Whether you’re very neat but have let paperwork and toiletries build up or you’re a hoarder with several cupboards (and units, and floors) teeming with items, now is the time to tackle that clutter. Take a look at our ten top tips to help you declutter and reorganise your home ahead of summer.
1. Make a list
Lots of people find a list helpful in decluttering and organising the home. Try making a list of every room in the house that needs decluttering, and list the parts of the room that need looking at. For instance: your bedroom, bedside table, wardrobe, and dresser; your hallway, coat rack, bureau.
2. Take it one area at a time
With your list in hand, approach a specific area of the house and start your decluttering journey there. This could be as simple as a bookshelf or your kitchen table. It doesn’t matter – all that matters is that you start the process of organisation and tidying without overwhelming yourself. Take things one area at a time and you’ll soon see results.
3. Set aside time to declutter every day
The idea of decluttering in one fell swoop can seem demoralising, so take on the task of decluttering for a specific amount of time each day. Try decluttering for 5 minutes every day at 2pm, for instance, or for 30 minutes when you wake up.
4. Trash or Donate?
Remember that one person’s trash is another man’s treasure, and something you no longer use could come in very handy to somebody else. When you’re decluttering, get a bin bag specifically for ‘trash’ items, and a box or bag for items you think someone else might want.
5. Give your clutter away
When you have a full bag or box of items that you know you can give away, think about where to send them. Old clothes can go to local charity shops, but other possessions could be better placed elsewhere. Family members might like to take some of your more sentimental items, and you could invite them over to see if they would like anything, or make a special gift of an item to them. Similarly, you may have some hidden gems lying about in your ‘donate’ box that would actually bring you in some money if you sold them online.
You will have to wait to finalise this process until life resumes as normal but in the meantime, you can bag up and label these items accordingly.
6. Create a ‘maybe’ box
Some items you will immediately know that you want to keep or discard, while others might be harder to know what to do with. Try putting anything you aren’t sure about in a box, and revisiting it after a few weeks. Do you really want what’s inside? If not, give it away.
7. Choose an item every day
Whether you’re spending 5 minutes or 30 minutes decluttering every day, it can be a good idea to set yourself a target of getting rid of at least 1 item every day. You’ll have the feeling of satisfaction at knowing you have reduced your clutter.
8. Make a filing system
Not all clutter is going to be trashed or given away, and you might find that some items are just in the wrong place or in a mess. Take a trip to a stationary shop and get some cardboard wallets to help you file paperwork, a shredder for old bills, small boxes to store sentimental objects, and chests or bright units to store toys, scarves or other items that tend to litter the floor.
9. Tackle your wardrobe
For lots of us the wardrobe and clothes drawers are the biggest hurdle to decluttering. Take a look at your clothes and ask yourself:
- Do I love it?
- Do I wear it?
- Is it comfortable and well fitted?
- Do I like the way it makes me look and feel?
If the answer is no to any of these questions, then it’s probably time to donate the item of clothing in question.
10. Stay on top of things
There’s nothing worse than decluttering an area only to find it quickly fill up with papers and junk again. Stay on top of things by filing or shredding paperwork as soon as it comes in, tidying clothes at the end of each day, putting away toiletries after your shower in the morning, and cutting down on the amount of unneeded items you buy.
Do you have any tips for people who want to declutter their home?