How to Keep Your Home, Mind, and Schedule Clutter Free: 52 Things to Know About Cleaning & Organizing Your Life

You will find that if you declutter your home, you will be able to live a simpler and more carefree existence. You’re most likely in the same boat as so many others- over the years, you’ve accumulated a great deal of “junk” and it’s time to get rid of it. Perhaps you’re always busy and you seem to have no free time. You should take a moment to clear your schedule so that you can create more time for what you love to do. 

In all areas of your life, learning to live clutter-free will be beneficial to you. You will: 

1)    Eliminate discontent

2)    Reclaim time

3)    Enjoy the present

4)    Chase your passions

5)    Find your purpose

6)    Find freedom

7)    Get rid of the “junk” 

8)    Make contributions to society

There are concrete tips and techniques presented in this book that can help you to avoid clutter in your home, mind, and schedule. We strongly encourage you to read through them and put these into practice in your own life as soon as possible. Remember that it will take time and patience- it’s not going to happen overnight, but it will happen. 

 Is your home cluttered? 

Is it true that you are always busy and you don’t have much free time to spare? 

Are you interested in the minimalist lifestyle? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions then this book is for you…

Based on knowledge from the world’s leading experts, society is slowly moving back towards the minimalism lifestyle. This means that they have just the necessities, and not all those extras that just take up room and keep them from enjoying life with their friends and family. People are no longer being ruled by “stuff” but are taking back control of their lives and homes. 

Declutter your room


  1. Take a step at a time and focus on one area at a time.

It is a bit overwhelming at first to look around and attempt to clear your clutter away, but I can assure you that it will be worth it in the long run. Having lived it myself, I know it happens from time to time. However, if you start out by dedicating each area of the house to a different goal, afterward making that area a “no clutter” zone, you’ll find that your progress will be more rapid. Once you’ve chosen a place to start, keep it that way and take steps to expand it until your whole home is clutter free. 


  1. In order to ensure that the counter tops and shelves are not obstructed, it is a good idea to ensure that they are clean. 

Keeping your home’s flat surfaces as clutter-free as possible is the last thing you should do if you wish to keep your home as tidy as possible. The appliances in your kitchen that you rarely use and don’t use should be given more space in your kitchen if you are not using them. You can leave them out if you don’t use them often, but if you do, then you may want to consider leaving them out. The kitchen counter, because of its central location, is often an accumulation of junk mail and other papers. As soon as you go through your papers, the first thing you should do is throw out those documents that are not necessary. After installing the counters in your kitchen, you should move on to installing the shelves in your house after completing the counters. 


  1. Before you go to the store, make a list of five things you need to pick up.

Put five items in a room that should be there and remove five from a room that shouldn’t. Put the items back in the correct places after you have walked through the room. If they don’t have a place to call home, you should choose one for them. Then, once you’ve chosen the spot where you’d like to keep them, always make sure to return them when you’re done. 


  1. Decluttering can be done over the course of a weekend.

If you’re only starting out, there is a good chance you won’t need to go through an extensive de-cluttering process just yet if you are just starting out. You can do that later on in the month when you are ready. As soon as you put it on the schedule, it will give you plenty of time to make sure you are free and to get your friends and family to assist you. As soon as you have more help, you’ll be able to get it done more quickly. 


  1. Create a visual representation of the area.  

When you are working on decluttering a room, you can take a step back and observe exactly how you want it to appear when you have finished your task. The furniture in a room should only consist of those that are necessary as well as those that do not belong but have been placed there by accident. After you’ve decided this, you can get rid of anything that does not belong in the room. You can move it to another room or get rid of it all together. 


  1. Organize and sort your items so they are easy to find. 

Sort the items into totes and bags and start putting them away. There are four different categories to choose from: Keep, Maybe, Donate, and Discard. Once you have chosen your categories, you can sort. When you do not necessarily need something, but you don’t want to get rid of it right now, then put it into the Maybe category. Afterwards, you can put them away and take them out in six months. It is best to either throw it away, or donate it if you haven’t used it yet, unless you have already used it. The first thing you should do after you have a pile to donate is to take it to the charity of your choice as soon as you can. 


