Decluttering is a very attractive idea isn’t it? Tidy rooms, organised cupboards, a place for everything and everything in its place, friends and relatives impressed, and a more serene you.
But it can be quite daunting. Just looking at a bulging wardrobe (with lots more in the attic), and the 16 wooden spoons in seven different drawers is enough to put you off.
Sometimes you might not know where to start or how to do it.
Here are a few tips to get you going. And, when you do, you’ll feel so good you’ll find it hard to stop. Believe me; getting rid of clutter is good for the soul.
1. Work in bite-size pieces.
Don’t tackle the whole house or even a whole room in one hit. Pick a target area, let’s say your wardrobe. Then, spend five or 10 minutes a day pulling out stuff you haven’t worn for 12 months or more. For now, don’t decide what to do with it, simply put it in an empty box (or suitcase) and put that away.
At the end of the week, get the box or suitcase and two bin liners. Call them “bin” and “donate”. Separate all the clothes into one bag or the other. One bag (guess which?) goes in the bin and one goes in the boot of the car to be dropped off at the charity shop.
Bingo! A tidier wardrobe (room for new clothes?) and a warm feeling by doing some good in donating to charity (don’t forget to gift aid it!).
2. Sort your drawers out!
Go through your drawers one at a time. Take the drawer out and empty it onto the bed or a table. Now, make three piles:
- Stuff to keep that is in the right drawer.
- Stuff to keep that belongs elsewhere.
- Stuff to get rid of.
Clean the drawer out and put the stuff in the first pile back neatly and orderly. Deal with the other piles immediately!
3. Clear out your medicine cabinet.
If that takes more than two or three of your ten-minute workouts, there’s something wrong. Designate one spot for medicines and keep to it. Go through everything you have, checking for:
- outdated medicines;
- stuff you’ll never use again;
- dirty old bandages, and;
- stuff which has been there so long you can’t even remember what it’s for.
In the bin? No! Put them all in a box or bag and take them to your local pharmacy. They’ll gladly take them off you and dispose of them safely.
Feeling better already!
4. Schedule a decluttering weekend.
Too much to contemplate? Maybe. But by scheduling a decluttering weekend in advance, you can plan out what you need to do and rope in friends or family to help. The more the merrier!
Get bags and boxes ready and fill them with stuff you really don’t need. Then go through the boxes at your leisure, putting them into three piles just like your drawers. You might not get the entire house decluttered in one weekend, but you’ll get well on the way.
Now let’s stay ahead of the game. Papers, bills, letters, birthday cards, flyers and the like often make up a sizeable proportion of the clutter. Mainly, it’s because we put them in lots of different places.
So, let’s deal with that.
5. Create a spot for incoming mail.
Get a box and call it your in-box at home or at work. Never put papers anywhere but that spot. Mail? Put it in the inbox. Receipts? Put them in the inbox. Warranties, manuals, notices, flyers? In the inbox! This one little change can really transform your paperwork.
If you make decluttering a small part of ongoing activity, you’ll feel better about yourself and your home. And, as Mary Poppins said: “The task is not a bind.”
If you still can’t face decluttering, a great alternative is seeking advice and help from a professional.
Do it now in a nice, uncluttered way.