Keeping Your Home Clutter-Free Is Easier Than You Might Think—If You Use This Expert’s Go-To Tip for Elevating Your Cleaning Routine
Let’s be honest: Maintaining a clutter-free home can feel overwhelming. Add kids into the mix, and it can feel downright impossible (no matter how many times they promise they’ll remember to put their shoes away next time).
That begs the question: Is a clutter-free home actually possible? The short answer is yes, if you take the right approach, which is why we asked Jacqui Knapp, professional organizer and CEO of Knapp House, for her go-to advice for tackling clutter that can be implemented into any cleaning routine this January.
Whenever she approaches a home, Knapp says her philosophy is a two-part system. Part one is to curate an aesthetically pleasing space, and part two is transforming it into a place that functions with designated purpose. “Clutter-free means a calm, manageable space where everything has a place,” she says. This mindset means a tidy space is tidy on your terms—so it works with and for your family.
And her secret trick for staying clutter-free with kids? “With a family this means toys, paperwork, mail, and keys, all have assigned areas with baskets or bins. Nothing random,” Knapp says. If random items do pop up, she notes, look at the object and ask yourself, ‘Is this working for me?’ If it’s not, away it goes.
“Keeping a space functional and organized is an action, a habit, a task,” Knapp says, aka, it doesn’t have to involve a complicated, multi-step cleaning routine—just a little dedication and a few of the right tools.
With keeping a space for everything in mind, you’ll see Knapp’s clutter-free shopping list below. The best part? Everything is from Walmart, so you can get all the essentials you need for starting off the new year with an organized home (and keeping it that way) in one place.
Keep scrolling to shop family-friendly organization essentials for maintaining a clutter-free home.
Weave in function and style with a simple rattan crate. Easy to stack (and carry from room-to-room), this crate is the antidote to scattered toys, books, craft supplies, and other miscellaneous items.
Knapp recommends keeping items at eye level, or they’ll get ignored. Use this set of chic wire baskets to keep items like throw blankets and pillows off of the floor with easy and visible access.
Another pro tip? “Keep the floor clear of piles,” Knapp says, which also applies to magazines and paperwork, since it’s so easy for these stacks to build up fast. A lustrous gold magazine caddy files away homework, drawings, notebooks, and yes, your favorite printed ‘zines.
In Knapp’s household, she blocks off one to two hours on Sundays dedicated to clearing spaces and preparing for the week ahead (she considers this non-negotiable time!). A desktop organizer helps streamline the process by creating a place for important papers like printed schedules, notepads, and more.
Get your kids on board with participating in your clutter-free lifestyle by giving them designated areas to store their things. Not only will it help them learn to take ownership of their own belongings, it will help you adhere to Knapp’s maxim (clear the floor of piles) without having to do all the de-cluttering yourself. Team work makes the dream work.
Another piece of wisdom from Knapp: The more functional and visually appealing your space is, the more you’ll want to keep it that way. With that in mind, adding some beautiful furnishings can be a good incentive to stick to your clutter-free goals. A stylish oak credenza with shelves and cubbies checks both the functional and the visually appealing boxes.
Organizing isn’t just about making a space look pretty, says Knapp, but she notes that aesthetics can definitely play a role in building a system that works for you. A sleek rolling cart like this one in matte black is cool and super useful (a total win-win). With twelve drawers and wheels, it can be put to good use in the kitchen, office, playroom, or even pantry.
Want more wellness-boosting essentials and inspo? Check out the Walmart Wellness Hub for everything you need to power your wellness goals this year.
Top photo: Getty Images/CreativaStudio