Please let me be the first in line to say that I already know that I need to consistently work on keeping my life decluttered. Things pile up. I know. There is a way to help me work on this issue. It is really a never ending job. I have to be able to do things my own way. Looking at it as a type of housework chore and taking it one step at a time is what helps me attack the clutter.
Some things are just a no brainer for me. There are a few things that really help if my husband and I take care of daily. It is, at least for us, our secret to a neat home. One thing is making the bed when we get up. The last one up takes care of that. When it is time to go to bed, it sets the tone for a wonderful night's sleep. That goes with the nightstands beside us. He has a valet that keeps his things organized and I have a basket. No cluttered mess. Really you must admit that one is inviting and the other is a disaster. (At least in our minds!)
The next daily 'to do' is making sure that dishes are not piled up in the sink. The dishwasher goes on at night unless there is space for morning breakfast dishes.
The last thing that either one of us want to see is this picture. The least we could do is hand wash them if there is no more space in the dishwasher.
Sort of on the same thinking is leaving clothes on the floor. When we are showering, throw the dirty clothes in a pile and take them to the laundry room once dressed. That is what the laundry hamper is for. Actually, I was truly wishing that we had a larger laundry room plus or added in the laundry room would be a mud room. Our home did not have these amenities. So the deal is to make every space count. We have a space for jackets, hats, gloves, laundry hamper and dog supplies. Plus closed off cabinets to store laundry essentials and items like batteries, insect spray, sunscreen - all those items that need a home without cluttering.
This would be the best of both worlds. Unless we had walls knocked out and added a mud room on then we will make our laundry room work for us. It is a matter of optimizing available space.
There is something to say about a cluttered entry hall to our home. That is an area that we can keep decluttered, mainly because we do not have a lot of entry hall space. The important thing is knowing that this is the first impression of those coming to our home. Our staircase is not at the front door. In a previous home we were lucky enough to have a winding staircase and a place for a large pillowed bench to sit (and it opened for great storage). Every home has what we have to make do with. A friend noticed that the next lead in from our current entry hall was a living room. We never use a formal living room so his suggestion was to make it a formal banquet room and it turns the entry hall into a glamorous entry into our home. All that was required was to move the chandelier from the dining room into the banquet room. Having an open mind and being creative... a fun thing to do and helped tremendously in decluttering.
Next in my mind was to create a home command center. This has the calendar that we live by, files (yes, I do still keep paper files in a wooden file cabinet, as well as on the computer).
And the command center is my study that I do my writing from. My husband has his study upstairs that is for his writing, as well as exercise equipment. One command center is what works best for us.
The next three items are always "work in progress" for me. First, I do try to take care of getting rid of things in the kitchen cabinets that we do not use and have found storage space in a rather large pantry for kitchen equipment in order to keep countertops clear. The coffee maker and tea kettle must stay. There is no way that the air fryer, crock pot and large mixing bowl (as lovely as it is) need to take up space in our kitchen. Only things that are used on a regular basis should be out. Even then, there are times I put things away. I am working on a few items in my mind already.
The last two items continue to be a source of monthly clean outs. I would love to say that our closets look like these.
There are times that the upstairs and the downstairs linen closets come close. I have been working on having space for extra meds, band-aids, as well as towels and sheets. (including large folded beach towels for our pool weather)
However, once upon a time, my precious daughter, who is a definite Queen of organization, worked on my closet. She made me look and touch each item of clothing to decide if it made me happy or not. My closet was totally organized when she finished. I must say that the basics that she did are still there. Skirts, dresses, pants, longer tops, and then folded tanks, etc. She put all of my shoes out across the bathroom suite which is very large. When she finished she had my granddaughter come out to get me and her words were, "Lola, you have your own shoe store!" She was correct. It was absolutely crazy how many shoes were in that closet. Any shoe that no longer made me happy (and yes, there were some) or if they hurt when I wore them - they were tossed to go to a charity. Actually, I probably need to do that again. Soon. As far as clothes go...I also am weeding through them, step by step.
Once, maybe twice, I managed to get Steve to go through some of his clothing to put in a bag to take over to a charity center that accepts clothing. Yes, we need to do that again soon also. I did clean out my drawers of clothing not worn. Soon, my mission is to go in to Steve's, with his permission. He knows there are things that he no longer is in need of and they are taking up precious space.
It is a matter of demanding that our space work for us and not against us. We have been talking of downsizing and this is just the start. We are making a list of what we want and what we do not need as far as space and rooms.