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For some houses, it can feel like dust is a never-ending battle.

Whether you have pets, kids, or just a lot of stuff that constantly feels like it’s under a layer of crud, dust buildup is something we all face. And while it’s easy enough to get rid of, it seems much harder to prevent—and you know in the back of your mind you’ll be dealing with it again soon enough.

You might be excited to learn, then, that you can actually prevent a lot of dust buildup with a little reorganizing! A lot of dust is caused by the things in your home and how attractive (or not) it may be to dust, and with a little reorganizing and careful cleaning you can lessen the amount of dust you have to deal with day-to-day.


Clean off your shelves and line them

Whatever kind of shelves you have, from wall shelves to bookshelves and everything in between, these shelves can be one of the most common places for dust to reside. At regular intervals, take everything off them, give it a good cleaning, and place liners on the shelves to stop dust from building up on the shelf itself. This also makes it easier to clean. Old newspaper works great for this, and has the bonus of being easily replaceable!


Toss out old magazines and books

Old paper can actually contribute to the buildup of dust in a home, including paper dust from outdated magazines, newspapers, and books you haven’t touched in forever. We know you might still be reeling from Marie Kondo suggesting that you pare down your book collection, but feel free to donate anything you won’t read again to a library and toss out any magazines from last year that you won’t be reading any time soon. This will go a long way towards the accumulation of dust throughout the entire house.


Stash old clothes and bed sheets better

Similar to paper, fabric can also start building up dust around the house too as it ages or goes unworn. If you have off-season clothes, clothes you don’t wear but haven’t quite donated yet, or bed sheets you’re not using until the weather changes, adjusting how they’re stored can help reduce dust overall. Keep them in vacuum-sealed bags (or in plastic storage bins as space permits) and try to stash them in the attic or basement on something that won’t promote the creation of dust like metal shelves or wire shelves.


Donate old stuffed toys

Stuffed animals or dolls can start to build up dust as they decay just like fabric sheets and clothes can, so if your kids have a lot of stuffed animals they’re no longer interested in, now might be the time to bag them up and donate them to a thrift store. You’ll have less toys you have to pick up and you’ll have an easier time dusting in the future!


Don’t be afraid to declutter

In fact, if you have a lot of stuff being shown off on your shelves, now might be a good time to start parting with whatever you don’t want or anything that’s just taking up space. Even if they’re not made out of fabric or anything that will contribute to the buildup of dust, having too much stuff around is going to give your dust more places to land and will make it much harder to clean around. Take a second and see if anything on your shelves can be parted with without causing much heartbreak, and watch as your surfaces get much easier to dust in time.

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