It might not be spring quite yet, but if your cluttered home leaves you feeling anxious, fed up and overwhelmed then now’s the time to regain control. After the Christmas period many of our homes are more cluttered than ever before. All those new presents have to go somewhere, but the fact that we all have so many possessions these days means there’s very little room for it all.
Furniture supplier OKA recently reported that the average family home has 39 pairs of shoes, 90 DVDs, 139 toys, 212 CDs, 438 books and magazines. It also found that 75 percent of families had so many possessions in their garages that there was no room left for their cars. So, we’re certainly ready to declutter, but where do we start?
1. Use it or lose it
We hold onto possessions for many reasons, but sometimes it’s simply the fear that we might need an item again in the future that makes it so hard to let go. The truth is, if you haven’t used it in the last six months to a year, you’re not going to use it again. When deciding what has to go, simply ask yourself whether you would buy the item now. If the answer is no then it has to go.
2. Create a system
Like it or not, our lives are just a series of repeatable processes with the occasional extraordinary event in-between. You can simplify your life by making those repeatable processes as easy as possible to complete. For example, if you make a breakfast smoothie everyday using the same ingredients, make sure everything you need is stored neatly together in the same place. Likewise, if you do your beauty regimen in the bedroom mirror, put up a beauty shelf with all the products you need, organised by nails, hair and face, within arm’s reach.
In many cases, it’s the available space that dictates where things go, but we should think about how we live our lives, and then make space where we need it.
3. Go paperless
How often do you trudge off to that unsightly filing cabinet to get something you need? Probably not often, right? While we do need to keep all those important documents, it’s far easier, and kinder to the environment, to go paperless and store all of your important documents in the cloud where they’re secure, easy to access and don’t eat into your valuable living space.
4. Be selective with sentiment
There are lots of different reasons why people accumulate objects and struggle to let them go. We all have a few genuinely sentimental objects in our homes, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with treasuring them. However, when it comes to decluttering the home, it is all too easy to attach sentiment to every object you see simply as an excuse not to throw it away.
Sentiment is good – it’s important to enjoy items that evoke special memories, so honour this sentiment by creating memory boxes that contain the special items you would never throw away.
5. An ongoing process
Try as you might, after a couple of weeks of your ‘great declutter’ you’ll inevitably start accumulating more stuff. But as you go about your daily life, constantly evaluate the items that find their way into your home: Does that really belong there? Do I even really need it? This process of self-editing should help you keep the situation under control.
Do you have any top de-cluttering tips to share with our readers? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.