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De-clutter your home

What’s the Idea?

A simple “How To” guide on how to declutter your home, with links to external resources.

What’s the story

I’ve been brought up to be a tidy person, so have always kept my things neat and been good at throwing away unnecessary items. I find that if my environment is cluttered, so it my mind, and it can have quite a negative impact on my mental health.

People should do this because…?

Decluttering your home is a great way to feel more calm and comfortable in your space.  Now that the Coronavirus is making most people work from home, it’s even more important to have an organised environment, so that you can work with an organised mind.

How do you do it?

Decluttering your home involves sorting through your things, reorganising your space, and maintaining a comfortable and clean-living environment.  Here are some simple suggestions for how to do this:

MAKE A GAME PLAN

1)      Find a decluttering schedule that works for you.
Set aside an amount of time a day suited to your schedule to declutter.  Start small.  Focus on one room at a time.  Set reasonable goals.

2)      Enlist the help of others.
This can make it more fun and pass the time quicker.  Having other people around is also valuable in terms of their insight into what you really need and don’t need.

3)      Get rid of easy targets.
Start the process by getting rid of some easy superficial targets, such as old papers, old shoes you haven’t worn for years, old medicine and any garish furniture that’s crowding your space.

SORT THROUGH YOUR THINGS

1)      Empty out all of the things in one room or area.
Prepare with 4 different boxes: things you’ll keep, things you’ll store, things you’ll donate/sell & things you’ll throw out.

2)      Decide what to keep.

Keep the things you use on a regular basis, which you wear, cook with or use for household tasks. Keep anything you’ve used in the last year.

3)      Decide what to throw out.  Get rid of anything you no longer use, that’s expired, is broken beyond repair, or general stuff that lies around not getting used.   Save a few precious sentimental items, but don’t overdo it.  Get the advice of trusted friends, they can be more objectively honest that you about what you never use.

4)      Decide what to store.
Store any item that you will need eventually but won’t need for a few months.  These will likely be seasonal or special occasion items.

5)      Decide what to sell or donate.

Sell or donate any items that you don’t want/need but may have some value to someone.  For example, clothes that are in good condition, appliances that are still functional, or art you don’t like.

6)      Keep a “maybe” box.  This is where you put the items you’re not sure whether to store or keep.

REORGANISE YOUR SPACE

1)      Put everything in its logical place.  Organise your clothes by type and how often you wear them.  Create a filing system for your papers.  Get plastic bins to store items in your closets.  Get a shoe-rack.  Organise your books onto shelves, based on genre/time period, and make sure they’re all vertical.  Label all of your stored items for easy access later.

2)      Rearrange your furniture.

Place it in a way that creates the most space, leaving windows open and letting in lots of light, and keeps everything aesthetically pleasing.  Consider a mirror instead of a painting, this creates the illusion of more space.

3)      Keep your counters clean and relatively empty.  Keeping surfaces empty helps you to feel calm and at ease.

MAINTAIN A DECLUTTERED HOME

1)      Make time for weekly and daily decluttering.
Spend 10-15 mins decluttering your space at the end of every day, no matter how tired you are.  Spend at least 30 mins decluttering your space at weekends.

2)      Enlist the help of anyone who shares your home.
The process will be much easier if the person you’re living with is just as committed as you are, if not, you’ll end up clearing up after them.  Set household rules that encourage cleanliness.  You could even take turns at the nightly decluttering sessions.

3)      Be a savvy consumer.
Only buy what you really need or will use.   Make a list before you shop.  If you’re uncertain about buying something – don’t.  If you really need new furniture, get rid of old furniture.   Sign up for electronic bills so paper bills don’t crowd your space.

4)      Give away one old item each week.
Go through your old things, there might be an old dress you never wear anymore, or a book you’ll never read which a friend or family member may have a use for.   If not, donate it.

Stuff you may need

  • Boxes
  • Binbags
  • Permanent markers for labelling the boxes

Links to other articles on the web

https://www.wikihow.com/Declutter, https://www.thespruce.com/decluttering-your-entire-home-2648002, https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/organizing/tips/g656/decluttering-tips/

Links to other videos on the web

https://youtu.be/8lXc-t1QbYQ, https://youtu.be/PX4SJulGgjk, https://youtu.be/3Vcf15p2L0k

Links to books

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Little-Book-of-Tidying-Declutter-your-home-and-your-life-by-Penn-Beth/142607375505, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Declutter-Your-Life-How-Outer-Order-Leads-to-Inner-Calm-by-Hasson-Gill-Book/302677673817, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Little-Book-of-Clarity-A-Quick-Guide-to-Focus-and-Declutter-9780857086068/312943457894

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