How many times have you said to yourself, I wonder how on earth I can declutter my home?
It’s not always easy to start as quite often, it’s got to the point where it feels overwhelming. I get it.
However, if your wish to declutter your home has now reached a crescendo, then it’s time to get stuck in. The question is, how do you start?
First off, I think it’s important to set a time and day to start and stick to it, put it into the diary and then it’s a firm commitment. I suggest the family are out of the way (unless they are keen to help in a positive manner) and certainly put the family pet out of harm’s way. Animals are great but they can interfere in your progress!
You need to get yourself equipped. I always have bin liners, bags for charity, tape, a black marker pen and labels. I also like to have a large shopping bag with me, this is for taking ‘things’ that are in one room, but that need to be in another. I am a big fan of a place for everything and everything in its place.
So let’s get stuck in.
I suggest room by room and/or category by category, it depends on which is the easiest option. For instance, if you have tonnes of books, it’s hard to gather them all in one room and then work through them. So, if that seems like a task too far, just break it down by dealing with what you have in one room before you move to another. In decluttering there is one golden rule, put everything together so you can then work through.
If you struggle to let go, this part is going to be harder to manage but what you need to do is to focus on what is needed. That means picking up each item, thinking about it for a moment and then making a quick decision. There is no point hanging on to things that are surplus to requirements, that includes children’s toys, books, nick-nacks, and paperwork that is out of date.
As I work through a room, I decide which corner I am going to work from and stick to that. Every item is removed from every cupboard, drawer and then I create piles of that ‘item’ around the room, I then work through each pile. As I keep something I put it to one side, whilst working through the rest of the stuff.
At the end of the session, look around. What you have left is what you are keeping. Now it’s time to decide where you relocate what you have left. It may well be that some of the items don’t really belong in that room, so it’s a case of putting into the bag and shipping it out of the room. It might well be that you need some soft baskets to put items and to dress the room in a nicer way.
I come across families where children’s toys are spread across the entire house. From a boundary point of view this can create a chaotic home. It’s always best, if you can, to keep children’s toys in their bedroom or in the playroom. Anywhere else is entering adult territory. We all need our calm place. This will help your children later in life too.
If you find yourself with a tonne of books, I think it’s important to try and change your mind set about books. Books are amazing, incredible to read and an important tool for our mental health. Therefore, whenever I read a fictional book, I love to read it but then cannot wait to share with someone else. And that is how I declutter my books. I have even left a book with a note on a bench, asking the person to enjoy it as much as I did. I do, however, keep non-fiction as I will often to refer to these over and over.
Clothing is another area where we can get stuck. I used to be a shopaholic when it comes to clothes but nowadays, I survive with a lot less. The thing is, we don’t wear most of what we have and once we realise that the whole process of letting go becomes so much easier. Every item in my wardrobe is loved. It suits me, the colours suit me, it fits me, it’s worn well, and I feel fantastic when I am out and about. I literally skip down the street, such is the love I have for my clothes.
Decluttering your home is something that is essential for good mental health, you owe it to yourself. And as I said to a friend the other day, I will never look back and say I wish I had bought some more stuff. More likely, I will wonder why I didn’t have more experiences and worry less.