Declutter the Declutter!
I’ve been on a little bit of a decluttering mission lately getting rid of things I don’t need on eBay, Facebook marketplace, to school fetes, charity shops, the recycling centre, the tip etc.
The clutter was affecting my ability to work and enjoy the home and was affecting my mental state too. It felt like my brain was cluttered!!
There are so many benefits to decluttering, not least saving money, as you are clear on what you have and what you still need.
Following the lockdown and the increased amount of time that we all spent at home, there are many articles and ideas about decluttering floating around. These can sometimes be overwhelming in themselves!
During the process that I went through, I listened to a few podcasts for inspiration, and I thought I would share some of the tips that I found helpful in case they help you too!
So here you go, I’ve decluttered the info on decluttering for you and here are my top 5 tips:
- A place for everything and everything in its place
This may seem like an obvious one but unless everything that you own has a home then how can the place that you live ever feel clutter free?
So, is it time to find a place for those spare bags for shopping, the copper coins that are scattered over the house, the wrapping paper, the sun cream, the face masks, the spare pens? It helps to make these places in the most logical position i.e., spare bin bags near the bin, pens near where you write, Sellotape near the wrapping paper, spare shopping bags in the boot etc.
Having a place for all the little pieces that don’t have an obvious home helps too. Perhaps it’s called the odds and ends drawer or the bits and bobs tin?
If you have kids who have lots of non-descript small toys that they have collected from parties and fetes etc. then have a place for those too! A basket, box or drawer will do.
Segregating your drawers, wardrobes, shelves and cupboards means that rather than having a whole messy mass of different items you can clearly see what you’ve got. It looks neater and inspires you to put items back in the right place.
The segregators don’t have to be expensive. Tins, baskets and boxes work well. The strong white boxes that come with new phones and electronic devices can be perfect for segregating drawers.
So, for example in your underwear drawer, you could have different compartments for trainer socks, normal socks, pants, tight and bras.
In your wardrobe instead of a mass at the bottom of items that don’t need hanging like hoodies and leggings, you could have a big box for each.
In your ‘odds and end’ cupboard or drawer you could have tins and boxes with labels on.
Baskets work well in pantries or large food cupboards.
3. Have a recycling station and a donation station in your home
Having a clear place where unwanted clothes go rather than having them in the bottom of your wardrobe for a while, then on the sofa, then next to the door, then in the boot of the car makes things much simpler and less cluttered. It also ensures that your brain finds it easier to donate items to charity as it immediately knows where it is going to go and there are no extra decisions to be made.
It can also be helpful to have a box where all the ‘not so easy to recycle but still possible’ items go. Things like batteries, lightbulbs, toothbrushes, crisp packets etc.
Put these boxes next to each other and let everyone in your household know where they can be found. Then once a month or so you can intentionally make a journey to empty them.
You may also find it helpful to have somewhere by the door for ‘things to give back to other people’!
4. Intentional Paperwork Piles
Who doesn’t have bits of paperwork scattered over their home? They either need recycling, filing or dealing with and they find themselves in all kinds of places.
Simplify things and have ONE PLACE for all this paperwork, no matter what it is, before it makes its onward journey!
You can then dedicate a small amount of time each week to go through the tray, box or shelf.\
5. Take a ‘touch-it-once’ approach
Don’t waste time by not returning things to their home straight away, you will only have to do it again later!
- Dirty dishes – straight into hot soapy water or into the dishwasher.
- Shoes straight to the shoe rack.
- Coats hung up straightaway not put on the back of a chair and then hung up later.
Don’t double up on your work, double up on your spare time!
The same can go for emails and paperwork. Decide not to open emails or letters unless you have the time to deal with what’s inside.
I hope that these ideas help you if you are on a decluttering journey right now, or inspire you to get started.
Perhaps you are a great declutterer and have some top tips that you can share with us?
As part of the Healthy, Whole & Free Course you have access to our members-only ‘Success Sessions’ where we knuckle down for an hour each week and get stuff like decluttering done! Come and join us!