  1. Involving the children as far as possible in the project is crucial to its success. 

If your children are old enough to participate in the decluttering process, then bring them along with you. It is important that they understand that everything has a place and if it is not being used, it needs to be put away. Be patient with them during this process. There will be a long learning curve for them, and it won’t happen overnight. As an example, if they see you putting things away, they’ll do the same and eventually they will be able to understand it, and (bonus) it will carry over into their adulthood. 


  1. The documents should be organized and sorted in a logical and orderly manner. 

A lot of people complain about the amount of clutter they have in their homes because of the amount of paper they have accumulated over the years. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to keep papers organized. It might be a good idea to invest in a file box and some file folders. Then you should label each one with any major bills as well as any other paperwork you may have (school, warranties, etc.). Designate a place where you will store them. You should always have extra folders and labels on hand so that you can create new folders as needed. Whenever you receive junk mail, you should immediately throw it away. 


  1. You should have your prescription medications organized in a way that makes sense to you. 

It would be a good idea to go through your medication cabinet and throw out any that are expired or appear out of date. Only keep what is absolutely necessary. You may then decide to create a spot for your medications, if you have not yet done so. 


  1. Try to design your home in a simple and uncluttered way. 

Since this is the new look, it will take a little while to get used to it, but once you get used to it, you will love the clean, simple look. Let this be a standard for your life and home. In the long run, you’ll realize how important it is to maintain a neat appearance and to avoid a messy home. Once you’ve cleared it out, it will be easier to catch before it takes over again.  

Declutter Your Mind and Soul


  1. Continue to breathe deeply. 

It seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? But even though it’s so simple, it can have a great deal of impact, doesn’t it? I have found that taking deep breaths and focusing on the flow of breath into and out of your body can have a very calming effect when the mind strays. If you concentrate on your breathing, it will chase away all other thoughts you may be having- all you can focus on is the breathing process itself. 


  1. Take notes and keep a journal. 

If you have lots of thoughts running through your head, get a piece of paper and a pen and start writing them down. By putting them on paper, you will prevent yourself from forgetting them and they will be off of your mind so that you can focus on other things. In addition, journaling can assist you in exploring some of those thoughts and may even help you discover some things in those thoughts that you didn’t know were there. 


  1. Take the time to consider what is important. 

If you do some soul searching, you will be able to identify what is most important and necessary in your life right now and what needs your attention now. Identify what in your life needs your attention now. You should start eliminating those things that are not important as soon as you find out what is important. You will be eliminating a great deal of the clutter in your mind and soul when you get these things out of your head. 


  1. Getting a better night’s sleep is essential. 

You may not realize it, but a lack of sleep- or its absence- actually affects the clutter that occupies your mind and soul. Is it possible that you’re not getting enough sleep- maybe you’re burning both ends of the candle, or maybe you’re sleeping but it’s not the quality sleep that you need. If this is the case for you, then you should consider making some changes to the way you sleep. It is very important to keep the temperature in your room as comfortable as possible, to keep electronics/distractions out of your room, and to do anything else that may assist you in getting a restful, restorative sleep. 


  1. Spend some time in nature and enjoy the scenery. 

Take a walk outside and get some exercise, if you want. Being outside and enjoying nature is a good way to clear your mind of clutter and to be able to redirect your focus in a way that calms you and helps you to be able to find peace. In some cases, your thoughts may appear to be tumbling around as a result of lots of pent-up energy. The best way to help release some of that energy is to get some fresh air. It is also beneficial to your mind and body to breathe in fresh air! 


  1. You should be able to check off half of your “To Do” list. 

Get out that list of “to-dos” and cross off half of them right now. You don’t have to actually do them…just tick them off. Make a choice of a few things you want to focus on – you will be able to go back to those other things at a later time. It is a fact that when you have less to do, your mind and soul will be less cluttered. 


  1. Get rid of all the clutter that you see around you. 

Can you recall what we discussed in the previous section? You will discover that by taking some time to declutter your environment, you may be able to declutter your mind as well. The clutter that surrounds you is what your mind observes and processes when you are surrounded by it. The clutter that surrounds you will be what your mind is observing and processing. 


