How to start Decluttering your home
People often ask me when should they start the decluttering process. The simple answer is NOW, don’t wait, just start! The next question, is how, so let me guide you through it.
You want to declutter the whole house, including garages, sheds, attics and anything you have in storage. The reason for this is that until you assess all your possessions you will not get a true idea of how much ‘stuff’ you own. Doing one room or one drawer at a time and then stopping for a long period will stall your momentum, and ultimately you will have just moved items from one place to another without creating proper homes for all your belongings. You want to do the decluttering process once, but once properly and thoroughly. Doing it this way will be completely lifechanging. Ultimately you will feel so much better, save money as you assess your spending habits and save time from reduced cleaning. Most importantly of all you be rewarded by a sense of calm as you regain control of your house.
What is your motivation for organising your home? Do you want to save money to move to a new house or go on a family holiday? Or would you prefer to work towards a healthier lifestyle and cook more family meals? Or perhaps you just want to spend less time trapped in a never-ending cycle of housework. Keep this in mind and remember for when your motivation and energy dips. Take photographs of your home before you begin, it’s a great way to see how far you are progressing.
Where do you start though? I would suggest starting with clothes, shoes, bags and other fashion accessories. These items tend not to hold huge sentimental value and is a great way to kick start your journey as it can be done relatively quickly. The next obvious step would be to complete all the bedrooms including make-up and toiletries. No doubt this will also work its way into your bathrooms. Dealing with children’s toys is often the next overwhelming category. By this point of the decluttering process you are no doubt half way through! The next room in the house which is often the heart of the home (and therefore clutter)! is the kitchen, followed by hallway cupboards, living room, dining room and then other possessions such as books, DVD’s, CD’s and other items which do not fall into these obvious groupings. The last areas to focus on would be the shed/garage/attic and anywhere else you may have belongings hidden away. If there are any items in here you were planning on selling or indeed re gifting, and they are still sitting to be dealt with this is the last opportunity before the charity shop. Until these unwanted items are gone, you will not have completed the full decluttering process.
I would leave paperwork and sentimental items until last; these take quite a lot of consideration and sometimes involve difficult memories which is best saved to the end when you have built up the energy and the focus to start a fresh.
How long will the decluttering process take? This is the next obvious worry and often the excuse to wait until you move to a new house, until after a certain date or when you are ‘less busy’. Everyone will have different time commitments and will be able to dedicate different amounts of time to the decluttering process. Ultimately you need to see this as an investment. The rewards you will reap from decluttering will be worth the short term sacrifice.
Will I need to live as minimally as you? No of course not, everyone will have different levels of clutter and a different outlook to minimal living. Ultimately you want to have the right quantity of possessions that your home can manage, and ones that make you happy and bring a smile to your face when you see them.
Now remember what your motivation is, excited to start? I can help you through this process and introduce you to some new creative thinking to free your home of clutter, create innovative storage solutions and how to clean less but still have a tidy home.