I don’t know what it is about January, but the fresh start to the year seems to make me want to get rid of all the clutter and start anew. A couple of weeks ago I spoke about how to feel more productive this month, and one of the suggestions was to declutter.
Decluttering your home is something which has grown in popularity over the past few years, with some adopting the KonMari approach.
I am not clued up on this method, and I don’t have the time or energy to adapt to a brand new lifestyle, but I wanted to share a few tips on how you can start to shed the clutter in your house quickly and easily.
Want vs Need
For each item you own, consider whether you actually need it, or if you just want it. That’s not to say you can’t keep the items you simply want, but hopefully it will make you a little more mindful of how much of the stuff you actually couldn’t be without (probably not a lot), and how much stuff is simply excess.
There will also, most likely, be things you come across which you neither want or need, and those items have absolutely no benefit being in your house – get rid of them immediately and kickstart your decluttering!
No Time Like the Present
It can be tempting to put things off. If you start decluttering and then delay taking the items to charity or the tip, you’ll end up with them causing more clutter and, if you have young kids like me, they will probably end up finding a new found love for items they hadn’t used in years, and will forbid you from throwing them away! Once you start a job, make sure you finish it, even if it means a trip outside.
Tackle One Room at a Time
Sometimes, if you have quite a large house, it can be a rather daunting task to tackle everything in one go. Why not make it your goal to declutter one room a day, or a week? Before you know it you’ll have finished and your whole house will be less cluttered!
If you are struggling, have an incentive for finishing each room – a glass of wine, a chocolate bar or even a night out. Just don’t celebrate with another material purchase – totally counterproductive!
Look through a Stranger’s Eyes
If you are still struggling to part from some of the things cluttering your home, why not try and look at your house through somebody else’s eyes?
It can be hard to see things objectively when you have grown accustomed to living amongst lots of possessions. Try walking around your house as if for the first time. You may be surprised what you notice.
I have piles of random things in my living area currently, which have been there so long, they have become part of the furniture, but my mum recently commented on how untidy it looked, and she’s right. We also have boxes, left over from when we moved a year ago, housing Ed’s lego collection. They were left unpacked because we didn’t have a home for them, but they need to be moved as they are an eyesore.
Our bedroom has started to bear a startling resemblance to my uni accommodation, with piles of papers and random items to be photographed for the blog dotted around. Again, I have just become used to it, but it needs sorting!
Keep a List
Ok, so you’ll know by now that I love a good list. I write them for everything, and I have one master To Do list on my phone, which I check back on at all times.
You may be confused how a list might work for decluttering. Basically, this is more a preventive measure for the future than something to help with your current situation.
Once you have finished getting rid of all the things you don’t need in your life, make sure you don’t fall back into old habits by creating a list of all the things you actually need to purchase this year. I add things like gifts for loved ones, any furniture that might need to be replaced, a new bikini for our upcoming holidays etc.
I then plan to refer to this list every time I am out shopping, or browsing online sales on my laptop. By reminding yourself that you don’t actually need that dress, which although pretty is very similar to one hanging in your wardrobe, you will not only save yourself money, but also save your house from becoming cluttered once again with items you don’t actually need.
If this seems a little strict, why not adopt it to a certain extent but add in an allowance for one frivolous item a month? You’ll still cut back on excess items, without feeling like you’re depriving yourself too much.
Do you have any tips for decluttering? Make sure you share them in the comments!