With the rise of lifestyle bloggers and cleaning inspirations such as Mrs Hinch and Marie Kondo, the pursuit of the perfect home is more prevalent than ever. Sometimes all you need is to declutter your home to see significant improvements in your living spaces. Here are our top ten tips to declutter your home.
1. Create a checklist
If your aim is to declutter your entire home and you don’t have a plan as to how you are going to tackle this task, you’re setting off on the wrong foot. By breaking down what it is you need to do and where you need to do it, you will have more direction with your cleaning. It will also give you a great sense of accomplishment by not only being able to see a tidier looking home, but also all the items on your to-do list that you have crossed off.
2. Make your own system
You’ve probably heard of many different systems that have been made for how to declutter your home, the most popular being the three box rule. This includes having three boxes or piles for items, and they are categorized by “keep”, “throw away” and “donate”. If this doesn’t necessarily work for you, why not mash up a few systems into something that does? Being able to have a system of decluttering that allows you to see progress and sort through your belongings systematically can help you fight cleaning fatigue.
3. What do you use?
Think realistically for this step. What do you actually use out of what you have? When was the last time you used certain items? If there are items you use infrequently but you don’t want to part with just yet, put them in storage until you need them again. For those items that you use regularly, put them in places that are easily accessible to get use but also to put back when you’re finished with it.
4. Sleep on it!
Chances are, there are items you are holding onto in your home for their sentimental value. And that is perfectly ok to do. However, there may come a time when you think about whether or not to either throw these items out or donate them to a charitable cause. When this happens, it is worth taking some time away from your decluttering to really think about this decision. You may find that the item is too valuable to you to get rid of just yet, or even the exact opposite. Giving yourself 24 hours to make these big decisions can lead to avoiding costly regrets.
5. Find homes for things
Everything in your home should have a place where it is stored regularly. This can be items such as glasses, keys, pens and such items that are often left lying around the home. Take some time to go around each room and collect these items. Once you have them all in one place, group like items together and find them a place where they will be put back. Anything that you do not have a use for or does not have a home, consider throwing them out or donating them. Keeping your surfaces clear of clutter will help you feel calmer in your home.
6. Make an initial dent
Decluttering your home can be very daunting and often people don’t know where to start with such tasks. Before you commit to tackling the beast that is sorting through all your possessions, try taking a walk around your home with a bin bag and throwing away all the obvious rubbish that you find. This could be things like old receipts that have already been digitised, empty wrappers or shampoo bottles. Reducing what you can see around you can make you feel like you’ve already made good progress by doing something relatively simple. From that, you are then more likely to continue decluttering as you’ve already felt some success.
7. Test what you really need
One tricky mindset to move past when decluttering your home is the ‘I might need this’ idea. This is where you hold onto things that you rarely, if ever, use for the simple fact that it might come in handy some point down the line. There is an easy way to get through this however- test how much you really need it. Find all the items around the home that you ‘might need in the future’ and put them in a box. Store this box somewhere easily accessible but not in your way. Set a predetermined amount of time, maybe a week, a month or even six months, keep those items in the box, and only take out the items you actually need, when you need them. Anything left in the box after that time frame can either be thrown away or donated, as you realistically won’t need it.
8. Store your paper properly
It’s easy to find yourself with loose pieces of paper floating around, from receipts to letters to bills. Ensuring that all important documents are organized and stored appropriately can significantly cut down on your clutter around the home. You could use a simple lever-arch folder or even a paper storage box to give those pesky papers a place to be kept.
9. Organise what you have
A simple mistake that many people make is actually buying storage solutions before organising the items they already have. This could lead to buying items that are too small for what they have and therefore an additional piece of storage is needed, or buying something that is too big which gives more room for purchasing unnecessary items to fill it. The way round this is to declutter and organise the items you do have first, find everything a home for it to stay in, and THEN buy appropriate storage solutions if absolutely necessary. This will save you money and unnecessary clutter in the future.
10. How self storage can help
Sometimes you just don’t have enough space to store everything you want to keep. That doesn’t mean you have to throw everything away that you don’t yet have a space for- this is where self storage can really help. Certain items will be stored for months at a time, like garden furniture or seasonal decorations, but you don’t want to have to buy new items like those every year. Being able to store such things in self storage units could end up saving you money through being able to keep your favourite Christmas tree or deck chairs for when you really need them, without taking up valuable space in your home.
If you plan to declutter your home in order to move, why not check out our answers to 10 frequently asked questions about moving home? Or contact us for more information and advice, our team is always happy to help.