Whether you’re preparing for a move or just wanting to cut down on stuff, spring is the perfect time to declutter, get rid of junk that is no longer used, needed, wanted or even remembered. A successful “home edit” can also help clear the mind.
Clearing out the junk from our homes has more benefits that just freeing up space or cutting removal costs if you’re on the move. It cuts chaos, simplifies life and declutters the mind too. But to get the best out of a decluttering exercise, it’s important to tackle it the right way. That’s why we’ve put together a list of practical steps to make decluttering effective and efficient, and maybe even enjoyable.”
Declutter one room at a time – This way you’ll see clear progress as you tackle and complete one task at time. It avoids getting overwhelmed.
Do not be constrained by someone else’s timeline – Find the time that works for you, whether after work while watching a bit of Netflix, over the weekend, or a couple of hours here and there. This way you’ll feel motivated to do more, not get burned out by the process.
Do not buy packing boxes before you’ve worked out what to keep – Organise first, buy second. If your decluttering is effective, you may find you don’t need as many storage boxes as you first thought.
Do not hoard – Be completely honest with yourself about what items you really NEED. Give things away either to someone you know, or to charity – you’ll feel better for it. Try freecycle!
Do not start a new task before finishing the last one – Complete each task completely before moving on – once you have decided where something is going to go, take it there.
Do not forget to ask yourself: does everything have a function? – Seriously, do you really need all those DVDs when you have subscriptions to more than one online TV and film streaming service? The same goes for all those CDs.
Don’t forget the scanner is your friend – Boxes of old photographs can be scanned and scored in a fraction of the space.
Don’t keep clothes you never wear – Try the wardrobe hanger experiment. Turn around the hooks on all the hangers in your wardrobe. Once you wear an item, turn the hanger back the other way. After a year, get rid of any clothes on hangers still hooked on the wrong way – you don’t need them.
Don’t forget to ask for another perspective – Ask for help from a work colleague or friend – they should be able to give you an objective opinion on what they think you do and don’t need.
Don’t overlook the fact that you’re only keeping it because of nostalgia – Why not take a photo of it instead, then you’ll feel better about giving or throwing something away.
Don’t forget to use your imagination – Ask yourself: “If I was a buyer viewing this house now, would this piece of furniture put me off, or do all these items on the shelf minimise the space?”
Don’t think that once you’ve organised your space you’re done – Recognise your new, efficient, and logical system for processing and managing incoming and outgoing items and keep it up.
Don’t go too far in search of perfection – Good is good enough. Your home will never look like a catalogue because it is actually lived in. Take time to appreciate how far you’ve come. If perfection is your goal then you will always be disappointed.
Don’t forget to simplify your personal life – Decluttering your diary is essential for simplifying your life and giving yourself a bit of headspace. You can reduce your commitments and say no to non-essential things.