Whether you’re downsizing, looking to move, or just want to regain space in your home, decluttering is one of those jobs that feels good once it’s done, but overwhelming to think about. Most of us avoid it at every opportunity, and continue to stash everything away in cupboards. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
The process can be long and boring, but the benefits can be huge. You could find yourself with so much room in the house, you don’t know what to do with it all!
Whatever the reason you’re decluttering, we’re sharing tips to help you get started – and finished – with no time.
Tackle one small area at a time
Evidence suggests that decluttering is actually good for your mental health. It can leave you feeling less stressed and more refreshed. Plus, the physical activity of tidying the house will certainly get you a good night’s sleep.
But even with all the good it could provide, trying to declutter large areas can quickly lead to you feeling overwhelmed and more stressed than when you started.
As such, our first tip is to work on small areas and do one area at a time.
If you’ve lived in the same house for years, you’ll be surprised to see how much unnecessary stuff you’ve accumulated over time: old magazines, hobbies you never followed through with, out-of-date paint, etc. By tackling small areas, you will be able to slowly but surely make a good dent in the task and eventually see massive progress.
So, start with the easiest rooms that will require the least decluttering, such as bathrooms and en-suites. Then move onto bigger rooms and segment the space into different areas to tackle one by one.
Doing it all in small steps also helps with managing the overall task, as you’ll be able to complete a small area, go do other things, and come back to the next area another day. If you try to take on too much at once, you’ll be living amongst piles of belongings with no real space to get around day to day.
Keep, donate, recycle, throw
Creating a pile system to organize your belongings can really help you pick up the speed. By forming specific piles for items to keep, donate, recycle and throw away, you can quickly get through the clutter and move the piles to where they need to be.
It’s always recommended that you donate or sell unused items, as they could really help someone in need. Even if you think something isn’t valuable to you, it could be just what someone else is looking for.
You could even book in a yard sale to see what pocket money you can earn from your old items because everyone likes to earn a little extra cash.
If things definitely look like they’ve had their best days, it might just be worth seeing if you can recycle it. If not, it can be thrown out.
Having a keep pile, rather than breaking off to find a specific place for each item, will help keep up the momentum and stop you from getting distracted with other areas of the house. Then, when you’ve got rid of everything else, you’ll have more space available to find a neat and tidy area for everything you’ve decided to keep.
Take advantage of storage units
If you’re decluttering for a big move or for downsizing, you could totally take advantage of local storage units. Check out sites like https://www.storagearea.com, as they have a wide number of units available across the country, so you’ll always have somewhere safe and secure to store furniture or packed boxes while you’re tackling the rest of the house. You might even be able to store away all the items you’re looking to donate or sell, so you can focus on the task at hand before arranging collection.
Allow yourself a junk space
None of us are perfect, and not everything will have a specific place in the house. Don’t put massive pressure on yourself to find a place for everything you own, and allow yourself a junk drawer (or cupboard). Everyone has that kitchen drawer that’s filled with random plugs, wires, and screws, and that’s totally fine. You might find that in a few weeks’ time that you’ll have thought of a different place to store those things.
Take your time
Take your decluttering process slow, and really think about what you need. Keep the process simple and organized, and you’ll find yourself with a whole house of space you never knew you had. If you get home from work and can’t bear to think about decluttering and tidying the house, have a night off! Decluttering is stressful, and without the physical or mental capacity to do it, you’ll definitely end up keeping things you don’t need or getting rid of things you do! Have the night off, get refreshed, and tackle the job tomorrow.
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