It’s easy to get overwhelmed with house chores – especially when you have a million other things to think about. From getting the kids ready to school to making sure you’re at work on-time, it’s easy to let clutter pile up. The problem is that the gradually increased clutter can make your home less enjoyable to live in – not to mention frustrating when you need to find anything!
If you’ve reached tipping point and are ready to declutter, here’s a quick 7-day guide to doing just that.
Monday – I recommend starting your clutter with your digital devices. Start with your computer and laptop, and go through your main folders. Are they a mess? Have you got photos from 2007 in your My Documents folder? If so, organise everything into neat folders. If you haven’t already, you should also setup some sort of backup system in case of hard-drive failure.
Tuesday – Sticking with the digital theme, the next step is to declutter your phone. Go through every contact and remove any you don’t need anymore. Delete unused apps. Move all your photos to your computer and then delete them from your phone. You’ll feel much better after you’ve done this, and your phone will probably run faster too.
Wednesday – Now you can move away from digital to a physical location that often collects a lot of clutter: your car. If you’re like me, your car is probably filled with half-drunk diet coke cans and who-knows-what-else, so take a bin bag with you and chuck it all out. Take out anything else that doesn’t need to be in the car, then thoroughly vacuum.
Thursday. Next, we have your clothes. I like to pull out EVERYTHING from my wardrobe and dresser and go through teach item one-by-one. If you haven’t worn an item in more than 12 months, it’s time to go! Make sure you donate anything that might be useful to someone else.
Friday. If you have a home office, the end of the work week is a good time to declutter it. File any papers that you need to keep and throw away the rest. Organise your stationary and get rid of anything you don’t need.
Saturday. The weekend is a good time to start tackling the big jobs. The kitchen is probably a good example. Start by going through your fridge and cupboards to get rid of any spices, food or other ingredients that’s either gone off or isn’t needed anymore. Then take a look at all your cutlery and crockery. What do you really use? Is there items that haven’t been taken out of the cupboard for years? If so, get rid of them.
Sunday. The final day of the week is your chance to select an area of your home that really needs decluttering. It might be the bathroom, downstairs wardrobe or the TV cabinet – just make sure it’s something that’s been causing you stress. Go through every item and get rid of what you don’t need.
After you’ve finished the week of decluttering, your home will feel MUCH more enjoyable to spend time in. Instead of wondering where everything is, most items should now have a designated place too.
If this article helps you, please let me know in the comments!
“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.”
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
I would rather have mice in the kitchen than mould, because mice are easier to get rid of. Mould, once it sets in, is incredibly difficult to remove. The spores seep into the wall, especially if its damp, so it’ll come back again and again until you sort the underlying problem.
And I haven’t even mentioned the health problems associated with mould. Ugh.
That’s why I think it’s important everyone knows what mould needs to thrive, so you can starve it before it takes hold of your walls.
What mould loves:
Damp. Mould LOVES damp areas. The more moisture the better. If you dry your clothes inside, make sure you get a de-humidifier or at least keep the windows open a lot, otherwise you’re asking for mould down the back of the sofa.
Food. Like anything else, mould needs food in order to thrive. There’s not much you can do about this though, as food is everywhere.
Warmth. Hot, humid locations are best for mould.
Now, this is all good to know…
But if you already have mould, it’s not much help. Just removing the damp isn’t usually enough to get rid of it.
Prevent condensation from building up – at least as much as you can. That means drying clothes outside, leaving windows open for short periods each morning, leaving doors open to help airflow, heating the home more and putting lids over saucepans when boiling water. There’s no point getting rid of mould until you’ve identified what’s causing the damp (you might need a professional to solve this).
DO NOT try to get rid of mould if it covers a large area or if it’s caused by sewage – get someone who knows what they are doing.
Wear goggles, gloves and a mask over your mouth and nose when cleaning ANY mould – you don’t want to inhale the spores.
Use some washing up liquid in water and clean the affected area, then put the cloth into a plastic bag and throw it away immediately.
Hopefully that helps you if you have a mould problem. It’s one of the things I hate the most in the home, but unfortunately I have some personal experience with it!
I’m not an expert though, so you may also want to check out the following video: