10 more uncluttering things to do every day

Today we welcome Sherri Kruger, editor of Zen Family Habits, as a guest writer on Unclutterer. She also has a personal development site dedicated to sharing simple tips to enjoy life.

Last July, Erin wrote “10 uncluttering things to do every day.” I was proudly doing a few things on her list, but as usual there were a couple I hadn’t considered. This got me thinking about what other things I could do daily to reduce the clutter around our home.

Here are 10 more uncluttering things you can do each day.

  1. Reset your home each evening. This doesn’t have to take long, but it’s really effective. Spend 5 or 10 minutes on a quick run-through of your home. Straighten books and knickknacks, return dishes to the kitchen, and hang up jackets. Don’t strive for perfection, this is just a quick pick up.
  2. Never leave a room empty handed. Look around you. Are there things that don’t belong? When you leave the room, for whatever reason, be sure to grab a glass and return it to the kitchen, or whatever the case may be.
  3. When you’re done with something, put it away. Right away. Clutter arises when we take something out, use it for awhile and neglect to return it to its proper home. Remember the Unclutterer’s gospel, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”
  4. Hit the laundry basket. Every time. It may seem easier to simply let your clothes fall where they may, but this only creates clutter. Take 30 seconds to hang up your clothes or put them in the laundry basket. Erin recommends getting ready for bed an hour before you plan so you’re not exhausted when handling your clothes.
  5. Take out the garbage. Perhaps garbage day occurs only once a week, but emptying the garbage nightly, even if not entirely full, is a great habit start. Over-flowing bins are not attractive.
  6. Vacuum everyday. Vacuuming ensures everything is up off the floor. Essentially, you’re doing a nightly reset during the day making it even easier to keep on top of clutter.
  7. Clear out your e-mail inbox. Hundreds of e-mail messages in your inbox can be incredibly overwhelming. Take time at the end of each day to clear out your inbox. When you come back in the morning, it’ll be a lot less daunting.
  8. Cut out the non-essentials. Re-evaluate the necessity of your involvement in groups, clubs, committees or boards. Limit yourself to participating in things that are important to you and make you happy.
  9. Do just one thing each day. Pick a drawer, closet, or shelf that’s driving you nuts. Focus on doing one little thing to move yourself closer to the clutter free state you’re Seeking. Ask yourself: Is this really important? Can I get this again relatively easily?
  10. One thing out everyday. Walk through your home with a critical eye. Look for one thing you don’t need, use, or want. Keep a couple of boxes by the garage or front door for temporary storage.

I hope this inspires you to do a little bit every day to keep ahead of the clutter and move toward a calmer and simpler life.

98 Comments for “10 more uncluttering things to do every day”

  1. posted by Lori on

    Thanks, Sherri. These are great tips and I was relieved to find I do most of them automatically – except the email one. Guilty as charged. The problem I have is living with four people who are complete slobs. It gets so discouraging when you’re outnumbered and can’t possibly keep up with the mess.

  2. posted by Barbara Tako|ClutterClearingChoices on

    Great tips, Sherri! I love the simplicity of them.

    It also helps me to process the mail every day (standing by the recycle bin), and it takes very little time to grab a microfiber or electrostatic disposable duster and quickly hit most of the horizontal household surfaces.

  3. posted by Melissa Gorzelanczyk on

    Hi Sherri – I felt just like Lori – relieved that I do most of these automatically. Thank you for this list. But man oh man I hate vacuuming. I would like to add:

    Ask kids or husband to vacuum everyday.


  4. posted by Lori Paximadis on

    Mostly good ideas, but I take issue with numbers 5 and 6.

    We usually end up with two kitchen-sized bags of trash each week. Garbage day is Friday, and the first one isn’t full until Tuesday or Wednesday; the second one is usually only half-full before we add in the flotsam and jetsam from office and bathroom trashcans. It would be an incredible waste of trash bags to switch out a new one every day. But if you fill or almost fill a bag every day, sure, go ahead. (And maybe reevaluate why you’re generating so much trash every day.)

    I think vacuuming every day is great for those who have only an area rug to vacuum and live somewhere dirty or dusty, but for me this would add an unnecessary 45-minute chore every day, and it would be a huge waste of electricity. It’s also more wear and tear on the carpet. If the goal is to keep the floor clear of clutter, than why not just pick up all the stuff off the floor?

  5. posted by MsD on

    Yet more advice to reduce one’s involvement in the community and other people for the sake of having a “clutter-free” home. Right, because people (especially women) tend to be soooooo over-involved with their communities and spend too much time socializing and having fun (in their time off of work) with adults whose company is enriching, and not enough time being the perfect homemaker.

  6. posted by BJCB on

    I take issue with #5, What a wasteful environmentally un-friendly suggestion. This would add hundreds of thousands additional non-degradable items to the already seeping full landfills. why not suggest maintaing recycling bins and or a compost pile to reduce the trash so there is never a overflowing trash bin.

