If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of the many people who feel like their home is bursting with clutter. But, let’s be honest, it can get overwhelming trying to figure out what to do when your closets are stuffed with clothes you don’t wear or that don’t fit, almost every surface in the house has something on it, and there are ‘I’m going to get to that’ items piled up in corners…the list goes on.
Here we give you some tips and tricks on how to declutter your home so that it – and you – feel more organised.
Start Small – take stock
Decluttering can be a daunting task. But it’s not as hard as you think! So if you have some time this weekend, grab a pen and notepad, go through each room, think about what to keep, what you’re not sure of and what to throw away. By starting small and working from a list, you’ll find that the process is actually far easier than you thought it would be.
When did I last use this?
You may be holding onto things that don’t add a lot of value. Items that add value to your everyday life are the things you use often. Think about when you last wore that jacket or pair of shoes – or that dusty old serving dish in the back of the kitchen cupboard. You’ve got to be brutal and determined to see this through. If you haven’t used things in a while, send them on their way.
Check out the condition
It’s all too tempting hanging onto broken possessions, convincing yourself that you still need it and intend to repair it. Think about it: if you use, need, or love the object, then mending it should be a top priority. If you find something in need of repair, set a deadline to get it done and make a note on your calendar. If it isn’t significant enough to invest time or money, you probably don’t need or love it enough to keep it.
Sunk Costs – Let it Go
You may be holding on to something because it was costly to buy. Even if you no longer use or value it – you’re reluctant to let it go because you remember how much it cost. The truth is if it isn’t something you use or love, it is merely taking up valuable space. You’ve already paid for the item. Keeping something you aren’t using or enjoying will not allow you to recoup your investment. Sunk costs cannot be recovered – keep this in mind when you are decluttering.
Go easy on yourself – use a maybe box
Allowing yourself some time to make decluttering decisions eases a lot of stress. A “maybe box” may help with the mental process. If you’re struggling to decide what to do with an item (or a few items) – put it in a maybe box. A maybe box can act as a safety net for decluttering, allowing you to experience living without the item and therefore make more ruthless decluttering decisions, free of fear.
First, declutter – then organise
Clutter can result from having too much and keeping things you don’t use or need. But sometimes chaos can result from things you use but simply do not have an organised system. Pay attention to the spaces in your home that become cluttered and unorganised. Is there too much stuff in the area? Is the clutter primarily things you don’t use or need? Or is the clutter and mess caused by a lack of organised places to keep it?
“Everyone has a place in their house for forks. If you found a random fork in the bathroom or under the couch, you’d immediately know it didn’t belong there and would return it to its drawer without another thought. Everything in your life should be this easy to put away. If an item occupies no specific location when not in use, it becomes clutter.” Steve McClatchy, Author – Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead By Example.
The process of purging and decluttering your home is not always easy – the key is consistent, steady progress. So whichever way you choose to start your decluttering adventure – be excited about taking your first step toward simplifying your life.