I have been really busy designing my new site lately which has meant long hours at the computer and my house clutter slowly rebuilding again! Yesterday I took a day off and tackled mine and my husband’s bedroom.
The best place I think to start with decluttering is the bedroom! The bedroom really is the most important space to keep clean and clutter free. It is supposed to be the space in which you relax and spend a large part of your life sleeping in. For the best night’s sleep make sure your bedroom is clutter and dust free! You are breathing in your bedroom air all night so make sure it is nice and clean. Regularly move the furniture and vacuum underneath it.
While decluttering I thought of ten quick decluttering tips which I will share below:
1. Don’t buy unnecessary items! The first step in decluttering really is to stop bringing things into your house that you don’t really need. It also might mean that you take a step back and really look at how you are living your life and spending your time.
2. Put things back where they belong: A lot of the time when you are decluttering you are dealing with items that have ended up in a place where they don’t belong and it is just a matter of putting everything away. When you are busy it is easy to get into bad habits of not putting things back where they belong. Try every day to build the habit of putting things back as soon as you use them. You could also have a time at the end of the day when you quickly go around and pick-up to make sure that everything is in its place.
3. Don’t shuffle things from room to room: Sometimes when we are cleaning or decluttering we can often move things around from room to room instead of dealing with the root problem. Don’t shuffle things around your house, make a decision there and then where it goes! If it doesn’t belong in your house – get rid of it!
4. Store by category: I got this tip from Marie Kondo’s book the ‘Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’. I have been trying to use this where I can and it has been a real eye opener! We had books stacked up that I simply put away in the bookshelf with the other books. And stationary all over the house which I am now trying to keep in one location! The category approach really makes you look at what you own and where you are using it!
5. No boxes! Don’t have spare boxes and keep anything in boxes. Make a home for items in a proper storage place. I think storage boxes are fine to keep in your garage or storage area provided that they store things that you actually need and are labelled so you can easily find things! Don’t have boxes anywhere else in your house where clutter could build up.
6. Don’t hold on to paper: In Marie Kondo’s book, she says the best way to deal with paper is not to have any! This should be your new paper system according to her – a folder for important but rarely accessed items, a folder for important but frequently accessed items and a pile for needs action or being processed. That’s it! It seems so simple! I am going to try and reduce our paper storage as much as possible. We had a file full of papers which we were never even looking at. I have signed up to receive most of our bills online so I hope to go as paperless as possible over the next few months.
7. Keep surfaces clear: Try and keep all surfaces as clear as possible. That goes for tables, the kitchen bench, and your office desk. As much as possible try and store things needed away out of sight. It reduces visual clutter! Clutter seems to breed more clutter. I find as soon as a little bit of clutter starts to gather on a surface more likes to come and join the party! So as much as possible keep all surfaces clear and just put things back in their place.
8. Don’t hold onto items that are not in use: A lot of the time we store things because we think we might need them or use them again someday. If there is any uncertainty I think it is better to just get rid of the item. Don’t store things that other people could be using and enjoying! If we do find that we do need that item again one day we can just buy another one! I think it is important psychologically to only be living with the things that we really need and use consistently.
9. Don’t defer decisions: A lot of clutter is actually items where a decision needs to be made but it is being put off. Don’t defer decisions! Decide right away what to do with an item. If you are really bad with decision-making you could make a ‘not sure’ box and then if you haven’t taken anything out or used anything in one months time drop it off at a local donations shop.
10. Make a little ‘processing’ area in your garage: I learnt this tip ages ago from Alejandra Costello. This is something that I will definitely be trying out soon. There are a lot of items that will pile up because they need to go to a place i.e. the clothes donation bin, the hazard waste truck, computer recycling centre, paint tin recycling. Keep an area in your garage with some bins/bags to deal with these items. when a bin/bag is full drop it off at the appropriate place. Stacking crates or the large flexible buckets that are stackable would be perfect. Don’t, however, let your garage pile up with junk! Make a recurring note on your calendar once per month to check if any donations/recycling can be dropped off. If you don’t have garage space you could make a smaller version in your car boot with a few stacking baskets.
11. Don’t turn your garage into a dumping ground: A lot of people will keep their house relatively clear and clutter free but they will have a dirty little secret and their garage, shed or attic will be a dumping ground for items that they don’t know what to do with! If you have a garage it is valuable space that you are using inefficiently! Try and keep ALL out of sight areas clean and organised also and make sure you have a regular clean and tidy up. Just like you would in your house!
I think my end goal for my house would be to have everything that we need and use regularly properly stored in the house and everything else that is seasonal or for outside use i.e. kids bikes, stored in our garage in a proper system. Ideally, though the number of stored items should be minimal! We should be regularly using everything we own 🙂
Do you regularly declutter? Which tip will you try first?
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