Are you guilty of making any of these 7 mistakes that prohibit your home from being clutter-free?

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By Helena Zachariassen, Home & Lifestyle Editor

Clutter might seriously impact our health and wellbeing – sometimes without us even being consciously aware of it. We might wonder why we’re having trouble falling asleep, or why we’re struggling with feelings of stress, overwhelm, the frustration of not finding things, and not being able to relax or be at peace at home. Ever felt that way?

I know I did until I finally became aware of my ingrown habits, or in other words, unconscious mistakes I had been making over the years sabotaging my overall wellbeing. 

#1 I have space

The more space I had the more I filled it up. Why? Because I could.
When we have more space we tend to accept and allow ourselves to keep more stuff because the space is there. However, these possessions don’t only take up physical space, they also fill up precious mental space in our minds. So just because you might have more space than you need, consider the impact an empty shelf, an empty cupboard, or even an empty room might do for you! It enables more space to grow on a personal level.

Incredible FACTS about clutter:

➤ we may spend up to one year of our lives looking for lost things

➤ getting rid of clutter eliminates 40% of housework in the average home

➤ 80% of items people keep are never used

➤ storing unused objects is a ~150 billion USD industry monthly

➤ more than 25% of adults pay bills late because they lose them

➤ 25% of the average Americans can’t use their garage for their car because it’s full of other stuff

➤ women’s stress levels are directly proportional to the amount of stuff in their homes

SoURCES: US NAPO, US dept. of energy, NSDA, UCLA

#2 Not returning things to where they belong after use

This is the reason unwanted “piles” of random stuff start to form. “I’ll return it later”…and I never did. In addition, I misplaced important papers because I didn’t know where they were and in which pile. After decluttering each remaining item should have a home address in your home and always be returned to it straight after use. Also what works well with kids is doing a 10 min daily reset at the end of each day. Put on some cool music, tidy up the day, and dance 🙂

#3 Guilt-tripping your partner and/or kids

Let’s face it. It would be nice to have someone to blame for the mess, but no, it is not your partner’s or your kids’ fault that there is clutter in your home. Blaming someone else might lead to a couple of further issues:

a) you can’t see the forest for the trees, in other words: do you even see your own clutter?
b) sometimes it holds you back from getting started on your decluttering journey at all

So what I did first was that I looked at myself long and hard in the mirror. And I decluttered, all of my own stuff. Only once you’re done with your own journey can you teach your family members how to do it. If and when they’re ready for it.

#4 Collecting everything you don’t know where to put in a “junk drawer”

One of my worst habits was exactly this for years on end. My top drawer in the entrance hall dresser was constantly bursting with anything random that came in the door (coins, chewing gum, extra keys, a sample handed out at the grocery store, etc.) and I didn’t know what to do with it. Does this happen to you too?

#5 When returning home, your stuff ends up all over the place

Do you take the time to put your shoes, coat, bag/wallet, and keys away every time you get home? Is there a dedicated space for them? Or do you leave the shoes out, hang the coat on the back of a chair, and place whatever you had in your hands on the kitchen countertop or on the dining table? Take a mental note of your current habits…is there anything worth changing?

#6 You’re lacking functioning systems for your belongings in your home

Clutter simply thrives if there are no systems in place for how and where things should be stored and maintained. Once all items have been placed, ideally likes with likes, in a new home, the easiest way to maintain the order is to stick to it. Teach the family where items belong so they can help themselves.

#7 Shopping when hungry or chasing price deals

I used to return home countless times with unnecessary and too much stuff when hitting the shops hungry or going there without a plan. You spend more (be aware of the sales trap “buy 3 pay for 2 etc”!) and you end up with more stock than what you have space for. 

I learned most of this the hard way, but I managed slowly but surely to change my bad habits into better ones. It takes time and effort but setting clear intentions of how you want your home to be and feel is of utmost importance. One habit at a time is more than enough. Just make sure to keep the extra stock at the grocery store and not in your home.

Which of the above mentioned bad habits can you relate the most to?

tell us in the Comments below 🙂

If you’re struggling right now and feel stressed out by your home and you want to create a calm, clutter-free home environment so you can spend less time tidying up and have more time with your loved ones, then my brand new pilot online coaching program My Happy Home Method can help you!

We’re starting Monday, March 21, you can still grab one of the last spots! DM me here.


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To read posts from February, click here

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