10 One-Minute Micro Habits for a Clutter-Free Home

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Changing our habits can be truly hard. 

You try for a week: you eat better, maybe get more exercise, you read books instead of watching movies. 

But soon enough, you revert back to your old patterns.

And this happens over and over again. 

How can we actually make a difference in our lives when it feels impossible?

10 One-Minute Micro Habits for a Clutter-Free Home

I read a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear, and in it, the author mentions that if you want to make a habit stick, you have to try to make it pleasurable: reward yourself and make it feel good. 

Make it so easy that it almost becomes second nature, almost like brushing your teeth. 

You don’t even think about it now, do you? 

Brushing your teeth is something you do every day on autopilot and it doesn’t feel like a lot of effort to put in.

When we want to change our lives or something in our homes, as maybe they feel too cluttered, we always feel like we have to make this huge change, take this massive action in order to actually make a difference.

The truth is, if you make small progress every single day for a long period of time, it’s going to have a compound effect. 

The results will surprise you.

If you start doing small things in your home or in your life and try to make it 1% better every single day, you will be surprised at what a difference it can make in one year. Incorporating one small habit at a time can make a really big difference in bettering our lives. 

So pick a small habit and do it over and over again, even if not perfectly, until it becomes almost like second nature.

In this article, I’m going to take you through 10 one-minute habits or micro-habits for a clutter-free home. 

Habits that require very little effort but give you big results long term. And even if it might not seem like it, they are pretty life-changing.

Related posts:

10 One-Minute Micro Habits for a Clutter-Free Home

Feel free to watch the video or keep reading below:

1. Make your bed in the morning

I know you’re going to roll your eyes at me for this one, but making your bed can truly make a statement to yourself, not to anybody else. 

It can make you feel a lot more productive and like you’re getting something accomplished for the day, even if it’s nothing major. 

It just puts a spring in your step. 

Whenever I make my bed, which is pretty much every morning, I feel a lot better.

What was key here for me was to create a clutter-free and very simplified bedroom so that when I go to make my bed, it truly is a one-minute task. 

So now it doesn’t take me ages to fluff up pillows or arrange perfectly all the layers on my bed. I keep it very simple. 

We’ve got a duvet, some decorative pillows, and that’s it. Making the bed does not take me more than a minute. 

And the best part is that for the rest of the day, whenever I go into the bedroom, I have this feeling of accomplishment and calm. If, when I walked into my bedroom, there would be a pile of bedding and pillows thrown on the floor, it would increase my stress levels. 

For the rest of the day, I would have in the back of my mind, ‘Oh, I should probably tidy up the bedroom.’ 

But if the bed is made, whenever I walk into my bedroom it just makes me feel calm. It makes me feel like I’m done in there. I don’t need to do anything. 

I don’t need to constantly add things in the back of my mind, on my mental to-do list. My day is just a lot more peaceful.

I know it’s nothing major, but things like this can give you these little negative twinges that can add up if you’ve got a lot of these areas in your home. 

2. Clean while you cook

I started doing this a while ago, and it makes such a difference to my day. 

Before developing this habit, I would make dinner, and when I was done, there would be pans and plates to put away, plus many ingredients to store away. 

The whole kitchen counter would be covered in things. 

Once you’re finished with your dinner and you want to maybe relax or go play with your kids or do something you enjoy, you want to just do that. 

You don’t want to have a kitchen that just exploded and makes you feel overwhelmed because now you have to tidy up before enjoying something else. 

Plus this would usually be at the end of the day when you’re already very tired anyway. 

So what this habit looks like when I’m cooking dinner for example: 

  • If I’m finished with a cutting board, I will quickly rinse it. 
  • If I’m finished with a knife, I will put it in the dishwasher. 
  • If I’m finished with the cooking oil, I will put it back in the cupboard. 

These are actions that take little effort. 

Once you start practising this and you do it over and over again, it’s going to become so easy for you too. It will turn into a habit. 

You won’t even think about it. 

It’ll just be something you do. You finish with the oil, and you pop it back in the cupboard. 

And then when you’re finished cooking dinner, there won’t be a massive explosion in your kitchen. 

And this can make a huge difference to your evening.

3. Clean the countertops after each meal

This might sound a bit restricting, and it might not be possible after every single meal, but this is something I try to be intentional about and do after most of our meals.

Here is how it goes: after a meal, I will just go around and put plates away, throw in the rubbish bin anything that needs to be discarded, and maybe even give the countertops a quick wipe. 

And because I have simplified my kitchen and I don’t have a lot of things out on the countertops, this is actually a really quick job. 

It usually does not take more than a minute or a few minutes, depending on the meal that we’ve just had. 

It’s just like walking into your bedroom and your bed is all made: you walk into your kitchen and the countertops are clear or mostly clear, and this just gives you a good feeling. 

It’s like: ‘Oh, I’m pretty much done in here, my kitchen is pretty tidy and I don’t need to stress about it’. 

Nowadays, if somebody rings me right now and says, ‘Hey, can I pop over in 15 minutes?’ I’m not going to feel frantically stressed. 

And it’s these little things that we do throughout the day that can have a massive impact on our stress and anxiety levels. 

4. Don’t put it down, put it away

I can’t remember exactly where I read this, but it is honestly life-changing. 

It can be so easy for us to just drop things around the house, right? 

Just drop things on the dining table.

On the coffee table.

On the floor.

On the kitchen counters. 

Yet most of the time, if we really think about it, putting an item away instead of just dropping it in a random spot actually doesn’t take longer than a minute, if that. And getting into the habit of putting things where they belong means there are going to be fewer things just cluttering up your surfaces. 

This means tidying up will no longer be a massive project every day because you’ve been doing these little things throughout the day. The mess is just not going to accumulate to a level that feels overwhelming.

5. Declutter one item

This action does not take longer than a minute, especially if you have an ‘outbox’, which is a box or basket to store things you no longer need until you get a chance to sell or donate them.

Whenever I notice an item around my home, for example, a hat that my son has actually outgrown or doesn’t wear anymore, I will just take it and pop it in the ‘outbox’. 

If I notice a toy that they haven’t been playing with and I know they’re not going to miss, I can maybe ask my son if he still needs it.

If not, I just pop it in the outbox. 

Just noticing things like this throughout your home can make a really big difference without you having to do a massive declutter every weekend.

6. Trash mail straight away

I know, we get so much junk mail, like advertisements and magazines that you never asked for. 

Add to this the mail that you need, but you don’t have to keep, like a reminder letter from your GP. 

My advice and what I do? Try to sort all the mail as soon as it comes through the door.

If it’s something that I need to address soon, I will put it in our letter holder. 

But if it’s something like junk mail, it goes straight to recycling. 

I do not keep those anymore in my letter holder. 

If I don’t have a use for them, they would be just cluttering up my entryway or my surfaces.

This is one of those things I do straight away, and it makes a big difference. 

Nowadays, whenever I walk past that hallway, I don’t see a huge pile of paperwork that I need to tackle. In the letterbox, there are maybe just a few letters that I need to address, but nothing major. 

If you adopt this habit, you will notice that it can really help with your stress levels, even if you didn’t realise the effect all this mail used to have on you.

7. Put things in a drop-zone

Have a drop zone next to your door, somewhere where you can put things that you come in the house with, like keys, purse, wallet, sunglasses, and anything like that. 

Have a little basket or a little drop zone where you and others in your family can just pop these things in. 

It does not take longer than a minute to then use this zone. 

This way, when you leave the house, you always know where your keys are, and where your purse is. You don’t have to go find them. 

More so, you are avoiding the stress of running late somewhere because you can’t find your wallet. It’s such a simple thing that can make a big difference. 