  1. Do not try to multitask at the same time. 

The fast-paced nature of our society encourages us to multitask at any given time. The problem with multi-tasking is that it tends to fill your mind with a lot of clutter and as a result, you end up coming up with no real progress in any of the tasks. Whenever you try to multitask, you will end up being busy, but you will also end up being unproductive and unachieved. You should focus on doing one thing from your “to do” list at a time, instead of trying to do them all at once. After that, choose the next task and focus on it…and so on. 


  1. Do not overreact when you encounter a small problem. 

In fact, there is an entire brand which embodies this idea- “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” Sure, it’s perfectly normal to get frustrated and mad- but it isn’t always necessary to do so. It is sometimes necessary to let go of some things in life. You don’t want to clutter your mind and soul with negative emotions. I know that is easier said than done, and that it will take lots of practice and patience- but it will be worth it in the end. Your life will be much better for it! 


  1. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. 

It is usually helpful to reach out and speak to someone if you have a lot of things on your mind in order to help declutter your mind and your soul. Consider discussing the matter with your spouse, best friend, or even a professional. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Choosing a friend or family member to talk to is a good idea, so long as you let them know you do not want any advice or that you do not need them to “fix” anything- you simply want them to listen. Eventually, you will be able to assist them when they need it. 

The Benefits of Organizing Your Home and Life


  1. It is very important to get everything together as soon as possible. 

Make sure to take some time the night before so that you have everything ready for the next day. Ensure that you have everything you need in your briefcase and/or purse before you leave for work. Look for your keys beforehand and make sure they are in the right place. Make sure your children have their lunches ready for the next day and make sure that they have everything they need for the next day in their backpacks. 


  1. Make a list of all the things you need to do. 

I recommend that you take some time to sit down and make a to-do list for the next day. You should then take the time the next morning, while you are enjoying your morning coffee or breakfast, to go over the list one more time, making sure that you did not forget anything. Make a list of your top priorities and put them in order. 


  1. Make a daily menu that suits your needs. 

You might want to take some time while you are making your “to do” list to also plan your meals and make sure you have everything you need for the next day. Make sure all your frozen items are thawed out, if necessary. If you plan on taking your lunch, you should prepare it in advance (which saves both time and money). 


  1. Get everything in the bathroom organized. 

There are a lot of beauty products out there if you are like me. Organize these products as soon as possible. You should discard anything that is old or out of date (see tip #25). I recommend getting a plastic container to organize your counter stuff (makeup, hairspray, etc) and a shower caddy to organize your shower items. This can either be a caddy that stays in the shower or it can be a plastic caddy that comes out of the closet when you are getting ready to shower. 


  1. Get rid of old or out-of-date items. 

If you have time, you should go through all of your makeup and medical items and dispose of anything that is old or out of date. Do not flush any medications that are past their expiration date, you should take them to your local pharmacy so that they can be properly disposed of. 


  1. Make sure that your reading material is organized. 

Don’t just leave your reading materials on the floor or on the back of the toilet tank if you keep them in your bathroom (I think most people do, I think). If you want to place them in a basket or a magazine rack, you should buy a pretty, decorative one. In this way, you will be able to have your reading material with you without having to worry about the clutter. 


  1. Organize and sort your clothes. 

It is very likely that there are some of your clothes that you don’t really wear anymore. The best thing you can do is take your time to go through your clothes – not all at once – and start weeding out things you don’t wear. The easiest way to store out of season clothes or those clothes you don’t wear but don’t want to get rid of is by storing them in vacuum bags. You should then organize your closet/drawers according to the type of clothes that you own – shirts/tops, pants, jeans, etc. So, you won’t have to dig to find what you are looking for.


  1. Organize the cabinets in your house. 

It is a good idea to organize your kitchen cabinets into categories. All the glasses should be put together, the plates should be put together, the kids’ plates should be together, etc. By doing this, it will also be easier when someone else does the dishes because everything has its own place. You should keep like items together in the pantry, which will make it easier to make your grocery list when you are making one. The best way to organize your spices in alphabetical order is to purchase a spice rack that matches your kitchen’s decor. 


  1. Create a recipe database. 

If you have a lot of recipes that you were able to print or recipe cards that you received in the mail or from your local grocery store all in one place, it’s time to organize them. It would be nice to organize these into a pretty binder and some sleeves for the page protectors. Make sure that you categorize appetizers, entrees (fish, pork, poultry, beef, etc. ), desserts, and anything else you can think of that would help you. Then, whenever you get new recipes, automatically include them there, instead of leaving them lying around. 


