Taking the time to declutter the house is likely on all of our rainy day checklists, a task that seems to grow bigger and bigger the longer we put it off. However, there are plenty of ways to avoid turning this project into an overwhelming one day purge session. By making a few daily adjustments, you can turn this cumbersome chore into a minimal addition to your daily routine.

We all have a habit of keeping clothes too long, and accumulating pieces we realistically don’t wear. Instead of designating an entire day to try on and hypothesize usage, ultimately lying to ourselves that we will start wearing something more often, turn all of your clothing hangers in your closet backwards. When you grab an item to wear it and return it after a wash, you can rotate the hanger back to the front facing position. As time passes, you can survey what clothes you actually wear versus what you don’t. If you do this consistently for 6-12 months, you should have a good idea what items you can part with and make some donations or sell second-hand.

Seasonal storage
Whether it is clothes or decor, separating your belongings by season will help you stay more organized and keep track of what you have. When it comes time to unpack these items you will have a much smaller sample size to survey what you are wearing or putting on display and what items don’t fit your style anymore. This will not only help you declutter, but also help prevent from buying duplicates or similar items. If you have all of your Halloween home decor in a box for example, it is much easier to sift through that box to see if you have something than to look through all of your holiday items in bulk.

Food storage
The fridge and pantry can quickly become a hoarding den to spoiled food, but there is a way to tackle this issue and do your best to prevent a haul of trashed goods. When coming home from a grocery trip, be mindful to put new items with the longest shelf life furthest in the back to ensure you are using the old stuff first. When you notice a certain ingredient is getting close to the expiration date, make a list of all of the meals you can make with it or put it on the calendar to make sure you incorporate it.

Create a fix-it-later box
When an item breaks that we want to hold onto, we often put it back where we found it and forget about it completely. Create a box or small area to store these objects, and once a month plan some time to sit down and fix them. You might have some luck amending some items, and not so much with others. You also may find that looking at all of the projects together that some things aren’t worth repairing and part ways with them.

Room by room
Keep a basket on hand central to the rooms in use the most, or have small ones designated to each room. As you walk about the house, fill the basket with items that are in the wrong place. Once it starts to fill up a bit, take the basket around to each room and put the items back where they belong. This will alleviate a lot of the running around back and forth with just one trip in and out.

For almost any organization project or area of the house, a daily 10-15 minute routine can be created to get ahead of the game. Search for downloadable decluttering calendars with project ideas and challenges to keep these chores as minimal and stress free as possible.