From making space to reducing stress, there are many reasons why people choose to declutter their house and the rooms within it. Not only does decluttering allow for your living space to be utilised, it is a really good strategy to see what belongings you don’t need anymore and can throw out or give away. Further, decluttering is a good way of saving time, as your belongings will be more readily available, helping you to spend less time in the mornings frantically throwing clothes around in search of your lost car keys. Potentially the most important benefit of decluttering your home and that is in helping you to reduce the stress levels in your life. It can be stressful and hectic at work, but when you come home you want to relax and escape from that manic environment.
Ways to Declutter Your Home
You have to start somewhere. You may have let all the countertops, shelves and armchairs in your house become magnets for clutter and feel as though you just don’t know where to start.
‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’ ~ Lao Tzu
‘Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together’ ~ Vincent Van Gogh
Room by Room
Don’t attempt to declutter your whole house in one day. Big or small, conquering your house all in the same 24 hours will leave you feeling more stressed than before and the quality of your decluttering may suffer.
Start in a room where you spend most of your time, for example your bedroom. In the room, start by decluttering an area or space in that room instead of trying to do it all at once. This will make the process easier and it will be clearer to sort through belongings that you do and do not need. Although decluttering your house room by room and area by area will take some time to complete, it will be less stressful and more thorough in the end.
Make a List
If you are feeling overwhelmed because there is just so much to declutter and you don’t know where to start, create a list. Write down every area in your house that you want to declutter with no due date. Eg. bedside tables, bedroom, kitchen cupboards etc. Tick off the areas or rooms you declutter as you go along.
Create a system where you are either keeping, throwing out or putting items into storage. Using boxes to navigate where each and every belonging is going to be placed can help you to visualise how much ‘stuff’ you’re holding on to and how much you are throwing away and storing. When considering where to put an item, think to yourself, does this serve value to my life? If so, how much value? If the answer is no or not really, chuck it out, sell it online or give it to charity!
The Hanger Trick
Oprah Winfrey taught us this one. Do you feel like you have too many clothes? Or not enough space for new ones?
Hang all your clothes in your wardrobe with the hangers facing the same direction, everytime you wear an item of clothing and place it back in the wardrobe, face the hanger the other way. After six months or so, look in your wardrobe and determine the pieces of clothing you turned the hanger for once or twice or not at all. These are the clothes you don’t need anymore as they are serving no purpose to you and so you can give them to charity or sell them online.
So it is a common phrase that 20% of the clothes we own, we wear 80% of the time. The same goes for our belongings such as CDs, DVDs and Books. Make it your mission to recycle, donate or sell the other 80% of belongings you are not using.
Keep On Top
It is just as important to keep on top of the clutter as it is important to clear it in the first place. Once you have accomplished a completely clutter free home, allow yourself to feel proud and put your feet up. However, make sure you are organised so that your home doesn’t become overly cluttered again.
What Not To Do When Decluttering Your Home
(Don’t) Half Declutter
If you have made a start with decluttering an area in your home, make sure you complete that task. If you have organised a box with items to go to charity or to the bins, don’t leave it there to cause more clutter and mess, take it to your car and arrange for it to be dropped off or taken to the charity shop so that it is out of the way for good.
(Don’t) Compare To Vogue
If you look for an ideal storage and decor ideas, most of them are only suitable for a wealthy city-living human. Design magazines are not reality, they show their best and you shouldn’t compare your house or wardrobe to their multi million display homes. Declutter to the best of your ability and stop when you feel satisfied with how it looks. Ultimately, perfection is not the goal, functionality and space for a living, working human being is the goal.
(Don’t) Go Crazy on Storage
Buying storage boxes, pieces and supplies before you have decluttered doesn’t make any sense. You would not buy furniture for a house you hadn’t bought or seen yet or a footstool for a living room you did not have. This is the same as you do not know how much storage you will need after items and belongings have been categorised into trash, keep and store. So declutter your home first, buy second.
Ultimately, decluttering your home can provide you with the space and clarity you need at home. Be brave and bite the bullet, starting somewhere is better than not starting at all!