A lifetime of clutter can be overwhelming. As our homes get smaller and our lives become even more busier, clutter can creep in without you noticing.
Furniture, excess clothing, objects you’ve collected over time and books that are gathering dust. Whatever the clutter is, it can weigh you down, effecting how you live and feel about your home. It can also compromise the sale of your property and make moving even more difficult, particularly if you’re downsizing.
Image source: Studio McGee
If you’re feeling cramped in your own space, tripping over grandchildren’s toys and have no more room in your cupboards it’s time for a good clean out. It’s one thing to do a mass overhaul of your home donating and throwing away stuff that’s no longer of use, but keeping it in an organised state long term is another challenge.
Here, we provide you with a guide to help you declutter your interior and keeping it organised.
How to start decluttering your home
Just the thought of decluttering can be stressful. How do you throw away sentimental items you’ve had with you for years? What if you regret donating something later? How do you convince your partner to tackle that overflowing garage?
The best way to start decluttering is to ease into it, chipping away at smaller jobs. First, set up some tubs for items you want to keep, donate and throw away. If you’re holding onto things for family members, allocate a tub for the stuff they need to collect.
Choose one room to start with. We suggest choosing a smaller space like a bathroom, pantry or guest bedroom rather than diving into the most cluttered area of your home. This means you’ll experience progress at a faster rate and will be more encouraged to continue your decluttering mission.
Depending on the state of your clutter, you may want to allocate a time to sort through your chosen area. Start with a timer set for 30 minutes and see how much you can get done in that time. Then have a coffee break before resuming. As you become more efficient at decluttering, increase the time.
It might take a while but to declutter properly, you need to go through each item, one by one. Consider whether you really need and have the space for the item. If it’s sentimental, take a photo of it or ask your family if they would like it. If you’re unsure, place it in a tub for you to go back to once you’ve decluttered the rest of your room, but make sure you’ve decided before you move onto another space.
Here’s some tips to make decluttering easier:
Urban Rhythm's Encore sofa range with the Lotus coffee table and console table perfect for storage of clutter
- Donate as much as possible to reduce your waste and help others in need.
- Repair the items you can rather than purchasing a new one.
- Find a home for everything – even the tea and coffee that sits on your kitchen bench.
- Invest in furniture that can double as storage like a coffee table with drawers or a bed with storage underneath.
- Host a fun night with friends to swap clothes that you no longer wear or fit into.
- Pack a suitcase of unrequired seasonal clothing to store in your wardrobe and make space for the clothing you currently wear.
- Go paperless, opting for statements to be emailed to you rather than landing in a big pile on your kitchen bench.
- Consider storage like Boxly if you’re short on space but have too many sentimental possessions you simply can’t bare getting rid of.
- If you are overwhelmed, engage a services such as Bless this Mess and Home Sorted to help get your home in shape.
Keeping your home clutter free
It’s one thing to declutter your home, but how do you keep it clutter free? It makes it even more challenging if your partner is prone to collecting ‘stuff’ or your grandchildren regularly visit leaving a trail of destruction!
The key to keeping on top of the clutter is to get into the habit of doing small tasks, daily. Just 10-15 minutes a day can save you a whole lot of stress and time, and make your home much more pleasant to live in.
Source: Corben Architects
Here are our tips to keep your home organised and presentable now that you’re clutter free.
Put it away as you use it
Since you’ve found a home for all your possessions, put things a way as you use them. Finished with the coffee? Return it back to its allocated spot in your cupboard. Cooked that delicious meal? Put your recipe book back on the shelf.
Make a list
Make a list of the chores you need to do each week and create a daily routine. This will prevent you from having to spend half your Sunday devoted to washing, ironing and cleaning. Instead, you’ll be able to spend more time at your leisure.
Set up a permanent donate box
Throwing things out regularly will save you from becoming overwhelmed by clutter. In a spare wardrobe or garage set up a permanent donation box where you can easily place items you no longer need such as the magazine you just finished reading or shoes you no longer wear. When it’s nearly full, take it immediately down to your local op shop.
When you can clearly see where things are, life is much easier! For those items you don’t need handy, label small boxes that you can stack and store for later. In the pantry, label ingredients that are stored in jars or containers so you can easily find them when you need them. In the office, label the paper trays on your desk so you know you’re putting things away correctly, rather than just throwing it in wherever it fits.
Always today, not tomorrow
Get into the habit of cleaning up at the end of each day rather than leaving it to tomorrow. Most of us have been there where we’ve neglected to fold the washing before we go to bed or left dirty dishes in the sink to do in the morning. While it might help you get to bed 10 minutes earlier, the reality is that you’ll have more to do the next day and these small daily tasks add up. Break the bad habit of leaving things till tomorrow and enjoy waking up to an organised home in the morning.
If you start with a clean state, keeping up with the cutter is a whole lot less overwhelming. Adopting these daily organisation habits will help your interior resemble a magazine-worthy home in no time!
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