One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to declutter. Decluttering makes us feel as if we have greater control over our lives. Decluttering eliminates the stress of feeling overwhelmed by a situation that is out of control. Practically, it allows us to discard, sell or recycle what we no longer need and to create an environment where only the essentials have a place in our lives.
In this blog we bring you tips from renowned decluttering experts alongside selected products from The House Directory members to help to organise your home this new year.
There are many theories about how to declutter. Some say to devote anything from 5-15 minutes a day or an hour a week to the task. Others say if you haven’t worn something for a year or 18 months, it should be recycled or discarded. Whichever way you decide to go about it, set reasonable goals and ensure there are friends and family to help you to persevere with your resolution.
The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus – American Emmy-nominated Netflix stars and best-selling authors – teach us how to lead a meaningful life with less in their popular, The Minimalists Podcast.
The focus is on making room for “more time, more peace, more creativity, more experiences, more contribution, more contentment, more freedom; clearing the clutter frees up the space”.
The Minimalists podcast on Decluttering provides our first tip:
Tip 1. The 20/20 rule. If you are unsure about discarding or donating an item and it costs less than $20 and would take under 20 minutes to replace, then declutter it.
The queen of decluttering, Marie Kondo, in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, devised the KonMari Method. Here are some of her tips.
Tip 2. Tidy all at once by category, even if items in the category are scattered in different rooms in your home.
3. The best sequence: clothes (off-season clothes first), books, papers, miscellaneous; leave sentimental items and keepsakes for last.
4. The entire process of decluttering your home can take half a year.
5. Follow two types of actions: discarding and deciding where to store things. Discarding must come first.
6. A once in a lifetime tidying event leads to the task of putting things back where they belong. Designate a space for everything.
7. Only things that speak to the heart and spark joy should fill your home.
8. Choose what you want to keep, not what you want to discard.
9. Never stack – store items vertically. When you open a drawer you should be able to see everything that is in it.
10. You can use an empty shoe box – or any box or container of the right size inside drawers to organise the space.
11. Fold rather than hang clothing. You can fit from up to 40 items that are folded correctly into the same amount of space required to hang 10.
12. Arrange your wardrobe from left to right, from dark to light items.
Marie Kondo says, “Tidying dramatically changes one’s life.; this is true for everyone 100%. If you are going to put your house in order, do it now”.
Whether you decide to devote 15 minutes in a day to decluttering or an entire weekend, once you put your house in order it can make one feel as if life is under control. Decluttering creates an environment where only what is essential or what we treasure has a place in our lives and there is a dedicated space for everything. It may help to clear your mind to discover what you really want to do. Can these 12 tips for decluttering change your life in 2023?
Books by The Minimalists:
Books by Marie Kondo:
Decluttering your entire home may seem like a big job so here’s a handy decluttering checklist with tips for how to declutter your home:
- Start the decluttering process in the living room as it’s often the first thing potential buyers see.
- Remove all unwanted items from the room, including excess furniture.
- Declutter kitchen cabinets by getting rid of duplicate utensils and expired items as well as kitchen gadgets that haven’t been used in a while.
- Store similar items together in designated spots to create more storage space.
- Take everything out of your wardrobes and assess what is in good condition.
- Donate any clothes and linen that is no longer needed or in poor condition.
- Go through your medicine cabinet and dispose of any expired or unnecessary items.
- Make sure you have important items, such as first aid supplies, in an easily accessible spot.
- Start with the desk drawers and remove any unnecessary items, like junk mail or old pens.
- Use storage containers to keep office supplies in a designated spot.
- Keep dirty clothes in a laundry basket to prevent clutter.
- Decluttering a small space may seem like a big job, but it’s the perfect time to take on the challenge.
- Use simple steps, like removing excess furniture, to make the room feel more spacious.
Trunk of Your Car:
- Keep a trunk of your car free of unnecessary items.
- Use the space to store items that need to be donated or taken to the garbage
General Decluttering Tips:
- Make a to-do list of decluttering tasks to tackle each day or week.
- Set a specific amount of time for each task to avoid spending too much time on one area.
- Use storage containers or cardboard boxes to keep similar items together.
- Consider renting a storage unit if you have a lack storage space in your home.
- Donate unwanted items in good condition to charity shops or churches that will help to distribute your unwanted items to those in need. This is a great way to declutter whilst also giving back to the community.
The easiest way to declutter is to start with small steps. A little progress can make a huge difference in your home organization and peace of mind. Keep track of your progress. Marie Kondo’s method of only keeping items that spark joy is a good idea to keep in mind. Don’t be afraid to get rid of things away that no longer serve a purpose and enlist the help of a family member or professional organizer for a little extra help along the way.
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