  7. posted by jane on

    Yeah, I agree with MsD. It’s one thing to stay on top of things, but yet another to create busy-work for yourself. Take the trash out and vacuum every day? Totally unnecessary for most households.

  8. posted by Joy on

    I like to think of the information on this blog as mere suggestions, not rules. I’m one who needs the brainstorming of others as I don’t have that strength on my own. My goal is a peaceful home. Part of making it that way is following the unclutterer’s “gospel” as it suits my own little abode. @MsD, if the blog frustrates you, maybe it’s clutter at this point in your life.

  9. posted by Plain Good Sense on

    Haha. Can I just say that the Unclutterer audience is a tough cookie to please? I love it, though. Great discussion and ideas. I completely agree with Lori that vacuuming our house everyday would be a HUGE task (and we don’t have a big house – just a lot of carpet). Even though it could probably use it everyday (we have a very hairy dog), it’s just not something I’m willing to do. Once per week is good. Also, since we started recycling, we empty our kitchen trash can only twice per week, and all the smaller trash cans in bathrooms, etc. only once per week and it’s plenty.

    And what an interesting insight by MsD. We do so often hear advice to re-evaluate our involvement in organizations and clubs and activities outside our home because it’s stressing us out – and I’ve always breathed a silent “amen” to that advice. But she brings up a good point – most of us today are not nearly as involved in our community as our parents or grandparents were. We aren’t nearly as connected to the people around us, either. I think it’s wise to take a look at our lives and ask ourselves WHY we’re so disconnected. Is it because we work at our jobs too hard? Or spend too much time cleaning our home to the point of perfection? Or just too much laziness and time spent watching TV? Interesting to think about….

  10. posted by Kim on

    I’m tired after just reading this list!!! If I were to try and tackle all ten of these every day I would have to quit working. Especially #10. I try to do one thing a week that is really bugging me. I’m such a perfectionist that it usually takes several hours to clean up one area of the house to my liking, even just a drawer or closet.

  11. posted by Erin Doland on

    @MsD — I think this varies from person to person. If you’re a homebody, then getting out into your community would be good advice. If you’re a social butterfly, cutting back on a few activities to take care of bill paying and spending more time with your kids might be for you. The idea is to focus on what matters most to YOU. Not everyone has the same priorities, and I’m glad this is the case. Think of how boring the world would be if everyone lived and thought exactly in the same manner. Yawn!

  12. posted by Rue on

    I agree with Lori that emptying the garbage every night wastes bags. How about changing that just to “empty the garbage when it’s full, but not overflowing”? 🙂

    I also don’t vaccuum every day. I vaccuum when I notice dirt on the floor, but no sense in doing it if you can’t see it!

    Everything else is easy to do – and really does NOT take that long! – as long as you’ve gotten your home to where that’s all it needs. If you’re still in the process of purging and uncluttering, it would take forever to actually get all these things done! Fortunately my home is usually relatively clean, and the only thing I do every day is make sure to pick up everything that we’ve brought out during the day (dishes, games, books, etc). I save the cleaning (dusting, vaccuuming, etc) for the weekends.

  13. posted by PrarieGal on

    Wow MsD – that was nasty. I think it’s a good idea to re-evaluate what you are committed to, so you aren’t over-stretched and you can give everything you do the focus it deserves. And the suggestion wasn’t even directed at woman. I was going to send this to my husband because whenever anyone asks if he could help out, join the committee or board, he does. I think it’s great, but now he is over-worked, stressed, and I hardly ever see him.

    I don’t agree with the garbage or vacuum either. But if I could get hubby to get the laundry in the basket, and the clothes put away everyday, our bedroom would be much neater. I’m going to work on that one this week.

  14. posted by Maureen on

    I could see doing a visual check to make sure things are up off of the floor, but I can’t see vacuuming every day either (unless you have a problem with pet hair)!

  15. posted by MissPrism on

    I know it’s not explicitly aimed at only women, but look at the names on this comment thread! Most housework, including uncluttering, is done by women. MsD might have been saying it too harshly but she has a very good point – telling an audience largely comprised of women that they should stop sitting on school boards and start mopping the floorboards should set some warning lights flashing.

  16. posted by Erin Doland on

    @MissPrism — You are incorrect. The majority of Unclutterer readers are male if you analyze our RSS, Twitter, and direct-to-website readers.

  17. posted by MissPrism on

    Thanks for the correction, Erin. Still, I’m hugely uneasy with this advice. Men are very rarely criticised or shamed about their housekeeping, and almost never excluded from public life. So the suggestion that one ought to drop activities outside the house in order to free up time to vacuum is not going to affect men and women equally.

  18. posted by Sherri Kruger on

    Hi everyone,

    Firstly, thank-you Erin for publishing my article and allowing me to contribute to your wonderful space!

    There seems to be a lot of discussion over the garbage out nightly and vacuuming. I suppose I should clarify a bit I certainly don’t mean to through out the garbage bags and all and create a mound of half full bags for disposal once a week. I empty the bins into a bigger bin that is outside so we only have 2 bags at the end of the week. I should mention that a lot of our stuff gets recycled as well. I personally don’t like it sitting in the house is all.

    Vacuuming, I do need to do everyday. With 2 toddlers and 2 golden labs that shed furiously throughout the year I need to. It’s not a super detailed, spring clean sort of vacuum it’s a quick once over in the high traffic areas.

    I am also by no means encouraging you to stop participating in the community all together. I’m merely suggesting limiting what you do to things that make you happy and that are important to YOU. I know a lot of people who are spread way to thin and they are, quite frankly, exhausted. So I just suggest limiting your commitments.

    I thank you for your comment MsD and for starting this discussion. I have certainly seen both men and women spread far too thin so this suggestion was by no means directed specifically towards women.

    Thanks again everyone for your comments and sharing your thoughts.

  19. posted by Amandine on

    Well, I really like these suggestions, and I also do most of them automatically. In a perfect world, 5 & 6 would be done daily too. I’ll have to take that up with my house elf.

    I especially like #10, and that is what I am going to focus on. I tend to think of needing large blocks of time to unclutter, but if I committed to one thing going out a day, I think it would help a lot over time. I also really like the email inbox suggestion. What a breath of fresh air that would be!

    Very motivating. Thanks, Sherri!

  20. posted by Erin Doland on

    @MissPrism — I agree that women are criticized more often if a house isn’t clean. I have never understood this double standard (back in my messy days was often told I would never “get a man” because I couldn’t keep house — ugh). However, I actually only know of one couple where the man expects his wife to carry the brunt of the housework and childcare. In this relationship, the woman is a stay-at-home mom and views these responsibilities as her job. It works for them. All the other male-female couples I know equally share the housework. Maybe it’s the part of the country where I live? Maybe it’s generational? No idea. But, none of the women I know would put up with a partner who didn’t usually do his fair share, and vice versa.

  21. posted by MissRN on

    Nice tips but if I vaccumed every single day, by kids would be neglected! That takes way too long in a big house.

  22. posted by Happy Dogs on

    @Erin, curious how you know most readers are male? I myself always adopt a male teenage persona on the web, and I am probably not alone. Our stats at work are pretty sophisticated, and if my boss asked me, I could at best give her an estimate +/- about 30%. If you can do that, I would love to know more!

  23. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Happy Dogs — We don’t do it, Quantcast, Google, and Twitter provide this analysis to us.

  24. posted by Sue on

    I have Erin’s original list of 10 things to do every day printed and hanging in a conspicuous place, and I may add this to it. While I won’t be emptying out my trash bins every day, nor will I be vacuuming every day, there are some very good reminders on this list.

    Hearing about the author’s two dogs and two children, I understand her need to vacuum every day. I however, have a husband and ancient cat, and a strict “shoes off at the door” policy, so my floors don’t get too dirty every day. If I had kids and dogs, I think I’d be cleaning my floors a lot more often. 🙂

  25. posted by Happy Dogs on

    @Erin, Got it! So based on my experience with your tools (a little less sophisticated than ours — and I’m a web developer so I kinda know what I’m saying here), I would guess your error percentage at something between 30 and 50 percent. Maybe higher….IMO it’s not even accurate enough to be really meaningful. After all, on Twitter, I’m a dog. A neutered male dog. 😉

    A reader poll would probably provide you some very useful information.

    over and out

  26. posted by Jessiejack on

    are neutered male dogs Happy Dogs?

  27. posted by Slushypipp on

    Daily vacuuming is quite a chore for someone with very little home time available, and so I’d really like to suggest that, on the balance, it’s a bit of an imposition on extremely valuable time.

    That said, I vacuum every day with my Roomba, and it does make a huge difference. I’ve got mine on a schedule, and coming home from work to a freshly vacuumed carpet is a complete joy. I’m pretty evangelical about other “unclutter” ways that it has improved my life as well. Since my Roomba is on a cleaning schedule and runs every day, I have to make certain that anything that will tangle up and interfere with it is picked up off the floor. So (4) isn’t an optional habit — it’s a necessity for the proper ordering of my house. Further, there’s quite a lot of discussion on this blog about cord management, and the Roomba has forced me to take this issue very seriously. I don’t want to come home having discovered that my house isn’t vacuumed because my Roomba is chewing on my abandoned cell-phone charger.

    I worry that the Roomba is an unpopular object around here because it’s a gadget that requires energy and space, and therefore might be considered an additional unnecessary consumer product, but I have to say that it may have been the beginning of my clutter-free world.

  28. posted by BrowncoatMama on

    Love the list! For those who say doing these 10 things would require quitting your job, I’d like to encourage you: I leave the house at 7:45am and don’t get home until at least 6:15. I have a toddler, a baby on the way any day, a very furry cat and my husband and I are both graduate students. I do all ten of these things either between 6:30am and leaving the house or when we get home and 9:00pm. In fact, I call my morning housework “the fifteen minute sweep-through”, which I do while my husband has our daughter outside to feed our horse and get situated in the car. It is NOT that hard to do, once you’re in the habit — and it is SOOO very nice to come home to a picked-up house. Of course, I cheat a bit with the vacuuming every day…I use a Roomba! 🙂

  29. posted by chacha1 on

    I thought this was a great list, but maybe that’s because I already do most of this. So I don’t have to get all defensive and assume I’m being accused of being a bad housekeeper/wife/modern woman by someone who doesn’t even know me.

