Builder Tips: Avoiding clutter in your new home

Live within your space

What “live within your space” means is this: Let the size of your home dictate how much stuff you have, and not the other way around. If your closet is bursting at the seams, instead of dreaming of a bigger closet, why not try paring down your clothes to fit the space you have?

Purge before you move, then purge monthly (or at least quarterly)

Before you move into your dream home – heck, even when you’re in the planning stages, take a good long look around. Take an inventory of what you have, how often you add to it, and take a one-thing-in-one-thing-out approach. Even if you get to a point where you have only as many things as will comfortably fit into your space, stuff has a way of accumulating. So set aside a time, a few times a year, to go through your things and get rid of the ones you don’t use anymore. You’ll feel so much lighter, and your home will thank you.

Have a place for everything

A place for everything, and everything in its place. It’s a cliche for a reason, and still some of the best organizing advice out there. If you have lots of things in limbo on tables, countertops, or the floor and are struggling to find places for them, you need more places. Set up an area for catch-alls, like a  clear plastic shoe boxes or a filing cabinet or maybe just a console with lots and lots of drawers can come in handy. Which leads us to…

Keep a junk drawer (or even a junk room)

Every household has those little things — pens, tape, twist ties, extension cords whatnot — that get used a lot but don’t really have any logical place to go. Instead of agonizing over finding a home for every little thing, keep a junk drawer. The last few little bits of clutter get swept in there, and you’re done.

Include a landing strip at the entry way

Even if you’re conscientious about what you buy, it’s easy for clutter to sneak its way into your home in the form of junk mail, freebies, kids stuff, what have you. That’s why setting up an intentional landing strip by the front door is so brilliant: Clutter has to come into your home somewhere, and you can stop it right at the source. A landing strip gives you one place to tidy – that’s NOT the kitchen island!

Get the whole family on board

If your efforts are being hampered by a family member (or maybe you’re the only one on board with the clutter free life), it’s time to have a family meeting. Explaining the simple rules to live by and talking up the benefits of your newfound organization (Ex: think how easy the mornings will be!) Will have the whole family ready to pull their weight, purge their stuff, and keep your home clutter-free.

Also, remember that nobody is perfect, and nobody’s home is perfect. Even the homes you see in the magazines aren’t perfect — it took a whole team of stylists to make them that way. So if you have an off week, or two weeks, or month, and suddenly your house is a disaster, don’t panic. It’s never too late to forgive yourself and try again.