Today I will be talking you through decluttering tips and tricks.
Modern life is busy. Or at least it has been until the last few weeks. Does your diary typically brim with appointments? Does your smartphone ping every few minutes with app notifications? Are your cupboards overflowing with stuff?
As the world slows down as a result of the Coronavirus, now is the ideal opportunity to take stock of what really matters.
Most of us are guilty of owning too many unnecessary belongings. As our homes creak under the weight of more inessential objects, clothes and clutter, it’s easy to see how the bustle of modern living has creeped into our home life. What many of us don’t realise is too much chaos and clutter can take a toll on both your physical and mental health. In fact, studies have found a link between people who live with clutter and higher levels of stress. Those who live with clutter are at greater risk of suffering depression.
If you want to improve your quality of life, have more energy and worry less, then the best way to start is by decluttering. And there’s never been a better time.
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The benefits of decluttering
If you’re overwhelmed by the clutter and/or constantly looking after your stuff (picking it up, moving and cleaning it) then your home is probably feeling more of a burden than a joy.
There are so many benefits to decluttering your home. Clearing you clutter will lighten your heart and mind and create more time and space for you to do other things.
Decluttering your home is just the first step to being able to simplify your life!
Here are just a few of the benefits you could start to enjoy:
- More focus on what’s important: If you declutter your home, you’ll be removing all the stuff that you and your family don’t use, no longer need and get no enjoyment from.
- More space: When you declutter your home, you end up with less stuff generally. It’s easier to look after what you’ve got left.
- Easier to maintain: As it’s easier, it’s also quicker! Tidying the home and keeping it clean takes less time.
- More freedom: Less time spent doing chores and looking after your home and the stuff in it, means you’ve got more time for other things which you WANT to do.
- More time for what’s important: More time for being with your kids, your family, by yourself.
- More energy: You’ll also have more energy to do other things because you won’t be worn out from playing catch-up with the housework, that constant battle against the toys or the dirty dishes and laundry piles that you’re sorting every evening.
Decluttering Tips and Tricks
Decluttering your home not only makes it easier to organise your possessions, the space feels calmer and more of a sanctuary, plus it is easier to clean. You also save time and money by knowing exactly what you own and where to find it. Once clutter is cleared, it leaves room for creativity so you could feel motivated to start new projects and achieve goals.
If you’re struggling and need guidance on how to declutter, you’ll need to get creative with your plans. Here are several interesting decluttering tips and tricks to get you started on decluttering your home:
Think about your overall goal
Decluttering is often associated with minimalism – owning as few things as possible. While minimalism can be a great lifestyle choice, others enjoy owning more items and derive pleasure and joy from their possessions.
Before you start decluttering your house, decide what you want the end product to look like, so you don’t get rid of too much or too little.
Have a plan of attack
Don’t try to declutter your whole home in a week – you’ll exhaust and overwhelm yourself. Declutter in bite-size chunks of between 30 minutes and a couple of hours.
Divide a room into quadrants or focus on contained spaces such as a drawer, cupboard or shelf. Arm yourself with paper and a pen to make notes of ‘actions’ and designate rubbish, recycling and donation bags.
Start with ‘storage’ areas
Lofts, basements and garages are prime locations to stash something quickly to avoid dealing with it. If you’re serious about having a clear out, start with these areas first and then you’ll have enough space to store things that you actually need.
Break up the work
Decluttering is a big job, and setting out to tackle your entire house can leave you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or confused about where to start. Instead, break your goal into smaller goals that will help you achieve a sense of accomplishment along the way.
A great way to tackle the decluttering process is by making a list of your rooms and the order you want to work on them (for instance, your closet, your medicine cabinet, or your basement).
You can also list items by group and sort through them based on their grouping (for instance, your books, clothes, or knick-knacks).
Choose the first room or group of items you want to declutter and start small (think a shelf or a drawer).
Don’t over attach
Remember that memories aren’t in ‘things‘, they are inside us instead. Of course, it is important to keep possessions which remind you of a loved one or a particular experience, but you don’t need 50 of such things?
