Need to Declutter? Read this Post First

Need to Declutter? Read this Post First

“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.”

  • Wendell Berry

Mess.

I hate it.

But I can’t complain – because I’m the type of person to let mess get worse…and worse…and worse…until eventually I snap and spend all weekend cleaning.

(Then I repeat the process.)

Or at least that’s what I USED to do. Nowadays I like to think of myself as a more organised person, so I try to keep my home clutter free. This isn’t just because I prefer the way a clutter-free home looks, but also because I believe simplicity helps you to have a clear mind. It also reduces stress and just generally makes a home more enjoyable to live in.

It might sound strange, but there’s a real art to decluttering properly. You obviously don’t want to throw away something you’re going to use in the future, but you can make a case for anything being useful at some point. To help you out, here are a few things I’ve learned about properly decluttering:

  1. Don’t be afraid of a car boot sale. This might be a UK only tip, as I don’t know if other countries have car boot sales. But booking in a specific date for a sale, preferably with friends so you don’t feel tempted to back out, is a great way to get rid of a load of clutter AND make some money.
  2. Don’t try and clear everywhere at once. Like any chore, it’s best to do little bits at a time rather than trying to clear everywhere in a single day or weekend. I like to set a timer for 30 minutes and do as much as I can in that time. Once the timer goes off, I force myself to stop whatever I’m doing.
  3. Create a “not sure” pile. One of the hardest parts about decluttering is knowing which items to keep and which to throw away. Most of the time it’s a safe bet you’ll never need to use an item again if you haven’t used it within the last six months, but I have a box of items to “maybe” throw out. I then set a reminder on my to do list app for a few months time to go through the box.
  4. Schedule clothes decluttering sessions. The frequency depends on your shopping habits, but everyone tends to wear around 20% of their wardrobe while the rest sits in the cupboard gathering dust. Be ruthless about which clothes you’re not wearing and give them to charity. For expensive items, you might even be able to sell them on eBay.
  5. Don’t think about the cost of an item. Instead, think about whether you really need it NOW – regardless of cost. You can’t get that money back (unless you can get someone to buy it), so if you’ve wasted money on something you no longer need, don’t just keep it because you don’t want to feel like you’ve wated money.

And as a final tip, make sure everyone in the house is onboard with your decluttering program. There’s nothing more annoying than going on a cleaning spree, only to realise that the house is still a mess because your house-mates or partner haven’t bothered to do their bit!

Have you decluttered recently? Do you have any tips to add to this list? I’m all ears 🙂

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