8. Tackle the incoming tornado as soon as possible

When you come in and your kids throw their things like coats, shoes, mittens, hats, and artwork, on the floor, things can turn into a huge pile in your entryway. 

And then, whenever you walk past it, it stresses you out as you stumble on things. 

This is why the ‘incoming tornado’ is something I try to tackle straight away.

I have little areas where all of these things go, so they all have a home. 

The shoes have a little home next to the door. 

The coats go on pegs under the stairs. 

Nowadays my older son puts things away as well, most of the time anyway. 

He doesn’t do it every single time, but I do think he’s getting better and better at it as he grows older. He has a little peg for his coat that’s very accessible, at his eye level. He knows where all of his hats and mittens go.

And having a place for all of these items is going to make a big difference in your home too.

9. Tidy toys as you play

This is something I’ve been doing for quite a while now and it goes like this: as you’re sitting on the floor with your kids, you can also do a bit of tidying in the meantime, without disrupting their game. 

Of course, if they’re playing with a toy, I’m not going to take it from their hands and tidy it up. But if they’ve poured out a basket of toys and now they’re playing with something else, then I can start tidying up that basket and put it back.

For example, if they’ve finished playing with the wooden blocks, I will ask them, ‘Can I tidy this? Are you finished with this?’ And I can simply do that as I’m sitting on the floor with them and they’re playing alongside me.

This is something that’s such a small thing you can do, and it’s not something I consciously think about anymore. 

I just grab toys and put them in a basket because I’m right there with them anyway. I might as well just do a few things here and there. 

This means they also get more space to play with the toys they are actually enjoying at the moment. Plus there’s going to be less of a massive tidy at the end of the day.

10. Remove notifications from your phone

And I don’t mean the important ones that you really, really need to address straight away. 

I still get calls on my phone and I still get some messages. 

Yet I have muted some of them, especially the school groups that I’m in. I do go and check those groups regularly because I need to stay up to date with what’s going on in my son’s class. 

But I don’t have the notifications coming in all the time, that would be super distracting.

This is something I became aware of when I watched the Netflix show—I think it was ‘The Social Dilemma—where they mention how many notifications we get constantly. 

They also point out how easy it is for us to get pulled into our phones straight away, feeling like we constantly have to be on top of things, check things, and be present on our phones all the time. 

The reality is that few things are super urgent or really need our attention straight away. I still keep on the notifications for messages and of course for calls as my son’s school or the doctor might call. 

But I don’t keep Instagram notifications on for example. 

Those are completely off on my phone. 

Nor do I keep YouTube notifications on. I’ve even turned off the email notifications. All of these notifications can be incredibly distracting.

For example, I’m writing this article now. If I were to get notifications constantly on my phone, I would be constantly pulling my attention to them, even if they weren’t that important. 

Sometimes a notification catches your attention and then you go on to Instagram, and then, half an hour later, you find yourself still scrolling, not even sure why. 

Social media is very good at pulling and keeping our attention on their apps. 

So what we can do is to gain control by simply removing the notifications. 

This way, I am the one who decides when to pay attention to these things. When I want to or I have the time, I will go on my phone and check what might have happened in the meantime. But it’s never anything urgent, especially on social media. 

This is something that can help with being more present with our children and also being more productive throughout the day. 

If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a try for 30 days and see how it feels.

I know that, at first, it can feel a bit like you’re isolating yourself from the world, but I promise you, you’re not. Social media is always there to go back to when you decide to, when you have the time or you want to. 

10 One-Minute Micro Habits for a Clutter-Free Home


So this is it, these are my 10 one-minute micro habits that actually improved my life and made my home clutter-free! 

I hope they are helpful to you. I think having a clutter-free and tidy house is actually a lot easier once you implement some of these habits.

Do you have any micro habits that you would like to implement in your life? 

And what do you think would actually make a difference in your life? 

I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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