Let’s face it, whether it is piled high in the attic or pushing at the door in the downstairs cupboard, everyone has unnecessary clutter in their homes. The aim of this guide is you provide all the best tips and techniques to ensure that no matter the size of the mission, the decluttering process will be as simple and efficient as possible.
Why ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ Doesn’t Work
One doesn’t have to be a passionate advocate for the benefits of Feng Shui to acknowledge the fact that clutter in the home can impact how people feel. As Psychology Today explains, the effects mess can have on mental states are many, from making it harder to relax and unwind to creating feelings of guilt, embarrassment, and anxiety.
Clutter and mess not only have negative effects on the health of the occupants but also affect the health of the home. An excess of clutter can be a fire hazard, or simply the perfect place for dirt and grime to build up over time.
Taking the step of decluttering is often empowering, and although it can be a timely process, it promises some great rewards.
- Make a Plan
The first thing to do before touching any of the mess is to make a plan. Writing down a list of rooms that are cluttered and assessing how difficult it will be to clear them is a great place to start. If working room by room seems an overwhelming process, break things down further into specific areas of mess. Next, set achievable completion dates; make sure they are doable, otherwise, it can be easy to damage morale.
Why not write down your end goal and motivations, too? This can be a great motivator to have on hand.
- Establish a Mindset
Effective decluttering relies on having the right mindset; it is easy to attach emotions to objects, especially if they have been in the home for a while. This is why having a set list of questions is imperative.
‘What does this item do that nothing else does?’ is a good place to start. Beginning by considering the item in a purely practical way can help to ensure an emotional mindset doesn’t creep in. Consider what the item does and how often it is needed.
Next, consider whether there are any other items that perform the same function. This can mean choosing between a cheese grater that has three different grating sizes and another that just has one.
Now, it’s time to ask about the sentimental value. When it comes to kitchen items or old electronics, this question won’t be too hard; however, it can be an important one to ask for other items. It’s all about striking the right balance between being aware of the memories or feelings an object embodies and becoming too caught up with them.
- Establish a System and Stick to it!
After establishing an overall plan and goal, the next most important thing before the physical decluttering begins is to put a system in place. One of the most famous sorting solutions is called the ‘three-box method’ and is commonly used because it helps people to focus on one specific item at a time, making sure the scale of the project doesn’t become overwhelming.
The first step to the three-box method begins with finding three different boxes or storage contains and giving each one a label that reads either ‘Recycle,’ ‘Donate,’ or ‘Bin.’
What to Recycle?
Choosing what goes in this bin is pretty simple: first off is everything that would usually be recycled, such as glass and paper, as well as some more specialist items, such as electronics.
What to Donate?
Donating something can be a really wonderful option, especially with those items that won’t be used or worn again but seem wasteful to recycle. When deciding if an item can be donated, the main thing to pay attention to is its condition; an item doesn’t need to be new, but it should be cleanable and without defects. Most clothing items can be donated to local charities; for more specific items such as children’s toys or sporting goods, take a look at this list.
What to Throw Away?
Anything that can’t be recycled or donated should be thrown away. This can be a tricky process for many people, especially if the stuff is sitting in the way for weeks, waiting to be put in domestic bins. This is why a home garbage bin rental are often the perfect solution, as everything can go straight into a large bin right outside the home.
No matter how big or small, decluttering is often a hard process, but with a plan and system in place, the whole job will become a lot easier.