Messy people often wish their homes were cleaner and more organized. Organized people often wish their homes were even more so. For many, the concept of a clutter-free home exists, but only as a sort of unattainable goal – like trying to trap a star. Sure, it would be nice, but who has the time and energy to truly declutter a home? You do. Here are some tips to get you started.

Start somewhere and stick to it

You are going to get nowhere if you just start wandering around your house picking up random items and throwing some away and throwing some in a closet. Chaos is what you’re trying to avoid when it comes to decluttering your home.

Start in a room (or “zone”) of your home and do not leave it until you have gone through every item and found a place for it (obviously that place could be the garbage). Taking a methodical, room-by-room approach to decluttering will help you see your own progress, which will motivate you to continue. Here’s a good guide on room-by-room decluttering.

Get creative

There’s no rule saying you have to declutter your home in a particular fashion. Get creative. One way to do this is turn it into a game. suggests the 12-12-12 game but you could easily do the 10-10-10 game or the 20-20-20 game for that matter. All it involves is decluttering your home by picking out things in groups – 12 things to save, 12 things to donate, and 12 things the throw away. Or you could decide that you are going to donate or trash one item every single day. But the time a year is up, your house will feel a lot less cluttered.

Declutter in 5-minute spurts

Decluttering your home is a daunting task, so you may want to break it up into more manageable chunks of work. Don’t try to do it all during 12 hours on a single day. Take five minutes to clean and organize every so often and then forget about it for a while. Here are some great 5-minute decluttering tasks you can do right now.

Make it easy on yourself: invest in physical storage for all your stuff

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to organize all of the stuff in your house by putting it inside closets, drawers, and cabinets. There are simply too many things that you use frequently, or must stay out and easily accessible – things like children’s toys, art supplies, blankets, and the list goes on and on. You should invest in the various organizational tools that are there to help. Baskets and bins, for one, help you keep stray items organized (or at least contained). HGTV suggests hanging organizational systems with pockets or hooks on walls to get things off the floor. Even if you still have all of this stuff in your house, it will look and feel more organized if it’s hanging or stored away in baskets.

Keep your home decluttered with savvy shopping

One of the most proactive ways to keep your home clutter free is to not bring in a bunch of new items to clutter it up. This takes smart shopping. As notes, every time you think about buying something you should ask yourself whether you really need it, whether you have enough room for it (be honest with yourself), and whether you’re buying it for the right reasons.

You don’t have to just accept a dirty, disorganized home. As long as you have a couple minutes to spare every day and you make some investments in some organizational aids, you too can have the clutter-free home you’ve always dreamed of.

Photo Credit: