# Clutter # Clutter is so not chic

3 Clutter-Clearing Tips | MADAME CHIC Method

I'm sharing three clutter-clearing tips, Madame Chic-style, in today's video.

This video is a collaboration with A Better Life with Flylady Kat, who has a wonderful YouTube channel that encourages viewers to keep on top of their homes. You can check out Kat's three clutter-clearing tips here.

I'm bringing it back-to-basics in today's video and discussing my first book, Lessons from Madame Chic.

Since living with Madame Chic and her family, I have derived my clutter-clearing methods from them. I was amazed that their home had no clutter. Ever! There was never a day when the side table got out-of-hand, or someone needed to sort through the pile of mail on the entryway desk. Random items didn't accumulate on the dining room table. When an object needed to be dealt with, it was dealt with swiftly and put away in its proper place. The Chic family led very disciplined lives and this is the foundation for living in a clutter-free home.

Here is the abridged version of my three clutter-clearing tips. For expanded thoughts on all of these topics, be sure to watch my video.

Clutter-clearing tip #1: Embrace structured and disciplined living. Clearing clutter is an on-going, everyday process. The main idea here is prevention. If you live a structured and disciplined life at home, you prevent clutter form even forming because everything is put away and dealt with properly. This tip is truly for every member of the household, not just the mother. Otherwise, mom will just be running around picking up after everyone and all will be frustrated.

Clutter-clearing tip #2: Manage your everyday items. This goes hand-in-hand with disciplined living. Our everyday items need a home and should never be put anywhere other than their place. Clear your cluttered cupboards and drawers to create room to place your everyday items.

Clutter-clearing tip #3: Enjoy keeping your home! If you enjoy keeping your home, you will relish taking care of it and not let it get out of hand. Of course, we all go through seasons of life where we will get behind on the housework (I share a story about this in today's video), but generally, if you can keep an exuberance and a joie de vivre with regard to housekeeping, you will be on top of the clutter situation.

The Mapp and Lucia book club Live Chat will be on Monday, August 6th 11am pacific time. Join me on YouTube to discuss the next two books in the series, Lucia in London and Mapp and Lucia. If you are unable to make the livestream, it will be available to watch as are the rest of my videos. If you would like to submit a comment for the live chat, leave one in the comment section below. I look forward to discussing E.F. Benson's book! "Au Reservoir!" :)

For more of The Daily Connoisseur, take my eCourses, Creating Your Own Ten-Item Wardrobe and Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living.

On the Debt-free course, Leigha writes, "I loved this course! I've taken notes and have already started implementing many of the ideas. I've really cleared out my closet of clutter, too. Thinking I may need to invest in the wardrobe course, as well. I hope that in the next year I will be able to make great strides in reducing my debt and becoming more financially free. I am also hoping to put more emphasis on people and experiences rather than things. Thanks, as always, for such a lovely series of videos. So inspirational! Now....I think I want to enjoy a hot cup of tea. :)"

Leigha, I'm so excited to see the changes that happen in your life. Please come back and update us on your progress. Thank you for taking my course!

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Comment of the Week
There were so many thought-provoking comments on Monday's blog and video on the Trouble with Social Media. I you haven't already read through some of the comments, it's worth doing! Lindsay wrote, "Thank you for this! I have been very disturbed by some of these same tendencies in myself. I mentally write social media posts as I'm taking photos. There have been events where I felt more excited to post about them and see the reactions and comments from people than I was about the actual event! I resist posting on holidays because I hate the idea of making people who are lonely on those days feel even worse. I can tell my mom how much I love her in person, so I don't do a mother's day post. I am trying to use it to connect with people I don't see often and remove the self-promotion aspect of it. But it's hard."

Lindsay, I love your honesty. Social media has changed the way we think. I've noticed it in myself and it's something I have to actively fight against. Thank you for sharing your comment with us!

Today, I would love to know... do you struggle with clutter? Do you have hot spots that accumulate clutter on a regular basis? What are your best clutter-clearing tips? Let us know in the comment section below and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on The Daily Connoisseur.

I'll see you tomorrow for an all new Natural Home with Jennifer.

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Anonymous said...

This is a very timely post, as I am in the midst of an epic bedroom cleanout (I still live with my parents). I am so overwhelmed by the amount of things I own! Currently everything is pulled out so I can sort through it all and I feel exhausted just looking at it. This post is the perfect motivation for me to keep going! I also plan to try your 10 Item Wardrobe and Money courses, to keep from ending up in this situation again! Thanks Jennifer!

Ladylike said...

