be stored when it’s not in use? How will you dispose of it if you decide you don’t want it anymore?
5. The Bad Habit Of – Not Giving Yourself Enough Time.
Start setting up clutter busting routines.
Routine? Booooring!!! Daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly? YES! They will make keeping your home clutter-free and peaceful so easy. If you can’t find the time, that’s probably adding to your clutter problem.
If you have a housework schedule, add a quick 5 minute Tidy to the beginning or end of your work in each room. Moving things that don’t belong in that room will help make it look so much tidier.
When the washing is done, make sure you have enough time to fold it and put it away. That way it won’t hang around getting in the way until you find the time.
If you never seem to have the time to sort out something, prioritise that time. Everyone else can just wait. Or, even better, it can become someone else’s job! Delegating is the ultimate time saver. Your family team, the people who share your home, you are all Clutter Busters!
Happy clutter busting!