Banish Your Clutter Magnets!

I am sure that if your home is anything like mine, there are certain spots that seem to be clutter magnets! After talking to my Clear The Clutter clients, I narrowed these spots down to being the biggest clutter magnets. Once you have identified the problem areas, you can tackle them! Have a read through then let me know in the comments, what you plan to tackle first.

Kitchen Counter Clutter

I have an open plan ground floor and a late kitchen counter, if there are piles of stuff on the counter it instantly makes the whole ground floor look like a mess, on the upside, if the kitchen counter is clear then the whole room looks better!

Action Plan: Identify what the usual suspects are, is there a pattern to the piles? For my counter, it was unread mail, papers from kindy and anything I happened to have in my hands when we walked through the door – keys, sunglasses, gloves…

What I did – made a home for everything. Mail now gets its own cubby hole as do papers from school/kindy. We also started to make more of an effort to put things away, straight away to stop us slipping into the ‘I will do it later’ mode of thinking.

HUGE difference and really, it is a no brainer! Admittedly, it did take quite a bit of self-control initially, but now we have all got into the habit if any of us leave random things on the counter someone else questions why it is there.

The kitchen counter was always the biggest eyesore for me, so getting it under control has been a real breakthrough. I bet you have a specific eyesore too


Entranceway/genkan Clutter

The area just inside the front door, whatever you call it in your neck of the woods. Prime real estate for dumping bags, shoes, brolly’s, hats, coats, gloves… need I go on? The biggest issue here tends to be a combination of lack of space and too much stuff.


Action Plan: Have a big de-clutter, throw out anything that you no longer need and pare things down, if you are a family of 4, do you really need 15 umbrellas? Once you have everything down to a minimum, organize the space logically.


Literally re-enact what each person does as they walk through the door, you have the keys in your hand, where is the easiest place to hang them? You child has their school bags and needs to take off their shoes, what would be the easiest set-up for the to deal with this?

You might think I am oversimplifying this but have you ever really logically broken down what you do as you walk through the door? By making the process easy, you are more likely to succeed, and kids almost always take the path of least resistance, make it easy for them too.


The Dining Table Clutter


I think this might actually be the number one clutter magnet trouble maker! It is so easy to get into the habit of just shoving everything to onside to make space to eat, then disaster happens as a glass of sticky orange juice gets spilt all over the forms that you need to fill in and hand in the next day.


Action Plan: Make a new, no exceptions rule that the table must be cleared before mealtimes. The real trick here though is to make sure that you are not just moving stuff around.

Like the countertop exercise, try and figure out what it is that is piling up and make a new home for it. If you reinforce this rule, it will be next to no time before you reclaim your dining table. 2 or 3 meals a day, means it gets clear 2 or 3 times a day, it will be the cleanest spot in the house!


The Desk Clutter

This might be your own desk or the kid’s desk, either way, it is a small space that can look chaotic with just one or two things on it, when you start adding more!

Action Plan: This one is all about forming a new habit. Think of your desk like an operating theatre, a surgeon or her nurses before an operation makes sure all the equipment they need is laid out and within reach. This makes the operation run more smoothly.

Then afterwards everything is cleaned up, put away and ready to be used again the next day. You need to try and embrace this idea with your desk. When you start, just have the things that you need out and when you have finished, clean up. If both you and your kids suffer the same messy desk fate, then you need to lead by example.


The Bottom Stair Clutter

Hand ups, who else does this? You are having a tidy up or you have just come in and you happen to have something that needs to go upstairs, so you pop it on the bottom stair so you can take it up with you next time you go up. Then you don’t but you do add more items and more, and everyone in the family just steps over them…

Action Plan: This is another self-enforced rule, never go up the stairs empty-handed, ever. We live in earthquake country, so having stuff piled up on the stairs really isn’t a good idea, the last thing I need is to break my neck on a pile of fabric left on the stairs if I am trying to escape an earthquake!

One idea is for each family member to have their own basket, kept on a stair and through the day their things get added to the basket, before bed, they take their basket up and put everything away.

My own self informed rule is not to have anything on the stairs when we go to bed, it took the 3/11 earthquake to set that little rule in place.

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