They finish one-minute tasks right away
“Clutter is often a result of procrastination—decisions put off or small jobs left unfinished,” Becker says. (Use these tricks to finally stop procrastinating.) Anything that can be done in less than a couple minutes should be done immediately. Don’t wait to toss clothes in the hamper, put back the remote, or take the trash out. It’s so much easier to clean tiny bits at a time than to wait until it all builds up. Check out these other secrets of people with impeccable homes.
They don’t set things on the table
Flat surfaces like counters, tables, and dressers are like magnets for clutter—a recipe for these signs your home is stressing you out
. Stop the mess before it begins by finding a permanent home for objects instead of dumping them down without a second thought. Keep your eyes peeled for things like toiletries and kitchen appliances that you or your family forgot to put away, and “dive in as needed to keep them clean,” Becker says. Check out these other 13 tricks for decluttering your kitchen counter
They weed out junk mail
Don’t even let junk mail hit your countertop—throw it straight into the recycling bin. After all, junk mail is another of these 10 unnecessary items you should trash
because they're nothing but clutter. By getting rid of promotional mail before it’s open, you’ll save time and might be less tempted to buy things you don’t need. Don't miss these other 32 invisible ways you get tricked into buying more
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They keep dishes out of the sink
A big stack of dirty dishes is ugly and unappetizing, and just another of these sloppy-looking kitchen organizing mistakes
. Put plates and silverware straight in the dishwasher when you’re done eating to keep them from piling up. Better yet, wash them by hand to get them from sink to shelf even sooner, Becker says. Find out once and for all which is better: dishwasher or hand-washing
They recycle magazines and newspapers
No need to hang on to an entire publication just because there was one recipe you’d like to save or one article you want to show your partner. Clip those pages and give them a home (recipes in your recipe box, saved reads on your partner’s bedside table, etc.), then toss the rest so you don’t end up with huge stacks of magazines. Learn more storage hacks to finally get organized
They keep clothes off the floor
As soon as you take clothes off, put them where they belong. Dirty items should go in the hamper, and clean clothes belong back on the hanger. It takes hardly any more effort than dropping them on the bed, but your room will look substantially cleaner. Once wash day rolls around, use these 7 rules to never ruin your clothes in the laundry again.
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They make space for coats
“There’s a good reason why coats, boots, and outerwear end up scattered throughout your home. It’s because your coat closet is so full that it’s a hassle to put things away and retrieve them quickly,” Becker says. That's just one more reason the most successful people wear the same thing every day
. Clean out your closet so there’s space on the floor for your shoes and open hangers where you can find jackets without pulling everything out. To start the purge, find out how to know what to keep when cleaning out a closet
They scan the house every night
Make sure you wake up to a clean home by sweeping the house for clutter before you go to bed. Tell your kids to put their toys away, and place your own bags, keys, and papers where they belong. Here are more home upgrades that can help your kids succeed in school
How to stay clutter-free for good
Joshua Becker is founder and editor of becomingminimalist.com, which encourages people to live with fewer belongings. To learn more about how cutting down on possessions could help you clean less and live fuller, pick up his book The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own.