Have you ever thought about living a simple, uncluttered life with less ‘stuff’? You’re not alone. Many of us wish we had a more ordered household, and the benefits of owning fewer possessions are far reaching – there is less to clean, less to organise and often less stress. Decluttering your home can generate fresh energy, give you more time, and give you the mental and physical space to do more of the things you love (and that’s certainly not spring cleaning is it?)
But the mere thought of decluttering can make many feel anxious, overwhelmed and somewhat defeated and that’s before they even start! But it doesn’t have to be that way. The ‘cleansing’ journey doesn’t need to be as painful as some people make it out to be. Here are 5 tips to help you declutter your home.
Tip #1: Set Goals
Before you spring into action and start organising your home you need to have a plan. Writing down specific goals will help to reduce frustration, create less stress and ultimately make the whole process a whole lot quicker and easier.
Draw a map of all the rooms in the house and nominate in order of priority the ‘hot-spots’ you want to tackle.
Give each room a grade based on the severity of its clutter, which will help to prioritise your time.
Do one room or one area of a room at a time.
Plan when you’ll work on specific areas and allow plenty of time for those spaces that will take longer than a few hours.
Set some completion deadlines for each phase of your decluttering and make sure they’re achievable.
Tip #2: Create a Sorting System
Before you start to declutter your home, you’ll need a system to sort through the items you unearth. One of the most popular clean-up strategies is using the ‘Four Box Method’.
This method forces you to make decisions item by item so you don’t end up with an even bigger mess, and it means that every single item is considered individually and dealt with accordingly.
You simply prepare four big boxes or storage bins, label them as follows and note the instructions for each category:
Keep – Items you decide to keep should go back into their newly designated area/s after you’ve completed a room or space. Ideally, you’ll store them neatly in a container or drawer and label them if needed.
Trash – These items should be discarded as soon as you complete a space (to save you ‘rethinking things’ later!). Use recycling methods where possible.
Relocate – Any items you want to sell or give away should be stored outside the house – either in a garage or in the car boot ready for transportation to their new home.
Store – Empty anything that needs storing into appropriately sized containers, label them and store them neatly and out of sight!
Tip #3: Decide What You’ll Throw Out
One of the hardest parts of tackling home organisation is decided what you’ll throw away. Here are some tips on how to make that process a little easier:
If it doesn’t work and you’re not able to fix it, get rid of it.
Think about the value that items will add to your life in the future. Most items decrease in value over time, so make sure the ones you save are worth keeping.
If you’re still struggling to decide, ask yourself questions like, “If I was to buy this now, how much would it cost me?”
Think of the last time you used it. If it was 6 months ago or more, it’s probably worth ‘relocating’ or throwing away.
Get rid of things you don’t use 80% of the time. This tip works for lots of things from books, DVDs and toys to video games, computer parts and clothing.
Ask yourself if you love it. It may seem obvious, but we often keep things we’re actually not crazy about. If it’s a ‘No’ and you’ve not used it in more than 6 months, it’s time to bid it farewell!
Sleep on it – If you’re still thinking about something you put in the ‘Trash’ bin yesterday and you simply can’t live without it, it’s OK if you rescue it. Just don’t ‘rescue’ too many things!
Tip #4: Get Rid of the Clutter
OK, so you’ve made some tough decisions and it’s now time to actually get rid of the ‘stuff’ you no longer want or need. You’re one step closer to decluttering your home! But you still have a few decisions to make depending on whether you’ve decided to Relocate or Trash some of your items.
Relocate – If you think somebody would actually pay for it, consider selling it online, and if you’ve got a whole bunch of these items, consider holding a weekend garage sale – you’d be surprised what people will buy!
Relocate – The other option to consider is donating your goods to charities or ‘freecycling’. Either way what you consider ‘trash’ may become someone else’s ‘treasure’.
Trash – Make sure you recycle whatever items you can – glass, plastics and paper can go straight into your own recycling bin. If they’re too big, drop them off at your nearest recycling depot or wait for your next curbside clean up and watch them disappear before your very eyes!
Trash – If there is simply too much of it to deal with, consider hiring a mini-skip. It’s dropped at your door, you fill it, they pick it up. Easy.
Tip #5: Commit to Your Decluttering Strategy
You’ve made it this far, all you’ve got to do now is stick to your decluttering strategy. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Some people find it very difficult to get rid of clutter, especially things that may hold sentimental value. So remember we all have options and you shouldn’t feel guilty about keeping or getting rid of anything. But it’s certainly worth a try – there is often a beautiful world of freedom and freshness behind a lot of our clutter – how you remove it is up to you!
Ready to tackle decluttering your home? Our range of skip bins can help with everything from small jobs to large-scale clean-ups. Contact us today for a quote!
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