If you’re reading this post it means that you’ve made the decision to declutter your home (and in turn your mind!), so let’s get started!
For those of you that follow my home on Instagram you’ll know that I like it to look neat and the best way to maintain this is by regularly decluttering. It’s amazing how quickly clutter can build up and I’m sure all of us have had moments wondering how on earth we’ve accumulated 58 candles/70 cushions/100 bits of paper – I know I have!
1. Start Small
It’s almost impossible to declutter every part of your home in one go, so start small, I’d recommend starting with your wardrobe or junk drawer.
I always start by pulling everything out of the space I’m working on and only putting things I really use/want/need back in – chuck anything you don’t use/need/like, donate it to charity or sell it on ebay/Facebook! You’ve got to be ruthless here, the “it might come in use one day” mentality is how we build up lots of clutter, do you need it right now or in the very near future? No? Haven’t used it in over a year? Then get rid!
For more on wardrobe decluttering see my wardrobe organisation post here.
2. Tackle the Paper
Bits of paper come through the door almost daily and it’s really easy to let it pile up and let it take over, an easy organisation system and method will help to eliminate paper clutter.
Spend just 2 minutes each day chucking away any junk, shredding anything confidential but still junk or filing away the important stuff. Set time limits on how long you hold on to that paper too – say a few years or so but then shred it/burn it/dump it.
You can read about my filing system here in detail – we use filing cabinets but if they’re not convenient try a filing folder like this – Link.
3. Reduce the Numbers
How many coasters/notepads/candle holders do you really need? Reduce how many of the same thing you have and try to follow the one in one out rule, fancy a new one of something, get rid of the old one – graters/oven gloves/whisks etc. Do you need it/want it/use it? No? Get rid!
4. Dedicate Small Spaces
Have a home for everything and keep them small, that way you’re not tempted to keep lots of stuff just because you have the space – think small bathroom cabinet to reduce toiletries or small ottoman to hold magazines/books/remotes.
5. Clear Surfaces
For instant neat and clean looking spaces keep your surfaces clear and clutter free – put things away neatly in cupboards (clever organisation solutions is the way forward with that – see these posts here). Not having lots of stuff on the surfaces and worktops reduces clutter as it means you only keep the minimal items on display or the things that are needed in the cupboards.
6. Make your Bedroom your Haven
Clutter in bedrooms can make the room less calming and affect your sleep – your bedroom should be your clutter free haven to drift away in! Items that don’t seem to belong elsewhere seem to end up in bedrooms, so ensure the surfaces are clear and that you follow the same decluttering tips above – do you need it/want it/use it? No? Get rid!
7. Get In to Those Areas you Avoid
Most people have them, the spaces that are so cluttered but out of sight that you avoid facing them – out of sight is not out of mind! Gear yourself up and spend a little time tackling the space, you’ll feel so much better for it.
Mine was the understairs cupboard for over a year! It was a bit like Monica from Friends junk cupboard until one day I finally decided enough was enough and pulled it all out, put in some clever storage and now it’s a thing of beauty – see more here!
8. Declutter Your Desk
Another area where clutter can quickly and easily build up is your desk and office area – I’m imagining hundreds of pens, post-its and staplers building up over time! As above, limit how many of each item you need, clear the workspace and utilise drawers/shelves/cupboards to neatly organise what you need to keep.
9. Storage Black Holes
I’m talking about spaces like lofts, sheds and garages – at least once or twice a year get in there and have a good clear out! Over half of our loft is full of Christmas decor and it’s important to declutter each year or we would soon be living in santa’s grotto all year round (although I wouldn’t argue too much with that haha!). Once again, do you need it/want it/use it? No? Get rid!
10. Why are You Holding on?
Think about why you’re holding on to something, if you can’t think of a real reason it’s probably because you don’t actually need or want it!
11. Make the Most of Your Space
For the things you do need/want to keep make the best use of the space you have, clever storage cupboards/units, shelves or ottomans with space built in maximise space and keep the room looking neat too.
12. Clutter Breeds Clutter
The more stuff you have the more stuff you keep – if you’re used to seeing lots of stuff then a few more will just build up, aim for clearer looking spaces with minimal stuff out.
13. Check your Make-up
Regularly check your makeup supplies, how many of us hold on to old makeup because we liked it once? Makeup can also harbour germs so ensure that you have a good clear out and replace them regularly- for example mascara shouldn’t be kept more than 3 months and eyeliner no more than 6 months.
14. Pantry Storage
Every 6 months or so check your dry food cupboard expiry dates and move items that go out first to the front to be used sooner,
15. Make it a Routine
All that said and done it’s going to take up-keep – a few minutes each day chucking out anything you decided you don’t want/need/use or keeping on top of paper work means that it won’t build up over time. Pencil in 5 minutes once a week to have a quick look around for anything that needs to go – once the big declutter is done when you start the maintenance becomes quick and easy after that!
Lots of Love