    Re: vacuuming: I live for the day when there is NO CARPET in my home. We managed to get our landlord to put carpet only in the bedrooms. I hate the vacuum with a passion (as do my cats). A Swiffer for my wood floors is quick, easy, effective, and QUIET. And it requires me to actually pay attention to my rooms, so that’s a good thing too.

    Have considered a Roomba but it would probably be ineffective. Our rooms with carpet are too full of furniture for a Roomba to really get the job done, I’m thinking.

  30. posted by Susan in FL on

    @Slushypipp – My daughter has a Roomba and had it scheduled to do its thing downstairs at night while the family slept upstairs. The dog got sick in the night and pooped on the rug. In the morning the family awoke to poop spread all over the carpet. After a major cleaning of both carpet and Roomba, it is now scheduled to do its thing during the day.

  31. posted by Lori Paximadis on

    I’d love a Roomba! (The cats, I’m sure, would disagree.) But we have too many different flooring levels; each room in the downstairs is one or two steps up or down from the next. I’d be chasing it around constantly and putting it back where I wanted it to be. We’re slowly getting rid of all the downstairs carpet, though, so one of these days (years?) it won’t be an issue.

    And how do you keep it from flinging itself down the big flight of stairs without resorting to baby gates?

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  33. posted by Kathryn Fenner on

    @ Susan in Fl.

    Laughing so hard I have tears running down my cheeks. I have dogs (a German Shedder is one of them), and was just thinking, reading the posts, that a Roomba was a great idea. Unfortunately both of my dogs sometimes eat things they shouldn’t–dog vomit spread all over isn’t such a great thing to wake up to, either.

  34. posted by Karen on

    I have to laugh at No. 1 about resetting your home. Every time I was pregnant and close to my due date, I couldn’t sleep until I cleaned the house and put everything away. My husband decided I was “nesting”.

    If I start doing that now, I’m afraid I will scare him.

  35. posted by Another Deb on

    Perhaps those with large vacuuming jobs can break them down into smaller nightly pieces. That way the vacuuming gets done once a week but in small increments.

  36. posted by Maggie Nelson on

    Vacuuming the traffic pattern often is a good idea in order to keep the carpet pile from matting. The whole carpet, under furniture and all, is surely not what she has in mind.

    Emptying garbage nightly doesn’t have to mean using a fresh bag nightly. It could be emptied into a larger bag in the outside can.

    The other pointers were good reminders.

  37. posted by Maggie Nelson on

    Whoops, I wouldn’t want boxes by the front door. Maybe a big attractive basket for carrying things to their place.

  38. posted by BrowncoatMama on

    @Lori Paximadis – The Roomba comes with at least one “virtual wall” to keep it contained (I have the most basic version of the vacuum; the fancier versions come with at least 2 and you can order more). It’s just a little device you press a button on, and voila, the Roomba won’t cross the invisible line. I usually use mine on one room/day so all the rooms get done each week.

    RE the Roomba and wood floors — I love using mine to keep our kitchen floor picked up of debris, and then I can just use a Swiffer wetjet.

  39. posted by MsD on

    Yeah, I probably did have a harsh tone this morning as I was postinng on a Metro platform waiting for yet another indefinitely delayed train, but the spirit was there. I go to my Advisory Neighborhood Commission meetings and Single Member District meetings and am treasurer of my condo association and have lots and lots of social nights with friends both in and outside of my home. As the child and grandchild of compulsive hoarders, I understand the desire to have an uncluttered home and keep everything where it belongs, REALLY. I personally experience frustration whenever I can’t find something I know I have (measuring tapes are a common problem, right now I can’t find my three-hole punch), and agree that many people could use a lot less stuff and a little more organization.

    But twice in the last week advice has been posted to reconsider social relationships and community involvement. Granted, some people can become involved to the point that it interferes with their personal happiness and family well-being, but most people derive personal satisfaction when involved with others and their community, while emptying the trash every night and vacuuming excessively may or may not make them feel calmer and more collected (I don’t currently have any installed carpeting, but vacuuming too much wears the carpet prematurely). Human relationships are a great source of personal satisfaction for many people, and foregoing those to keep a perfect home seems counterproductive to me. I personally feel a lot more accomplished after attending an ANC meeting and coming home to a messy coffee table than if I had stayed home to make sure all the scraps of paper on that table with Depatment of Public Works confirmation numbers for complaints about unkempt properties and notes about the last time I called our trash people about not propely collecting our recycling had been properly organized.