Hello Jennifer,

Thanks for the tips! Here are my own tips for decluttering:
1. A lot of clutter comes from having too many possessions. Know that decluttering is a skill that becomes easier with practice and time. The more you do it, the more you realize that you don't miss any of the items that you released. The next time you go around, you will hesitate less to let go of extraneous items.
2. Avoid stores such as drugstores that have a wide array of eye-catching inexpensive items, none of which you need. The more you declutter, the less you will shop, as you know exactly where your purchases will ultimately end up: in your donations bag.
3. Pretend that you are moving or have to evacuate. (Living in California, the latter scenario comes up more often than I would like). What would you bring with you? What would you leave behind? These are clues to what is really important to you. Consider letting go of the other items NOW.
4. Read books by extreme declutterers such as the author of "Goodbye Things", which Jennifer reviewed. This type of book will be inspiring and help you to realize what is really necessary and what isn't.

Warm best,

Mimi Gregor said...

When I do a big cleaning in my home, I also get rid of anything that I haven't used in a long while (if ever!) If it'a a decorative piece, and it no longer sparks joy in me, I get rid of that, too. I feel that just like people, things also like to have a purpose. If they have no purpose in your home, perhaps by releasing them, they will find their purpose in someone else's home. This means that I do have some empty shelves and drawers and sone blank walls in my home. That's okay. I feel that I have to get rid of the things that do not bring me joy in order to make room for the things that do.

Deborah Makarios said...

Thanks for these tips, Jennifer! I'll have to make a note of them and keep it somewhere that I can see it regularly.
I'm currently spending 15 minutes a day going through our house, room by room, getting rid of things we don't like, don't need, or just don't have room for. Which is harder than I thought it'd be, in some cases.
But I have a dream of what my house can one day look like - a serene and cozy uncluttered haven - and seeing little bits of that dream come true is absolutely addictive!
I think it helps to have a record - before and after photos, gold stars, whatever - to remind yourself of the progress that you've made, because it's so easy to forget how it used to be.

Packers And Movers Noida said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JMMR said...

I've been trying to get organized my whole life but never seem to make real progress. Please make more videos on this subject! An Afternoon Walk

Janessa said...

Decluttering with the KonMari Method starts with a vision for your home and life.

Organizing by category is focused. Clutter is distracting and draining! Organizing is overwhelming and it's easy to get distracted and expend energy inefficiently. Room by room organizing can lead to a life of shuffling things around.

The order of categories is designed to strengthen you discernment "muscle". You learn to make quick gut decisions. Does it "spark joy"? These decisions help to focus your vision.

Store vertically. Treat your home like a library. Everything should have an easily accessible place. Stacking leads to chaos, overwhelm and hoarding.

Once the clutter is gone, decorate with the sentimental things that you love. Your home should tell your story rather than look like Pottery Barn. The urge to constantly redecorate will be gone and you will feel content.

The most wonderful take away from the method is increased gratitude. It is everything. Jennifer, you said it is more about mindset. You are right. Gratitude is the underlying foundation for taking care of what we have.

When you organize by category, you gather all you own in the category and evaluate whether is "sparks joy". It is quite eye-opening and humbling. Many of us have so much more than we realize. You can't help but be grateful for all you have. This leads to being more intentional with your choices, taking better care of your things and an end to the comparison of your life to others.

Gratitude is the root of joy and overflows into serving others. In fact, my sister and I have been tiding homes for the last year and a half. We are working out a way to help more people with financial need get the help they need at home to get their lives in order. Depression and untidy homes are a chicken and egg situation at times. Some seasons of life can knock you down. Sometimes people just need a helping hand to get through it. It is very gratifying work!

The reason this method is "life changing" is because it truly changes "keystone habits" which results in a domino effect in many other habit changes. (Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit explains this.)

Jennifer, we all see the gratitude and the joy serving others bring you! Thanks for serving us all the way you do!

~ Shannon said...

This is such a timely video for me! I learned "packrat" habits as a child, and while I was taught some discipline, it's been an area I've struggled with. Now with four children, homeschooling, and marriage to a military spouse, it has become essential for me to develop more discipline and routine. I'm still working on that, but every little bit of progress helps.

Thank you for the encouragement to persevere -- I want my house to be a peaceful haven for my family and for others, and my I know my demeanor is vital to the atmosphere that I want to create. It's hard to have a great attitude when I feel stressed by clutter and disorder! And I do find that the tidier my home is, the more joy I feel in keeping it that way.

I've enjoyed your books and videos for many years now, though I rarely comment. You've (positively!) influenced my life in so many ways, and I'm ever so grateful for that. And as a fellow homeschooler, I've greatly enjoyed your recent videos about home education!


The Daily Connoisseur said...

Ladies, thank you for your detailed comments. I'm so happy you enjoyed this blog on clutter-free living. I will definitely do more content like this in the future! I appreciate your contribution to the blog.

See you tomorrow!