20 Lazy Ways to Keep a Clutter-Free Home With Minimal Effort

Gabe Bult
by Gabe Bult

When it comes to getting a clutter-free home, minimalism is key. Minimalism is all about doing less.

I've found that the less I have, the less I have to clean. That motivates me to keep my home free of annoying clutter. Here, I’m going to share practical tips that I use to keep my home clutter-free.

1. You can't have it all

The first tip is more of a mental one, and that is to realize that you can't have it all. You can either have freedom or you can have options, but you can't have both.

Switching hangers to decide which clothes to declutter

2. Switch your hangers

Instead of deciding what to get rid of, figure out what you wear with visual proof. Switch all your hangers in the wrong direction, and then as you wear your clothing, flip the hanger back in the other direction.

Set a reminder on your phone for 90 days from now and whatever hangers are pointing in the wrong direction, donate all those clothes. You won't have to second guess yourself.

3. Sweep your house. 

When I say sweep your house, I mean to go through your home one to three times a week with a box. Set a timer or walk through each room individually and fill up that box of stuff you don't need. It takes almost no time. It's easy to do. 

When you're done, take the box, and put it right in the trunk of your car. Next time you're out, you can drop it off and donate it. Or if it's all garbage, then just throw it away immediately. It's just one of the easiest forms of decluttering. 

You can also use the five-second rule, which is just to pick up your stuff and take it with you. The five-second rule is, just as you're walking through a room, take the 5 seconds and pick up the glass, pick up the blanket, pick up the extra thing out of your car, and take the trash out.

Using a robot vacuum to keep your home clutter free

4. Use a robot vacuum.

Another tip is to use a robot vacuum. There are two benefits of this. One, you don't have to vacuum, and two, it forces you to keep things off the floor because otherwise, it won't work. 

Building storage to keep your home free of clutter

5. Build storage

If you don't have room for it, build it. You can do this for anything that doesn't have a home. For example, if you have shoes that just get thrown into a pile, get a shoe rack. It makes a big difference. Find a home for everything in your home, and if you can't find a home, build one.

6. Cook at least twice a week

When you cook, cook a big batch so that you can eat the same meal as leftovers, take it to work as lunch, or freeze portions for another time. This will save time and cleaning up in the long run.

7. Learn from other people's mistakes

Trial and error can waste a lot of time and energy. Take online classes, find books on decluttering, or join online groups for inspiration for what works (and doesn’t).

See my previous post for common decluttering mistakes and how to avoid them.

8. When in doubt, basket out

We bought a big basket and then made a rule that at the end of the night, instead of just leaving the couch blankets lying all over the place, we just put them in a basket. 

Storing couch blankets in baskets

You can also do this in many different areas in your house. You just need to be careful that those baskets don't become catchalls for a bunch of clutter. 

9. Draw dividers

A tip for clutter-free drawers is to put dividers in your drawers to keep them from becoming a jumbled mess.

10. Clean as you cook

In the kitchen, stay clutter-free by cleaning up while you're cooking. This keeps things from piling up. 

11. Handle it once

When you get the mail out of the mailbox, sort it immediately. When you get a text or an email that you have to respond to, do it right away. Don't let that build up. When you walk in your door, and you have all your stuff, don't just put it down on the table because you'll have to deal with that later. Only handle it once.

12 Reverse one in, one out

Most of you know what the one-in, one-out rule is. That's when you get a coffee cup; you throw out a different coffee cup. This is reversed. You only buy a new coffee cup when your old one is already thrown away. This rule will save you from buying a bunch of stuff and cluttering up your home. 

13. 1-minute tasks

These tasks can be anything that will help you live clutter-free. Time yourself for one minute and clean, throw out, or donate something. 

Waiting before buying something

14. Wait 30 seconds before buying

Wait 30 seconds before you buy something. That pause makes you think: do I need this thing or is it just an impulse buy? That can bring less stuff into your house, which is less to take care of.

15. Delete phone apps

Right now, I don't have any social media on my phone. You can take a few seconds and delete those, and that can save you hours every day that you can use for keeping a clutter-free home.

16. Avoid too many flat surfaces

If you don't need an end table and it just picks up stuff all the time, and that annoys you, just get rid of the end table. 

17. Watch an episode of Hoarders

Life-changing. It'll scare you.

18. Nothing on the counter

Nothing should be on the counter or any surface. If I don't have storage for it, I don't need it, or I have too much stuff. 

19. If you can borrow it, don't buy it

Keep a donation box within reach and toss stuff in as you find it. Make it a habit as you see stuff that you don't need, you just throw it into the box. Super simple.

20. Give yourself some time

You didn’t end up with a cluttered home overnight. Take baby steps, and you’ll have a clutter-free home in no time!

How to have a clutter-free home

Keep your home clutter-free with minimal effort! As a lazy person, I'm always looking for the simplest way to keep my minimalist home clean and clutter-free. These are some small tips that have helped me do that. 

Let me know if any of these tips helped you, or if you have any more to add, in the comments below.

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3 of 66 comments
  • Carmen Rosa Zuzworsky Carmen Rosa Zuzworsky on May 20, 2023

    I am 82 yrs old. Have taught for many years and studied for my Masters. I have a large amount of Literature books in Spanish , would like to know where they can be sent. I would love to know, if possible. I live in Staten Island, NY. Hate to discard books in general! Can anyone share ideas?

    Thank you in advance.

  • Irene Irene on Jan 17, 2024

    Donate to your library