As we start looking forward to revitalising our mindsets and starting afresh for the New Year, we can often feel held back and demotivated by our surroundings. The reason for this? Clutter. A cluttered home space can have a detrimental effect on your mood and psychology, and more often than not, re-organising your residence can give you that boost to kickstart those healthy, mindful habits in the coming year.
There’s a reason minimalists shout from the rooftops about their lack of stuff and void of chaos – simply because it works! Giving your home a declutter can bring you a sense of peace and freedom, alleviating some of the pressures life brings. We’ve gathered together our absolute favourite tips and tricks, to help you start your journey to a clutter-free home.
Be strict with yourself
Holding on to years of junk with no purpose can cause the number of useless items in your home to quickly pile up. Clothes you keep hold of to ‘eventually’ wear, food ingredients for that recipe you saved for later, Birthday presents you won’t use but feel guilty throwing out – the list goes on.
To successfully organise and declutter your space you need to first alter your mindset regarding your home belongings. One of our favourite mottos to live by is: ‘if you haven’t used it in the last year, get rid of it’. It’s as simple as that. If you want to go to extremes, you could even cut that time in half. The majority of homeowners cling to items in hopes that they’ll eventually reap the benefits from them. But the truth is, these items could be causing you more stress than joy.
Before the big declutter, give yourself a little pep talk. Be firm with yourself. If those jeans haven’t seen the light of day in a prolonged time, maybe someone else can enjoy them more often than you have. If that linguine has been lingering in your cupboards for long enough, maybe it’d be better off donated to a food bank.
It can be tough when Birthdays and Christmas arise. But, instead of guilt-hoarding gifts, pass them on to someone who won’t waste them – you’ll feel better for it.
Would you invest in it now?
One tip to push you into making a decision is to ask yourself: ‘Would I buy this now?’ If the answer is no, then why hold onto it?
Questioning your current tastes can really give you a kick up the rear to remove excess items that you’ve been clinging to for the past decade. These are the items you may see every day and have become accustomed to, but you wouldn’t miss them if they were gone tomorrow.
For extra leverage, why not reward yourself by hiring a professional cleaner once the job is complete? Search online to find a cleaner and keep them on speed dial for when the time comes.
Make some money
If giving things away sounds daunting and anticlimactic, maybe making a profit will get you riled up. Some of the items in your home may be worth a pretty penny, so why not cash in and clear your head at the same time?
Try your hand at some easy-selling websites, such as Vinted, Depop, Gumtree, eBay, Preloved and Facebook Marketplace. Of course, this would require you to hold onto some items until they’re sold, however, once your bank account sees the benefit it may all be worth it!
Do it a little at a time
One of the main reasons for procrastination is the overwhelming fear of the job as a whole. Tackling a humongous task in one fell swoop can sometimes be a recipe for disaster, as our brains try to deal with the immense stress and exhaustion of sorting through years of hoarding habits.
Remember, as much as you want to get the job done, you don’t have to do it all today. Set aside some time to declutter your space bit by bit. Take breaks, get out and enjoy yourself, and if your brain is fighting you, stop.
There’s no point in making life miserable in the process of life betterment.
Don’t leave bags lying around
A home full of hoarded items is one stress, but a home full of black bin bags and full-to-the-brim cardboard boxes is on another level. Once you’ve bagged up your items to shift, put them somewhere out of sight. And by out of sight, we mean your car.
Putting things in your car ready to go to the tip, donation centre or food bank will give you that extra push to go out and get the job done when you have a spare second. Letting bags and boxes pile up in your home can become a real hindrance, which can further add to life’s mental stressors. It can also make you lose motivation to continue with your home refresh, as you won’t be able to see the final results through the unsightly mounds.
We recommend you search for some local drop-offs in the planning stages of your big clean. This will further motivate you to complete the task at hand.
Don’t buy storage – yet
You may be bursting to skip to the organisational stage of your home decluttering, but buying storage before you start can be a huge no-no. The best method is to be as brutal as possible during the sort-through stage, and then assess how much storage is required afterwards.
Pre-buying storage can prompt you to keep more items than you planned, as you may become frivolous with the amount of space in your storage units. Get rid of as much as you can first, and then introduce your storage methods. You’ll thank us later.
Use the colourful tape method
This one is more of a long-term method, but it can be used yearly or more to assess the level of unnecessary clutter in your abode.
Stick a small square of washi or masking tape to the underside of each item in a room you’d like to declutter. After using an item, peel off the tape. Once the desired amount of time has gone by, you’ll be able to assess exactly which items in your home are necessary, and which are needless clutter.
Get the family on board
Don’t try and do it all yourself. Get your partner and your kids involved too, that way they can’t complain you have thrown away their stuff and your house isn’t over run with every toy they have every owned. If you are n’t sure where to start then follow these top tips on helping children declutter their rooms and you will be living in a clutter free home in no time.