    And regardless of the demographics of the readership, women still do more work around the home than men. These women can also have a major impact on their community and need a good social life to sustain them. So, while the advice may have been intended to be gender-neutral, it reads as a statement that women need to sacrifice their interests, involvement, and social health in order to keep a perfect home. My philosophy is ignore the messes he leaves, and eventually he’ll get sick enough of them to clean them up. My favorite line of the last few months is “it’s dusty in here,” “well, I dust every week, but I don’t move stuff to do it,” “oh.” The oh was looking around and realizing that his taxes and hobbies were covering every flat surface, so nothing meaningful had been dusted.

  40. posted by MsD on

    And I should also say that our ANC representation and attendance is about 70/30 male/female. Um, it’s MY neighborhood, too (actually, exclusively, because I OWN the home).

  41. posted by Jess on

    Wow, hot buttons!

    If you read this as written, vacuum and empty the trash everyday are not a replacement for social activities – these are separate suggestions along with evaluating your social commitments.

    Doing the chores won’t make you feel calmer, but having them done might. That said, even with two young children, I would not be following the vacuuming or trash advice either.

    And surely most of us can imagine ONE social responsibility that isn’t rewarding enough to make the grade? Most people who are good enough to take on any responsibilities usually get asked for more and more…

    And statistically, it is women who do most of the volunteer work as well as the housework (and for the
    same sexist reasons) so the suggestion to say No IF YOU WANT TO is not sexist.

  42. posted by Claire on

    Great tips! I will be printing these out and putting them on the fridge for my housemates to follow 🙂

  43. posted by Dee on

    Wow – hot buttons is right! I think the point is to simplify your aura. . .by simplifying your life . . .none of that can be done if you don’t do some sort of regularly scheduled tasks. I’m down with this list for sure, its my big clutter downfall – I’m great at tackling the big jobs but its the little day to day things that hold me back because life keeps on keeping and it needs some daily maintenance tasks.

    I work full time and have two kids under 6 and one of my biggest things is saying no and being comfortable with it – I don’t see what the big deal is about evaluating your social – volunteer – etc. Its about prioritizing and making room for whats important. If volunteering is important to you – then great, re-evaluate the other stuff to make room for that. In fact, I think if I was more religious about doing this list I would have more time for social, volunteer, playing with kids, etc. One thing I would add is under the laundry basket. . .my hubby FOLDS his dirty clothes. Yes, thats right – he folds them. For some reason, it really makes a big difference when it comes to sorting, transporting, doing the laundry. It has a calming effect . . .such a small thing but it makes a bid difference. I know – I’m weird.

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  48. posted by Rob on

    I love how in the kerfluffle about telling women to vacuum it went unnoticed that the most commonly male-assigned household chore was also increased.

  49. posted by FiNKu on

    Ok, nice tips, but if I had to do all that everyday I might as well forget the home office! …too much hassle!

  50. posted by Joy on


    Ha, ha, ha….you’re right!

  51. posted by Leah on

    great except for #5 — who empties their garbage every single day? I’d work on reducing that garbage stream. Growing up, our family of 5 took out the garbage perhaps 3 times a week, and we thought that was a lot.

  52. posted by Becki on

    I used to keep a very tidy/orderly house until I had a husband, four kids, & a dog. Once they’re all gone, maybe my house will be clean again! Until then, I do the best I can!

  53. posted by Deb in Portland OR on

    We moved into a tiny, 100 year old 900 sq foot home with little storage space. Downsized from 1700 sq feet. I appreciate any tips I can get because I am lousy at staying organized and decluttered!

    I am glad I found this blog, because sometimes I feel I am on the verge of insanity. It’s dealing with mail & paperwork that particularly drives me nuts, plus our 2 large hairy dogs that follow me from room to room. I digress – but the old bathroom door doesn’t close quite right, so the dogs often give me a ‘Lenny & Squiggy’ greeting when I am in there. Delightful.

    Very good and easy ideas are #s 2 and 3 – those 2 ideas alone are major declutterers. I am going to focus on those for sure!

  54. posted by WilliamB on

    Several items on the list annoyed me also then I read the comments and calmed down a bit and am irked by only one thing about the list: it doesn’t explicitly say “Pick which ones work for you.” Without that the tone becomes “You MUST do all of these!” I know she wrote “things you can do” but judging by the comments, wasn’t enough to counter the rest of the article.

    My work and household schedule give me less than 90 min free time per day. There’s simply not enough time to do the second-tier items. The biggest nonessential I cut out was … cleaning! I’d rather be involved in my community than vacuum any day.

    Speaking of vacuuming, have any of you tried a carpet sweeper? Your grandmothers or great grandmothers probably used one. http://tiny.cc/CarpetSweeper is a typical one. It makes touch up carpet cleaning convenient.

    Actually, there are a lot of old-fashioned brushes that can still make our lives easier. I use a clothing brush to remove stains from my clothes. It doesn’t work on everything, but usually it does. Saves me a LOT of trips to the dry cleaners. Good for the pocketbook and environment as well.

