“If we could just have the kitchen and a bedroom, that would be all that we’d need.” ~Julia Child
“Where is the lid to the coffee mug?” Logan asked.
I looked at Logan, shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know. It was on the counter a few minutes ago. Let’s look for it.”
I pulled open the drawer where we keep our forks, knives, and other cooking utensils and found the lid on the top of the forks. I looked up at Logan with a surprised look on my face and he rolled his eyes.
For the last weeks, I’ve become a clutter busting machine. If something is out of place, like a coffee cup lid, I put it away immediately. And I’m starting to get on Logan’s nerves because I’m putting things away that he’s still using.
Last year we moved into a 128 square-foot house on wheels. It’s been nine months since we moved into the house and one of the things I’ve noticed is this: If I don’t pick up my stuff the house looks like a bomb went off. I don’t have a lot of stuff, but it’s still easy to create clutter piles with my limited belongings.
My Clutter Clearing Strategies
Typically, when I get home I unload my bike bag, which contains my camera, computer, journal, wallet, iPod, and a plethora of power cords. I’m always tempted to leave my stuff on the counter and make a cup of tea instead of putting it away. Rather than procrastinating, I use a few simple strategies to keep clutter to a minimum.
First off, when I walk in the door I immediately put my stuff away. For example, shoes aren’t allowed to be worn in the tiny house, so they either stay on the porch or sit by the heater to dry off (it’s been raining lately). The same goes for my wet rain coat. I hang up my coat above the heater to dry and then it goes into the closet.
Also, each of my belongings has a designated home. I have a spot for my computer, power cords, cameras, and other odds and ends. Putting stuff away saves me time because I don’t spend 15 minutes looking for my keys or iPod every morning.
If I don’t follow these simple steps, I can’t seem to find what I need and it’s frustrating to constantly look for the same belongings over and over again. The trick is forming a ritual of picking stuff up and putting it away.
Tammy also recorded a short 2min audio hello to you Mavens with some additional thoughts on simplifying and how she was able to clear out her stuff starting small- take a listen!
Share your clutter clearing tips in the comments section- we’d love to hear!
Tammy Strobel is a writer and photographer. She is the author of “You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too” and self-published “Smalltopia.” She lives (in a tiny house) in Portland, Oregon. She writes regularly at rowdykittens.com.