  1. You can create a message center on your website. 

The best thing to do is to create a message center and to put it on your fridge or some other place where everyone can see it and use it. It is a useful tool for posting calendar events, shopping lists, phone messages, and any other messages that are important to you. As a result, everyone is aware of what is going on- and things will not get lost in the confusion.

Make your life simple and clutter free by living a simple and decluttered life


  1. You should only purchase what you need. 

In order to keep your home and life clean and clutter-free, make sure that you only purchase what you absolutely need when you go shopping. I suggest that you avoid places such as shopping centers and malls if you are easily tempted to buy “stuff”. Take a list of all the things that you need with you when you go shopping. You should always ask yourself if there is something you NEED rather than something you WANT. If it is, put it back and wait a week until you need it again- if it is still needed, go back and get it. Even though there will be times when you will make those WANT purchases, please don’t stress about it- just make an effort to live a decluttered life and you will start to feel better. 


  1. Keep decluttering as much as you can. 

Being patient with yourself when it comes to decluttering your home, your mind, and your schedule will pay off in the long run. It is important to take your time. It is not critical to get it all done within a narrow time frame. As long as you take baby steps, you will start to notice a difference in your decluttered home and life and you will be less likely to allow more junk to enter your life. 


  1. Try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. 

It is important to recognize that, in order to truly live a simpler and cleaner life, you also have to learn to avoid the processed foods that you find in restaurants and grocery stores. Rather than buying from a supermarket, go to a local farmer’s market, CSA, or cooperative. Try to buy local food whenever possible and eat in harmony with the season. You won’t be able to find fruit and vegetables that are as fresh and as delicious if they are shipped in or grown out of season. 

  1. Follow inspirational blogs and read inspirational books. 

You should give yourself the opportunity to learn all there is to know about cleaning and organizing your home, mind, and schedule. I can tell you that there are many blogs and books out there (like this one) that will give you the tips and tools that you need to handle your clutter and stop being so busy. 

  1. Do not simply read about it – live it. 

In order to declutter and simplify your life, you need to do more than just read about tips and techniques. If you want to declutter and simplify your life, you need to put those tips and techniques into practice. You will need to be patient with yourself as it takes some time and you will need to give yourself some time. Trust me, it will be worth it in the end. 

  1. Be the person you want to be. 

You don’t need to be so busy and have to do things that you don’t like, but do what you love instead of always being so busy and doing things that you don’t like. One of the reasons why it is important to declutter your home and life is so that you can enjoy your life as much as possible. Despite the fact that you may not be ready to quit your job, when you declutter your house, you will have the time to pursue your passion. In the end, you will never work a day in your entire life if you find something you love to do. 

  1. Become comfortable with saying “no.” 

There are times when we find it difficult to say “no” to someone when they ask us to do something. The result of this is that our schedules end up overflowing and we end up exhausted and stretched to the limit. We recommend you take the time to review your schedule and eliminate activities that are not necessary or that you do not really enjoy. 

  1. Give out more than you take in. 

When you simplify your life, you are taking in less and giving out more, as a result. Considering this for a moment, consider exactly what it means for you. If you feel passionate about a particular cause, you may even want to volunteer for that cause or even go to work for a non-profit organization you believe in. 

  1. Learn how to unlock your personal creativity. 

If you remember your childhood, you drew pictures, colored in coloring books and did all types of art projects as a child. In adulthood, it’s likely that you’ll be overwhelmed with lots of responsibilities, and this means that your creative side isn’t as prominent as it once was. You are living a pretty boring existence if you don’t find some outlets for your creativity- otherwise, you’re living an extremely boring life. 

  1. Become an active member of your community. 

Spend some time getting to know some of your neighbors or perhaps some of the members of your church or another group you’re involved in. The good thing about being involved in a community is that you will always have everything you need. Someone will always be there to help you if you become ill. Someone will watch over your house and/or pets while you are out of town, so you don’t have to worry about anything. 