  55. posted by Rosa on

    WilliamB, we have a Bissell sweeper and I love it. I got it for my toddler who wanted to vacuum – the Bissel has a segmented handle, so we just took out one segment to make it child-height. It’s quieter than a vacuum, and works very well on short-pile and wood floors, which is about 95% of my house. He keeps it in his own closet so I didn’t have to find a place to store it, too.

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  57. posted by FIREWEED on

    As someone who has worked carpet laying, it is not true that vacuuming prematurely ages carpeting—it does the opposite. Letting things get ground into the carpect is waht ages it, so vacuuming every day is wonderful if you have the time—at least on the high traffic areas.

  58. posted by ellen on

    My favorite way to deal with the trash is to empty every can every morning. I take such pleasure in starting the day without any trash after breakfast and tidying up. I wash my dishes, grabbing any left out glasses or whatever. My sink is sparkly clean and empty for part of the day that way. Counters are clear and stove is wiped clean.

    My email is usually jammed as I procrastinate and keep them around to reread.

  59. posted by Mara on

    nice list! 1-4: check. 5 & 6: weekly for us. 7-9: check. 10: this one goes in bursts of 5 or 6 things at once. the “hot buttons” responses gave me a chuckle. i’m sure nobody intends to be a minimalism nazi. sorta defeats the purpose.

  60. posted by Caitlan on

    lately everything i read reminds me to make saving for essure a priority.

  61. posted by irsihbell on

    Why get all in a “kerfuffle”?(love that) Just do what you can live with, and call it good. I think this was just a guideline, obviously no one always needs to do all these things everyday. If your house is fairly clean to begin with, (i’m guessing it is or you wouldn’t be on this site)straightening up is not a big deal, and shouldn’t cut into your spare time more than 10 minutes. Who can’t spare 10 minutes, honestly? 5 mins in the a.m. and 5 mins in the p.m. If you’re okay with it, why care what others think/say?

  62. posted by irsihbell on

    p.s. In my experience wood/tile floors need to swept/cleaned/vacuumed as often if not more than carpeted floors.

  63. posted by Ian Palangio on

    Need help getting your Email inbox to zero each day. If you are an Outlook user, check out my personal and email management approach called PIFEM. Honestly, I don’t know how I’d do email any other way….


  64. posted by lynn on

    You write “vacuum everyday”. Should read “vacuum every day”

  65. posted by Перезагружайте ваше рабочее место ежедневно | Lifehacker.ru on

    […] блоге Unclutter дают советы о том, как избавиться от завалов на рабочем месте и […]

  66. posted by Blogroll 03/10 « Zeugenberg.de on

    […] Blogroll 03/10 Veröffentlicht in Keine Kategorie von dae am 14. März 2010 10 more uncluttering things to do every day […]

  67. posted by Unclutter, ofwel: blijf de rotzooi de baas « Dee'tjes on

    […] Of dat nou digitale of fysieke zaken zijn, daarvoor geldt eigenlijk hetzelfde: rommel in je huis is rommel in  je hoofd en omgekeerd. Op allerlei lifestyle sites kom je dus ook tips voor ‘uncluttering tegen:  methodes om de rommel in de hand te houden. Af en toe kijk ik daar eens naar en deze week kwam ik deze tegen: 10 more uncluttering things to do every day. […]

  68. posted by Andrea on

    Definitely hot buttons!

    I can see Ms.D’s point about the gender implications of the message, and I think that she’s probably right as her point applies to the extroverted among us. However, the point that these are suggestions, not prescriptions, is well taken, also. To me the issue is that in gender roles we are still in a transitional period. Someone’ basic approach–choice or covert social prescription–can be influenced by a number of factors, including age, location, and job. One person might therefore not be as subject to unspoken but rigid expectations, and thus see the list as purely an issue of choice. Another person might be far more vulnerable to expectations, and see the idea of choice as yet another form of covert pressure.

    For example, I saw this blog as creating suggestions, not pressure on women. I am an older single academic with a non-traditional schedule and highly personal, idiosyncratic friends from a number of cultures, and by nature I am highly introverted. My house is in a lower-income working class neighborhood; it is small, older, and definitely will never make House Beautiful. As for a social life, MsD’s account of her community involvements makes me come over cranky and tired just reading it! So I read the blog as offering choice. My friend P, however, is a SAHM in a traditional marriagewith a more socially conservative man (read conservative with a small C, please!); she has a much more upscale and more traditionally decorated home, is an extrovert and is very involved in church activities and committees. (She’s often out six evenings a week, which would also make me feel cranky; I need at least two days a week when I don’t have to leave the house or go ANYWHERE!) When I forwarded this blog text to her, she reacted as MsD did, seeing the text as one more voice telling her she had to be the perfect Traditional Woman. In other words, the people who see this blog as choice AND as covert pressure are both right, at least in terms of audience response, regardless of auctorial intent.

  69. posted by Claycat on

    Thanks for adding Sherri’s post, Erin! She is a favorite of mine, and I found Unclutterer through her blog, Serene Journey.

