Are you feeling overwhelmed by clutter? You’re not alone if you are. Being surrounded by disorder can be a stressful experience and can affect your ability to focus. Clearing out the clutter will not only give you more physical space in your home or office, but it’ll be a load off your mind too. An extra plus is that you’ll create more time for yourself as you save all that time you currently spend looking for things! National Organising Week this year is November 5th – 11th, and what better time to give your home or office a good clear out in time for Christmas.
Decluttering can be a boring job, so how to keep at it? Here are a few tips:
Find your motivation
What will really get you going to sort out the piles – organise a party to give you a deadline? Take photos of your clutter and pin them up prominently? Find whatever gives you the motivation to keep at it.
Take before and after photos
You may feel like you’re not making much headway, but if you have a picture of how a room started, your progress will be more obvious.
Are you keeping things because they’re useful, or do you actually use them?
How many of us have a garage or loft full of items kept in case they come in handy some day? If you haven’t used it for 6 months to a year, you probably never will, so get rid of it! What are the chances that you’ll find it if you ever do need to use it anyway?
Ask yourself, do you really love it?
We don’t just keep functional items, and some things do have sentimental value. It’s hard, but sometimes you may have to make a decision to keep just one memento rather than the whole set.
If you’re unsure about whether you’ll need an item
Designate a box or cupboard, or a corner of the garage, somewhere out of the way where you won’t see it. Put any questionable items in there and forget about them for a few months. When you come back to your storage container, if you’ve not even thought about the items in it while they’ve been out of sight, they’re obviously not required. This technique can work well with outgrown children’s toys – if a few months go by without a call of ‘have you seen my…?’ you can safely give them away!
Keep 5 boxes with you while you declutter
Label them ‘put away’, ‘mend’ ‘donate’, ‘recycle’, ‘bin’. As you go through each room clearing surfaces, start by putting things in the appropriate container, then deal with each in turn.
Start with a few quick wins
Decluttering the contents of a cupboard is great but when you shut the door it looks the same as when you started. Begin with surfaces, because you’ll feel so much better when you look at the before and after pictures. There’s nothing worse than spending all day decluttering and the difference not being visible.
Get rid of clothes you never wear
One trick is to take everything off your wardrobe hanging rail and put all the hangers back on, but facing back to front. When you take anything out to wear, put it back the right way around. At the end of a year, you should have a good picture of what has actually been worn, which will make it easier to pick out and discard the unworn items.