One of the biggest obstacles to a comfortable and stress-free homelife is clutter. If every time you step through the front door you are greeted by piles of papers, toys strewn all over the floor and overflowing closets, the time has come to declutter. Not only will this help to free up more space in your house, it is also a very cathartic process and you will feel much better once the job is done. But it can also be a very intimidating thought if you have a lot of stuff to tackle. Well, this guide is here to give you a helping hand so you can take on the clutter and eventually overcome it!
Go Through Your Stuff Methodically
The best way to clear out clutter is to be very methodical in your approach. So, take on one space at a time. You may want to begin with just one closet. Get everything out of there so you can see what it looks like totally empty. Look at each item individually and ask yourself whether you have used it in the last year. And then ask yourself whether you are likely to use it at any point in the future. Your best way of making sure that the job is done well is to be fairly brutal in your approach. It is highly likely that there is a lot of stuff that you wouldn’t miss if you threw it away or donated it to charity but it can sometimes be difficult to decide this when it is lying out in front of you.
The 80/20 Rule
When it comes to decluttering a space, the 80/20 rule is a good one to follow. What this basically states is that you use only 20% of your things 80% of the time. Clothing is a good way to try out this rule to start off with. Again, identify the things that you have not worn for a year or more. People have a tendency to hold onto clothes that they may not even particularly like anymore. Practical clothing may be the exception, but is something has been sitting at the back of your closet for ages and ages, there is probably a reason for this.
The digital age should have helped to deal with stacks of papers as so much can be stored online these days. You can even easily take a picture of documents on your smartphone and save them this way. Cloud-based storage means that you can access them from wherever you are. Also, if you still have DVDs and CDs that you no longer use, there are plenty of music and movie streaming services which can save you a great deal of space.
Analyse Your Storage Options
Now is the time that you will want to take a closer look at your display cabinets, shelves, bookcases, toy chests and any other storage devices you have around your home. But you should make sure that you go through the decluttering process before buying more storage items or this will end up being counterproductive. Wall-mounted storage is a good idea as it helps to get things off the floors. A good rule of thumb when it comes to storage is to go upwards rather than outwards.
Little and Often
It can be overwhelming to attempt to do everything all in one go, so little and often is a good mantra to give yourself. You are not going to be able to do everything in one weekend, so it is not worth attempting this. Once you start getting into a habit, you will find that this becomes much easier over time and it is a satisfying feeling to clear out your house room by room.
Change Your Habits
Once you have gone through all the effort involved in decluttering, you don’t want to have to go through it again anytime soon. This means that you need to change your habits, so it is a good idea to clear things out on a more regular basis. Also, before you buy anything new, make sure you ask yourself whether or not it is something that you really need. Think about whether you already have something similar that can do the same job. Changing your shopping habits is something that can be very worthwhile.
These six tips will play a major role in helping you to take on the clutter that has accumulated in your home and create a home environment that is much more comfortable.