Decluttering your home is one of the best, not to mention most affordable, ways to completely transform your home and have it feeling fresh and new, but where do you start? We can’t all be decluttering queen Marie Kondo that’s for sure, but what we can all do is take inspiration for her and many other professional declutterers.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of some of the most popular decluttering tips used by the experts to keep their homes clean and as clutter-free as possible…
If you want to make the process of decluttering your home as simple as possible, it makes sense to start at the beginning and make sure that you know exactly what you have in your home. Making an inventory of everything from clothes and shoes to knick-knacks and trinkets will enable you to take stock of your stuff so that you can get to grips with working out what you own, what you want to keep and what you can do away with.
Once you have created a written inventory of everything you own, the next step is to separate those items into several lists. Ideally, you should have a list of stuff you want to keep in the home, a list of stuff you want to keep, a list of stuff you want to donate and a list of stuff you need to throw away. If there are some items that you can’t decide whether you want to hang onto or not, create an extra list of stuff to put into self storage or keep in the shed or whatever. That way, you can get it out of the house for a while to see if you miss it.
After, a week, month or whatever time period you decide, if you haven’t missed it, you can then go ahead and donate or junk it depending on its condition.
Of course, making a list of your clutter is a lot easier said than done. That’s what a lot of experts recommend that you start off by sorting your clutter by type. If you want to do this instead of taking inventory of every single type of object you own in every room all at once, you can create inventories by category and declutter one set of things – say clothing – before moving on to another – linen for example. This makes the task of decluttering your home a lot less overwhelming. It also means you can pick up and drop the task as and when you have the time to do so.
If the task seems too overwhelming and you’re struggling to get started, one thing that you could do is start with the bigger, bulkier items in your home, such as furniture. It’s a lot easier to work out whether furniture is necessary or if it’s just taking up space, and because there’ll b fewer pieces to deal with, it will feel like less of a challenge to get started. Not only that but removing bulky furniture will make the most immediate impact on your space.
A lot of people give up on decluttering their home because it takes too much time and effort and they quite simply get fed up with the process. It doesn’t have to be like that – you can quite easily do a little bit each day, crossing items off your inventory as you go, so that it takes almost no effort at all. But, after a month, you will begin to notice how much more open, clean and clear your home looks. Tackling the whole house over the course of a weekend is fine, but it is absolutely not necessary and you can declutter the place over a longer period if that suits you better.
A lot of people struggle to declutter their space because they have a lot of sentimental items that, although not necessarily practical or even to their taste, are meaningful for the memories they conjure. If you’re one of them, do what the experts suggest and take digital photographs or scan those items so that you can still look at them without them taking up any space at all. You could even invest in a discrete digital photo frame so that they can actually be displayed in your home if you like. Your memories won’t disappear just because you no longer have the physical object on display.
If clothes are your Achilles heel and you can’t bear to throw anything in your wardrobe away, use this neat little trick: ensure that the coathangers in your wardrobe are all facing the same way. Then, when you wear and wash a particular garment, hang it back up with the coathanger facing in the opposite direction. After a month, any garment who’s coathanger is still in the original position can be discarded because you obviously never wear it anyway! Obviously, things like suits and evening dresses that you only wear occasionally can be exempt, but everything else is fair game!
Although decluttering is mostly about getting rid of stuff, most of us are always going to have a fair few things that we really don’t want to give up and that’s just fine. The tricks is to find less cluttered ways of storing them and that’s where hidden storage solutions like storage beds and ottomans come in. They are functional and they keep your clutter well hidden, so make use of them when you want to clear space, but you don’t want to go completely minimalist.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t declutter once then stop buying stuff completely, which means, if you want to keep your home looking it’s best, you need to schedule regular decluttering sessions every three months, just to keep on top of it.
Decluttering is much easier than you think. It’s also a good way to keep your home looking great, so what are you waiting for?