  70. posted by Ms. Brooklyn on

    Anyone who wants to vacuum every day can have it, but it simply will not be happening in the Brooklyn household. I have enough to do without attempting overkill.

    Unless it’s stinky, I see no purpose in emptying non-full garbage cans. Again, it’s overkill.

    The rest of this seems pretty sensible, though.

  71. posted by jaammj on

    in our opinion the best is number four!
    Great idea!
    Thnaks for adding!

  72. posted by Theora55 on

    Here are my edit:
    2. Never take the stairs empty handed.
    4. Take out the garbage. My town uses pay-per-bag imprinted trash bags for pickup. I use plastic bags from shopping for garbage. I don’t take it out every day, but I do take it out any time it’s smelly or wet. On garbage day, it’s easy to fill 1 trash bag with several tied-off smaller bags. Even though I usually remember to use tote bags for groceries, plastic bags are plentiful.
    6. Sweep the kitchen every day.
    7 Take responsibility for your community. Take joy in community involvement, and only stay active when it’s meaningful. Even if it’s as simple as picking up litter when you take a walk, you can make your community better.

  73. posted by links for 2010-03-15 « LAN b4 Time on

    […] 10 more uncluttering things to do every day | Unclutterer (tags: productivity home lifehacks tips organization cleaning unclutter advice toread unclutterer) […]

  74. posted by amess on

    I only wish my wife adhered to some of the things you mentioned above.

  75. posted by Перегрузи свой быт | Слишком clvr on

    […] качестве идейного стимула, нам сильно помогли записи блога Unclutterer, мы их дополнили еще и своими мыслями. Если знаете […]

  76. posted by JoeTaxpayer on

    Nice list.
    Far easier to keep it going than to attack the big problem in the first place. I’m still working on my mess.

  77. posted by mdm on

    Part of my decluttering effort is to “declutter” my to do list.

    So instead of vacuuming every day, I do it every three days — that works for us– instead of wiping down the bathroom sink every day, I do it every OTHER day, —

    Experiment with the tipping point of how much/how little makes the difference. I use 1/2 of the recommended laundry detergent — clothes still come out clean. I use 1/2 a dryer sheet. Etc.

  78. posted by bob on

    @MissPrism – To say that “Men are very rarely criticised or shamed about their housekeeping, and almost never excluded from public life.” and “Most housework, including uncluttering, is done by women.” might be true in your world, but making such broad statements is simply sexist.

  79. posted by MissPrism on

    Which world do you live in, then, Bob? Mine’s Earth. Beautiful place, lots of potential, but unfair attitudes persist whoever tries to pretend they don’t.

    Look at the data on how many hours of housework women and men do (even if both have full time jobs outside the home). Look at whom the advertising of cleaning products is aimed. Listen to Erin’s own account, above, of being told she was not fit to marry if she didn’t do housework. People think, say and do sexist things. Pointing this fact out is not sexist – it’s the first step in mending the problem.

  80. posted by bob on

    I live in a world where I share responsibility and don’t like being prejudged for being a man. The link you sent showed me two things: 1) those results are based on what they *think* they are doing (and not necessarily what they’re doing), and 2) woman are partially responsible for men doing less work around the house. If it’s true that “… women, not just men, define their own roles in terms of their domestic responsibilities…” then it’s no wonder advertisers will market towards them. Whose fault is that? Can women be faulted for doing too much housework?

    In fairness, you have an unfair attitude towards men. We’re not all slobs and some of us actually do housework. How can you be “hugely uneasy” with the advice to vacuum more, as if the advice somehow unfairly targets women? The blog post didn’t mention anything about gender, and men can just as easily do that chore. Don’t forget these are just suggestions on a blog. Pick and choose what works for you.

  81. posted by Amy on

    Ok, I’m in the minority here, but I think that vacuuming every day and taking the trash out every day are great ideas and I will try to start them.

    Trash in my household is an issue. Right now we have a full trash bag taken out of the bin and it’s been sitting there for three days while the new one gets full. Now the bag is heavy enough that I don’t feel like taking it out on my way to work, especially in work clothes. I’ve been contemplating switching to a small waste basket in the kitchen and taking out small bags every day. If I do it every day it’s a routine. If I do it as needed, it’s a CHORE.

    I can attest that vacuuming everyday makes a big difference in the house. When I was on maternity leave with my first, I was watching a friends baby as a favor for a few months until they worked out childcare arrangements. I picked up everyday and ran the vacuum in the main living area everyday before they arrived, just so the house seemed clean. It only took a few minutes because I only did the main living space and it was kept up daily. Again, if something is done everyday, it is less work and it becomes a routine, not a chore.

    I am trying to unclutter my life in order to give myself back my weekends. I am tired of spending half of Saturday cleaning when I’d rather be going out to breakfast or to the farmers market. I, for one, appreciate the tips.

  82. posted by carolyn on

    “I only wish my wife adhered to some of the things you mentioned above.”

    Amess, maybe your wife is saying the same thing about you.

