A lot of us end up owning a lot of stuff, and our homes that we’ve worked so hard to make comfortable can become overrun with clutter. If you’re snowed under by too many clothes you don’t wear, books you don’t read or ornaments that you don’t like anymore, then a good declutter can make your home feel fresh again. Here are some tips to make the decluttering go a little easier.
Image – free for commercial use
Do make the most of your storage space. It’s much easier to find somewhere to put things away when you have somewhere to put them. Hard-working storage can help. Look for furniture that does double duty, like an ottoman with storage inside. You get an extra seat in the living room, and some storage space for things like spare bedding and extra blankets. Add open shelving to show off your favourite piece while still keeping them out of the way. If your home doesn’t have a lot of storage space, consider using self storage for items you need, but don’t use all the time, like suitcases, spare electric heaters and out of season clothes.
Don’t try and tackle the big declutter all at once. Like a spring clean, decluttering is not always much fun. Make the job more manageable by breaking it up into chunks. Find a system that works for you. You could work room by room, or try a system like the KonMari method where you tackle clutter in categories. Try setting timers and doing as much as you can before the alarm rings. Take a short break, and then go again.
Do make use of the Maybe box method. As you declutter, it’s inevitable that you will come across things that you aren’t sure if you want to keep. If you can’t decide, put the item in a ‘Maybe’ box. When you’ve finished the declutter, put the box somewhere out of sight. If you find you want or need something from the box, go and get it. If you do this, try not to look at anything else in the box or you’ll find excuses to retrieve that too. If, after a month, you haven’t missed the items in the box, you clearly don’t need them, so throw out the box without looking inside.
Don’t overdo it. If you’re in the zone with decluttering, it can be easy to get carried away and end up with an empty wardrobe and no DVDs left. No matter how refreshing you’re finding the clear-out, try to think sensibly about each item. Remember too that you are allowed to keep things that you don’t need. If something has sentimental value or it just makes you happy, then you are allowed to keep it, even if it isn’t especially useful.
A good clear out can be a great way to give your home a refresh and help you see and enjoy the things you have, without being distracted by a sea of clutter taking up all the space.