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Whether you’re craving a more minimalist lifestyle or simply want a good clearout, just the idea of getting started is making you come out in a cold sweat. Letting go of our possessions can be incredibly challenging, no matter how trivial.
But when we strip away the layers, how many of your things lay forgotten in your wardrobe or hidden in a cupboard? Then there’s the stress factor of having to see all your clutter daily! You see, the benefits of decluttering your home far outweigh everything else.
Not sure where to start? Here are 8 smart ways to declutter your home:
Before you charge into the room that needs the most attention, take some time to prepare. Consider decluttering one room at a time and what cleaning materials you will need. Going in without the basics will make your job far less efficient after all.
Bin bags, antibacterial sprays, eco-friendly cleaning materials and cleaning cloths are your must-have essentials.
While some of you will want to get on with the task at hand solo, others of you may need extra support. Why not give your friend or family member a call, and see if they will help you out one afternoon? Set aside a break for chit chat and a coffee, and you’ve got bonding time in the diary!
If you’re considering a house clearance, it’s worth calling in the professionals. Your local London rubbish removals team will handle all the heavy lifting, but more importantly, get rid of all your waste in the most effective, environmentally friendly ways possible.
Value what matters
“Keep, donate, throwaway” is the mantra you need to declutter your home. To do this effectively, you need to think about each item you own and its value. Not its monetary value, but if it is a cherished keepsake or has a purpose in your home.
An item’s intrinsic value can easily be measured if you imagine a drastic scenario, such as: if you had to evacuate your home due to a terrible flood or storm, what would you take with you? Your answer will quickly determine how essential each item is to you.
Equally, if you are rummaging through a drawer, cupboard or your wardrobe and you’ve just found something that you have completely forgotten about, can you honestly say it’s worth keeping?
Donate to a worthwhile charity
Need some extra motivation to clear out all your unwanted or forgotten wares? Donate your items to a worthwhile charity. No matter how much stuff you have, there will always be someone much worse off than yourself who can make use of something that you can no longer.
Start by filling up one rubbish bag. Focus on clutter heavy areas such as your wardrobe first, and see how quickly you can fill it up. You’ll soon make a dent in your mess and have the satisfaction that your old clothes have a purpose beyond your home.
Don’t move on until you have cleared a room
While it may be tempting to flit between rooms, you’ll be far more efficient if you stick to one room at a time. Once you’ve cleared away the clutter and can have space to think, you can start to visualise what you need in terms of storage solutions.
- Storage solutions such as baskets, under-bed boxes, hanging storage
- Labelling tubs, jars, containers
- Making a dedicated area for specific items, e.g. utensils, bedding, toiletries etc.
Once you are satisfied with your room, move on to the next.
Dedicated sorting zone
The technique is often everything when it comes to having a good clearout. Adopting the four-box method will make a dent in your clutter in no time. The key here is to bring four clearly labelled containers or boxes into each room you are cleaning: bin, keep, store, donate.
As you go through each of your belongings, organise the items into each box. Then you’ll quickly be able to arrange the room afterwards, as you know which items are staying. You’ll also soon become aware of what storage you may need to buy and have more space to rearrange furniture too.
Adopt good habits
Fed up of clutter getting the better of you? Yes! Then it’s time to break the cycle for good:
- Find a spot or area for each item you own
- Follow a specific routine when you enter or leave you home, e.g. put your keys in the same place each time
- Install accessible organisation points throughout your home, such as placing a coat rack near your entryway or placing your laptop bag on your desk
The more positive organisational habits you create, the easier it will become to keep everything tidy and manage your home.
Get the kids involved
When it comes to chief clutter makers, the usual suspects are, you’ve guessed it, your kids! So get them involved.
While it’s often easier to clean up your child’s bedroom on your own, encouraging them to help or do it themselves will allow them to take ownership over their belongings and their space. It will also help to develop their decision-making and organisational skills as they think about what is valuable to them and how well they look after it in the process.
Don’t rush and take your time
Decluttering takes far more time than you think. Everything from emotions running high to tiredness can slow you down. Add extra time for each task and never do more than an hour’s spurt in each room. Otherwise, you’ll lose motivation and concentration.
Overestimating how much time it will take to tidy will ensure you don’t feel discouraged along the way. Make sure you take a break, whether that’s reading a few chapters of a book, having a bath, a walk or catching up with friends over coffee; it’ll help to keep your spirits up and keep you focused.
Having a clearout doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a few smart tricks up your sleeve, your home will be looking refreshed in no time.