  83. posted by 5 Easy Ways To Declutter Every Day | Hello Beautiful on

    […] recently read an article on Unclutterer on “10 more uncluttering things to do every day” and we thought we’d share our favorites from the article along with some of our decluttering […]

  84. posted by 5 Easy Ways To Declutter Every Day | TheBoxHouston - KBXX 97.9 Houston's Home for the Hip-Hop Community on

    […] recently read an article on Unclutterer on “10 more uncluttering things to do every day” and we thought we’d share our favorites from the article along with some of our decluttering […]

  85. posted by 5 Easy Ways To Declutter Every Day | MyHoustonMajic - KMJQ Houston's Home for the Adult Urban Community on

    […] recently read an article on Unclutterer on “10 more uncluttering things to do every day” and we thought we’d share our favorites from the article along with some of our decluttering […]

  86. posted by 5 Easy Ways To Declutter Every Day | PraiseHouston - Praise 92.1 Houston's Home for the Gospel Community on

    […] recently read an article on Unclutterer on “10 more uncluttering things to do every day” and we thought we’d share our favorites from the article along with some of our decluttering […]

  87. posted by Melissa A. on

    Wow, some people take these lists very seriously. Do what works for you. Personally, I’m a woman and didn’t find the list offensive. But I also live alone so I’m the only person to do any housework and I wouldn’t want to share my home with anyone else. I’m also a homebody and totally get that sometimes people can be spread a little thin. If someone wants to hang out at home all the time, so be it.

  88. posted by My 5 links for the week « Juggling Motherhood on

    […] keep the clutter down. This post at Unclutterer is written by Sherri over at Zen Family Habits. http://unclutterer.com/2010/03/11/10-more-uncluttering-things-to-do-every-day/ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)My 5 links for the weekGreat Free Apps (for your […]

  89. posted by Meeks on

    I am really starting to understand that keeping clutter under control is daily thing! It is doing a little a lot! But it actually becomes less effort, because we are constantly doing little things (hopefully in the end, without even thinking) that we no longer have HUGE unmanagable tasks because we have left things become toooo uncluttered. Thanks for sharing this. I have put a link back to this post in “My 5 links for the week.”

  90. posted by 5 Easy Ways To Declutter Every Day | Praise Indy - WTLC AM Indy's Home for the Gospel Community on

    […] recently read an article on Unclutterer on “10 more uncluttering things to do every day” and we thought we’d share our favorites from the article along with some of our decluttering […]

  91. posted by links for 2010-03-23 « The Whippersnapper on

    […] 10 more uncluttering things to do every day | Unclutterer (tags: organizing home) […]

  92. posted by Leslie on

    Thanks to Sherri for the clarification – I also balked at the idea of taking out the garbage every night whether it was full or not and vacuuming every day. I have no toddlers and a small rabbit (who does shed a lot, but she’s confined to one area of the house most of the time). I aspire to vacuum once a week. If I ever get all the clutter off the floor, I expect that will be easier.

    @Erin: I once had a lady at church tell me I’d better learn to cook if I expected to get a husband (Actually, I can cook, I just REALLY REALLY don’t like to). Guess what my husband does for a living and at home? Cooks! 🙂

  93. posted by machstem on

    #6 seems a little excessive…I mean, we have a vacuum downstairs, and to bring it upstairs simply to pass over once,seems like wasted energy to me. The others are very common sense, and yet we rarely see it in most households.

  94. posted by Rune Featured Article: Improvement starts with looking for it. « Rune Of Red on

    […] Rebooting your office to have a clean workspace.  I saw this post also lead to another site named unclutterer and 10 tips on how to unclutter every day.  After reading that post on unclutterer, I decided that […]

  95. posted by Open Loops 3/30/2010: Articles I Think Worth Passing Along | SimpleProductivityBlog.com on

    […] has a great list of “10 more uncluttering things to do every day”. It’s not just about decluttering, though. I agree that resetting the home each evening is […]

  96. posted by Gender bias derails a conversation on organization | The Hathor Legacy on

    […] Gender stereotypes and uncluttering, Erin talks about: In the comments to last week’s post “10 more uncluttering things to do every day,” a few readers were upset because they believed the list put a greater burden on women to vacuum […]

  97. posted by Katie on

    I’m surprised what a hot topic the rubbish issue is 🙂 I just had to add a comment as I’m a very environmentally conscious person and I take out what little rubbish I have daily.

    The trick is that I use small plastic bags that come from wrapped newspapers sent to my work environment. (Everybody at work now knows I collect these so I will never run out lol). Not only are the bags being reused, but because they are small they are perfect for my daily rubbish needs.

    It also helps keep the cockroaches at bay as any time I don’t take rubbish out daily they pay me a visit. As for the time factor I just drop off the rubbish in my large (communal) bin as I leave the house so it takes no time at all. Of course this wouldn’t work for everybody but its perfect for me.

  98. posted by What Am I Reading? 4/21/2010 Edition « Destination England on

    […] a comment » 10 more uncluttering things to do every day @ unclutterer.com – This article hit on some sensitive areas that I need to work on in my day to […]

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