You might be thinking, “Declutter every day? No way!” But this type of decluttering isn’t a major chore; it’s just the daily maintenance required to keep excess stuff from slowly taking over your life. Taking a few minutes to clean certain spots will keep you in control of your space.
Here are 10 areas you should declutter every day.
01 of 10
There are many benefits to an organized handbag, including being able to find your keys and other essential items. Every time you get home, go through your bag. Toss out any trash that has accumulated, along with any items you don’t need to be lugging around. If you’re planning on using a different bag the next time you go out, make the switch well before you have to leave. That way, you can place your items in the new bag in an organized fashion rather than being rushed and quickly throwing everything in.
02 of 10
Just like with a handbag, clean out your wallet after each use. Remove any receipts and paper scraps, organize your bills, make sure your cards are in the right slots, and remove excess coins filling up your change purse. Looking through your wallet as soon as you get home also can alert you to anything that's missing right away, such as a credit card you forgot on a store counter. Thus, you can take prompt action to recover it.
03 of 10
If you tend to procrastinate putting away clean laundry and instead pile it on a piece of furniture or create a “floordrobe,” it's time to break this habit. Spend a few minutes each day putting away as many items as you can. That way, it won't feel like a monumental task. And it will prevent your clean clothes from forming a mountain that you'll eventually have to sort through.
04 of 10
Desk and Other Workspaces
Regardless of whether you work from home or in an office building, workshop, studio, or any other type of space, you deserve a clean work area. At the end of your work day, check for items that are out of place or don’t belong on your desk or in your workspace. Return everything to its proper place, and dispose of any trash. You'll be thankful you got this done the next time you come to work.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
One day, you’re feeling too lazy to carry your empty coffee cup out of the car, and before you know it you’re commuting in a veritable trash can on wheels. Avoid letting any trash or other clutter accumulated on an outing sit in your car. Instead, bring your takeout bags, gum wrappers, empty cups, and other items with you when you get out of the car. You can keep a small trash bag in your car if it makes it easier for you to carry the waste, as long as you regularly empty the bag.
06 of 10
If you want a clean, functional, and welcoming kitchen, it’s important to organize your kitchen countertop regularly. Unread mail, projects you’re working on, and all sorts of household flotsam will pile up here if you don’t stop it. At the end of each day once you're done cooking, plan to clean your countertop and return everything on it to where it belongs. To make things easy on yourself, you can keep a "put away later" bin nearby for miscellaneous items that end up on the counter. Make sure to empty that bin at least weekly.
07 of 10
Leaving dirty dishes in the sink isn't a great habit. But more importantly, seeing them there unwashed can make you feel stressed and disorganized. So plan to empty your sink at least daily, and don’t forget to empty the drying rack as well if the dishes in it are dry. Leaving them there for days just means you'll have to spend a longer block of time on this task.
08 of 10
A launchpad is a small area by the front door where you keep your keys, sunglasses, letters to be mailed, and other little necessities of daily life that you grab on your way out. It's valuable to help you remember things, but it only works if you keep it organized. Take a few minutes each day when you get home to remove any clutter from your launchpad. Don't allow it to become a dumping ground for junk mail, receipts you don't want to keep, and other similar items.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
The simplest way to manage your mail is to deal with every piece of it as soon as you can. That can mean discarding junk mail, filing documents, or paying bills. Letting mail accumulate in piles not only will create stressful and unsightly clutter; it also might cause you to miss something important.
10 of 10
You don’t have to get to “inbox zero” every day, though many people swear by having a completely empty inbox. You just have to try to keep your email down to a manageable level. If a message needs a response, answer it (or flag it for later if you can’t answer right away). Delete spam and any messages you don’t need to save. And file everything else in clearly named folders, so you can find it again if needed.