Take the time to declutter your schedule


  1. Keep track of how much time you spend on what. 

You must first figure out where your time is going so that you can start decluttering your schedule before you can begin the actual decluttering process. Even if you think you already know how you spend your time, it’s always a good idea to track it and see what you can discover about your habits. If you do this, you are not making any changes- you are just tracking your progress. If you want to do this on your calendar, or if you want to do it in a notebook, you can do so. 


  1. Accept the fact that you cannot do everything. 

It is important to remember that there is only one of you and there are only 24 hours in the day- there is only so much you can accomplish. It is important that you are completely honest with yourself and others in regards to the fact that you are unable to do it all. 


  1. Make a decision about what is important to you. 

You need to decide what is important to you in order to make some decisions about what you can remove from your schedule. There is no point in establishing a plan for getting somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going. In order to achieve your goals, you need to ask yourself three questions: 1) What kind of person do I want to be? 2) What type of relationships are important to me? 3) What goals do I hope to achieve? 


  1. Identify what you need to do in order to accomplish what you want to achieve. 

It’s time to decide what is most important to you in your life, now that you have determined what the most important things in your life are. In order to reach your objectives, you’ll need to determine the steps you’ll need to take and the tools you’ll need in order to reach them. If not, you will be a slave to your circumstances for the rest of your life. 


  1. Don’t let anything impede your progress. 

In order for you to achieve your goals, you need to do more than simply determine what you need to do. Moreover, you need to get a clear picture of the things you should avoid doing in order to achieve your goals. It is important that you learn how to say “no” to the things that will not help you achieve your goals and get you to where you want to go so that you can say “yes” to the things that will. Even though there are hindrances in our lives, we must be aware of where they are coming from and determine what we need to eliminate from our lives. 


  1. Find out what motivates you. 

I encourage you to spend some time figuring out what it is that makes you happy and gives you meaning in your life. There is no difference if it has no relation to your greater purpose or if it doesn’t make sense to other people as long as it gives you motivation (and is legal), that’s all that matters. Having to spend your life frustrated is so much less enjoyable than being able to enjoy it to the fullest. 


  1. Plan breaks into your schedule. 

There is no doubt that you have heard that taking breaks makes you more productive. I would like you to take a moment to think about your schedule. Are in fact you actually scheduling in breaks in your schedule or are you just hoping that an opening will appear on its own? There is nothing more frustrating than knowing that such a thing will never happen. Instead, you must make your breaks happen. Make sure you take a break every hour for at least ten minutes. It will increase your productivity as well as your body’s performance! 


  1. If You Add Something, Subtract Something. 

This will revolutionize the way you look at your schedule. You already know that you’re only given so much time, so take the time to review your schedule at least quarterly- if not more often. You budget your income, right? Why not budget your time as well? If there’s something that you must say “yes” to, figure out what you can say “no” to in order to make room for that new thing. 


  1. Avoid “Time Wasters”

Chances are, there are things that you do during the day that waste your time. This may be surfing the internet, going through emails, browsing on Facebook or other social media, and much more. Avoid spending too much time on these. When you sit down to go through your emails, give yourself an hour- period. Don’t let these things take over your schedule. 


  1. If You Have “Downtime” then Multi-Task. 

Yes, it is true that multitasking actually decreases your productivity. However, if you find yourself with some downtime, such as waiting in the carpool line or at an appointment, bring along your computer or a notebook and try to get some work done. Again, you don’t want to waste any time. 


  1. Do not let anything stand in the way of your progress. 

You must do more than just determine what you need to do in order to achieve your goals if you want to achieve them. Furthermore, in order to be able to achieve your goals, you need to gain a clear understanding of the things you ought to avoid. If you want to achieve your goals and get to where you want to be, it is imperative that you learn to say “no” to the things that won’t get you there, so that you can say “yes” to the things that will. Despite the fact that there are hindrances in our lives, the key is to be aware of where they come from and to determine whether or not they must be eradicated from our lives. 


  1. Take the time to find out what motivates you. 

If you want to be happy and to have a sense of meaning in your life, I encourage you to spend some time figuring out what it is that makes you happy. It does not matter if there is no connection between the activity and your larger purpose or if it does not make sense to other people, as long as it motivates you (and is legal), that is all that matters. The fact that your life is full of frustration is far less enjoyable than being able to enjoy it to the fullest.