Taking a photo can help you hold on to the special memories or meanings attached to objects without taking up much space at all – you’d be surprised at how much satisfaction you can get from a two-dimensional reproduction.
Separate donations and rubbish
Before you start going through your things, set up a system where you have a clear place for items that you’re going to give away to a second-hand store and a rubbish bag for items you’re going to throw away.
Using this method allows you to organize as you go. It’s also a good idea to set up bins for current projects you’re working on, or for items you need to return to someone else.
Don’t worry about the price
You may find yourself looking at a lightly-used piece of furniture and thinking about how much you paid for it.
The price you paid for the item is a “sunk cost”- you’ve already paid the price for it, and keeping it around (or paying to repair it if it’s showing wear) won’t necessarily add more value to your life.
When deciding whether to keep something or get rid of it, release yourself from thinking about previous costs and encourage yourself to think only about the present and future – consider if keeping the item will positively impact your life.
If it doesn’t, it’s time to let it go, whether you want to sell it or donate it.
Get rid of duplicates
If you discover that you own multiples of the same item – for example, four different can openers- ask yourself if you need all of these items.
Did you buy a second one because you couldn’t find the first one?
If so, resolve to keep one in a convenient place and donate or sell the rest.
Pay special attention to surfaces
Flat open surfaces like coffee tables, countertops, home office desks, nightstands, laundry room counters, and even the tops of kitchen cabinets can be magnets for junk piling up – it’s easy to use them as storage spaces for everything from keys to rubbish to coins to old appliances.
If you’re noticing a lot of clutter on your flat surfaces, think of a way to organize your habits – for instance, placing a small, attractive “junk box” on your kitchen counter where you can throw your keys, wallet, and other smaller items when you come into the house.
Make your storage spaces beautiful
If you spend a ton of time meticulously reorganizing and decluttering your home only to store everything in unsightly cardboard boxes or shoe boxes, you may end up feeling like your house doesn’t look any neater.
When you start a decluttering project, get creative about your space and think of storage solutions to organise the items you’ll have left.
Are there more attractive storage bins you can use for your items? Can you add shower rods or a clothes rack and hangers near the entryway to hang coats?
Can you add a bookshelf or cubby set up for shoes, kitchen items, books, or papers? Install DIY shelving on the wall to keep things from piling up on the counter? Add hooks to your closet wall to store items like purses and jewellery.
Set up natural declutterers
If you notice a “problem area” where more clutter than average accumulates, think of ways to avoid that build-up in the future.
Do you have a bad habit of letting junk mail pile up on the coffee table or kitchen counter? Set up a recycling bin right next to where you look at your mail, so you’ll naturally toss the junk before it has a chance to pile up.
Clutter will start to accumulate, even for vigilant homeowners who are consistently tidying up.
Rather than letting the clutter frustrate you, accept that it’s normal – and commit to occasional “mini-declutterings” and clean-ups (whether that’s once a month or once a year) to keep a mess-free home.
Less is more
Take a good look at the furniture in your home. Does it fit properly or would you be better off with more space?
It’s easy to acquire excess furniture and then procrastinate over the decision to let it go. The British Heart Foundation offer a free collection service for your unwanted furniture.
Ask for help
Sometimes the task of tackling decluttering on your own can feel overwhelming. Get family and friends involved to make it more enjoyable or enlist the help of a professional – they have the experience and ideas to help you make the most out of the space you have, the expertise to advise you on what to do with unwanted possessions and they can teach you to maintain the changes for good.
You can find an accredited professional in your area through APDO (Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers).
Decluttering Tips and Tricks – Final thought
So, what do you think? Are you ready to give your home the decluttering it deserves? Trust me when I say this will change your life! Less belongings mean less things to clean, organize, and put away all of the time.
I don’t know about you, but that is a huge win in my book! There’s so much less stress in a clutter free home.
Keeping a small home decluttered is absolutely essential. Clutter adds up so quickly! And by keeping your home decluttered is how you keep your home looking nice and sanity intact.
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Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about topics such as lifestyle, self-care, self-development, finance, saving money and making money. Come and join the community!