It’s so much easier to maintain a clutter-free environment than it is to unclutter in order to create one. It’s not about having too little storage space; it’s about having too much stuff. If you’ve worked hard to organize and unclutter your home, don’t let the mess creep up on you again! It always has a tendency to, unless you actively work against it. Here are 5 tips to keeping your home and life clutter-free.

Reset Every Night

Every object should have its place—somewhere it belongs. (If it doesn’t, get rid of it.) Once these “homes” are established, reset everything before you go to bed. Put everything back in its place so that when you wake up in the morning, you can face the new day without worrying about yesterday’s clutter!

Stop Impulse Shopping

This is probably the most important part of staying clutter free. You have to stop the flow of things coming into the house. It’s so easy to walk through a store and fill up your cart with random little things. Resist the temptation. Make a list of things you need whenever you go shopping, and only buy those things; don’t come home with anything more.

The same goes for online shopping. It’s so easy to sit on the internet and browse through an endless array of products. Don’t put yourself in that situation. Find something else to fill that mindless online window shopping time. If you don’t need it, you don’t need it.

Get One, Give One

A good way to cut impulse shopping is this Get One, Give One rule. To maintain a perfect equilibrium of things taking up space in your house, keep this rule in your head: every time you want to get something, you have to give something away. Whether it’s throwing it away, donating it, or passing it along. This way, before you make a purchase decision, you have to think to yourself whether this can take the place of something else you already have or if it’s worth trading with another one of your possessions.

Purge Unapologetically

We know that clutter likes to creep up. There will be weeks or months where you just don’t have the energy to keep everything perfectly organized and clutter-free. And the things will pile up. When this happens, be forgiving to yourself—but not to the clutter. Take a step back, some deep breaths, and purge the clutter without apology! If you don’t use it, don’t need it, then get rid of it!

Quality over Quantity

These days, everything is mass produced, and our lives so easily become overrun by cheap multiples. Because they’re so cheap, we allow ourselves to have so many of them—so many things! But space is valuable, as you know, so by valuing quality over quantity, you will find that you will have fewer things. And the things you do have are worth the space.

Good luck!