Try this trick for controlling clutter if you feel overwhelmed by the clutter all around you in your home! It works and it works fast!
It was so great last spring to hear from so many of you in the comments section on my post about my “Cleaning Ninja” method of spring cleaning. In that post, I asked you to share with me some of your biggest challenges when you think about your spring cleaning this year and it was really interesting to read what you had to say! There were of course lots of unique, specific challenges, but one of the common things that a lot of people were finding tricky was keeping on top of the organization of their home and all of the “stuff” in there. Can you relate? 🙂 I think overwhelming clutter is something we all come up against at some point and it can be really frustrating until we find a system for controlling clutter that really works for us.
Of course, there is no “one size fits all” solution, but I thought it would be fun today to share one of my own personal favorite little tricks to keeping things looking tidy and peaceful around the house. You never know, it might work for you too!
My Favourite Trick for Controlling Clutter
If you’ve read my book The Cleaning Ninja, then you know that I like to employ different Ninja tactics when it comes to my housework. These are little strategies that allow me to get a whole bunch of stuff done super quickly and without leaving me feeling like I’ve just run a marathon. Basically they’re just little games that I play that make me feel like I have some kind of housekeeping super powers and make me feel energized when I see the results from my efforts around the house. If you check out the chapter called “How to Be a Cleaning Ninja” you’ll find a bunch of my favorite little tactics for all kinds of different situations and challenges that you might be facing when it comes to not being able to find the time or the motivation for house work.
My favorite little game for keeping my home from being taken over by silly little pieces of clutter is something I call The Five Finger Trick. This is not to be confused with the Five Finger Discount that you may have heard of, although having someone steal all of your stuff would probably help cut down on clutter too. But I think my way is more fun. 🙂
It goes like this:
Whenever I start to feel like clutter is creeping in on every surface and every free square inch of empty floor space, I remind my self to employ the Five Finger Trick. Basically when I’m telling myself is to think about what my hands are doing right now, but saying it in a funny way so I actually pay attention and do it. 🙂 Are they holding something? Are they carrying that mess to where it needs to be? Do I have a free hand that could be making the situation better while I’m moving about the house delivering snacks or getting myself ready for the day?
Honestly? This. Works.
How to Start Controlling Clutter
And it sounds kind of crazy, I know. The goal is to really be doing this all the time, always, without even thinking about it. It takes practice though, and you really do need to build your decluttering muscle little by little. I know right now you’re sitting there thinking that I sound absolutely nuts, because constant decluttering sounds completely exhausting, but you’ve GOT to try it. To start out, just try doing it for a few minutes, whenever you start sensing that overwhelming feeling of being lost in the clutter creeping up on you. Just find something to pick up that needs to go in the direction you’re going anyway. Just pick something up off the coffee table the next time you get up to go to the kitchen to make yourself a cup of tea. Or put away that tube of paint that’s sitting right on top of the craft dresser it belongs in 2 feet away from you while you’re walking by it anyway. That last one was directed at myself. 🙂
Look around. Pay attention. Use your hands for something other than flapping in the wind as you’re going about your day.
Do this for, like, 5 minutes and you’ll be hooked. All of those bits and bobs and pieces of junk that you’ve been dreading having to put away for weeks will suddenly be dealt with and you’ll love seeing your home clearing up before your eyes while you’re just going about your daily business. And you’ll want to keep doing it, which is awesome because then not only does it not take any more energy to do, it actually gives you more energy!
Holy cow, right?
Why I Love This Trick
My favorite part is that, after working on this skill for a few days, when you look around at all of the visible parts of your home, you’ll start to see that everything is good. Everything is OK. And then you’ll start to become a little more free with your time and in your mind to tackle those areas behind closet doors that you never thought you’d get to, and that’s when you really know you’re starting to make progress!
And it all starts with just picking stuff up and walking around with it. 🙂
I know a lot of us struggle with clutter and I’ve been wanting to share some helpful ideas for that, so I started really simple with just this little tip. The whole point of this is that it is just common sense but sometimes we need to remind ourselves to employ common sense a little more often and a little more consciously instead of wondering why our house is so messy and why we can’t seem to get ourselves out of it. I’m hoping to get a few more helpful decluttering/organizing ideas together for you in the near future so if you have any specific topics or areas of the home that you’d like me to focus on, please let me know!
This is one ninja tactic for controlling clutter that definitely works and probably can work for almost everyone because of how simple it is! Definitely give this little trick a try the next time you feel overwhelmed by clutter! I use this one everyday!
Do you have a favourite little trick for controlling clutter that we all need to know about?
MORE IDEAS LIKE THIS!
- The Laundry Basket in the Trunk Trick
- Must See Uses for Command Hooks
- How to Quadruple the Storage Space in Kids’ Rooms
- Inspiring and Inventive Mud Room Storage Ideas
- The No Sweat, Chemical Free Way to Remove Labels from Jars
- The Creek Line House Organizing Tips and Tricks Archives
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.