There are few feelings quite like the one you get from a clean home. Decluttering your home is linked to happiness and reduced stress. Call it self-care, call it being a responsible adult, whatever the name for it is – you’re less overwhelmed if the first thing you see when you walk through your door is a clean space.
While it’s daunting to know where to begin, especially if it’s been some time since you last cleaned, there are some tips you can follow that should make the process significantly easier. You’re likely to enjoy it as well.
So put on your favourite playlist, grab those gloves and look at these secrets for how to declutter your home.
You might wonder how to declutter your home. Well, don’t begin by throwing everything in sight away. As tempting as it may be to “get it over with”, the best way to clean is to take your time and do it right.
This will ensure that you don’t need to clean as often and that you did a proper job that was worth the time spent.
Think of every area in your home and what your goals might be. It might seem a bit strange, but even write down what you want from each space in your home. Is it about organising or do you hope to rethink your living area? Think of all the materials you’ll need, the time it will take and where you plan on starting and ending.
Once you have a plan, you can start with the action.
Now you can sort through your things. Take it area by area. Perhaps tackle the most cluttered spaces first, so the workload gets easier as you get more tired.
What you’ll want to do is see what you want to keep, throw away or donate. Use different labelled containers or bags to keep everything in its place. Remember to take small steps if need be, it’s better to chip away thoroughly then throw it all away out of fatigue.
In order to determine what you really need, think of how often you use it. Is it something that is actually useful and enjoyable, or do you have an attachment to it for different reasons? Identifying the emotional connection to unique items can help determine which container it goes in.
Part of decluttering is getting rid of things that fill up your space too much, so your lightest container should be the one labelled ‘keep’.
Once you’ve organised everything into three nice piles, work on organising the things you decided to keep. Obviously, you can recycle or toss the rubbish and you can keep the donation containers in your car so you’ll remember to take care of that next time you run errands.
Now that you’ve decided what is absolutely essential to you, for whatever reasons you may have, it’s time to organise it properly. This means more organisational tools like bins, labels, and good shelving or storage space, so you know exactly where everything is. It’s difficult to overstate how crucial everything having its place is.
For example: if you have an office area where you toss all your writing utensils in a cup and call it a day, you might want to consider a drawer organiser to keep all your different office supplies separate. There’s so many ways to keep your items organised.
You can apply these tips for the office outside your home as well, following the same idea with three containers. One for keeping, one for throwing away and one for donating. Once you realise how simple it is to declutter, you’ll build momentum and start cleaning as much as possible.
If you’re really stuck on an item (or two), then it completely fine to sleep on it. It might be something sentimental that doesn’t offer much use anymore, or it might be something useful that feels out of place. Regardless of what the circumstance is, leave that item on the side for now and decide after a good night’s sleep.
While you may have a handful of items you’re indecisive about, go ahead and move on to the next area to declutter. There’s no one that is expecting you to make all the decisions immediately, try not to get stuck on too many things because then you’ll have a hard time getting rid of anything.
Once you’ve finished, you should feel a great sense of relief and happiness! Imagine a before and after comparison, from cluttered and stressful to organised and peaceful. Now the tricky part is keeping it from getting too decluttered again.
Besides getting rid of unnecessary items, you should also be cleaning with actual cleaning products. The job is only halfway done if it’s organised but covered with dust and grime. Take five minutes every day to get rid of any evident messes, this will save you from having to spend a whole weekend catching up to any building clutter.
Also, be aware of any new purchases. Remember how good it feels to have a decluttered home and avoid the temptation of useless items that will bring that clutter back.