5 Easy Steps To A Clutter-Free Home
If you have been thinking about ridding your home of clutter then now is the perfect time – make it your New Year’s resolution to declutter and you won’t regret it. But it is not an easy resolution to stick to because decluttering is hard and keeping your home clutter-free is even harder. It always sounds as if it should be easy but few of us have enough storage space to store everything we want to keep so struggle to maintain the clutter-free ideal because we have to make those difficult decisions about what to throw away, give away or donate to charity.
Living with clutter means you struggle to find what you want in cupboards overflowing with stuff you no longer need but the hard part is accepting that you no longer need all that stuff you have been accumulating for years. We kid ourselves it has sentimental value or may come in useful one day so part of you New Year’s resolution should be to avoid those excuses and just get started – you may not be able to do it all in a day or even a week but follow these 5 easy steps to help you get started and before you know it you will be well on your way to a tidy, organised home.
If you have a small home and lots of energy you might be able to declutter in a day but more likely it will be easier to tackle the task over a number of days setting aside a day for the loft, garden shed, garage and internal rooms.
If you haven’t worn something for the past couple of years then, unless it is a very special outfit like a wedding dress or evening dress, then it has to go. Get some strong black bin bags and start piling in all those old clothes taking up space in your wardrobes. Anything in good condition can be donated to charity, otherwise use a clothes recycling bank or just bin it – label 3 separate bags clearly so you don’t get them mixed up. Every member of the family needs to go through the same process if the whole family is to benefit from a clutter free home.
Whether you keep them in bedrooms or bathrooms toiletries create unnecessary clutter and gather dust. If you don’t have a bathroom cabinet or cupboard then invest in one and only keep what can be stored inside and out of sight. Most toiletries have use-by dates so start by checking everything and throw our anything out-of-date. Then tackle those items you never use – the shampoo or body lotion you don’t like; hair care or make-up that you no longer use. NO need for labelled bags here – just one big bin bag.
3: General Stuff
Sorting and clearing out general stuff can take a long time and you may have to approach it room by room so make sure you set aside plenty of time. Of course, there will be some treasured items that you want to keep but they don’t necessarily have to be on display. Get some solid boxes, label them and store what you can in your loft or garage. Persuade all family members to get involved in the clear out but avoid getting sentimental and if they are slowing you down then ask them to take donations to the charity shop and junk to the dump.
Just remember that there are now EU and UK laws about dumping anything electrical or electronic – essentially anything with a plug on it or that runs off a battery. So anything from a small mp3 player, a mobile phone or a games console up to a washing machine or fridge. This is all called Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), sometimes just referred to as e-waste, and its recycling, reuse or disposal is governed by the WEEE regulations here in the UK.
If you tend to hoard magazines remember that everything in them will be out of date very quickly so instead why not give them away to local hospitals or doctor’s surgeries?
Ornaments, CDs, DVDs, computer games, board games, pictures etc. that you no longer use or want can be donated to charity – there is bound to be a charity shop near you that will be glad of your stuff. Again, remember to be ruthless so that you hard work results in a calmer, clutter free home not just one where you have re-arranged your clutter!
Take everything out of your kitchen cupboards and check each item for it’s sell-by date – bin anything past or even close to that date. Check all crockery and throw away anything that is chipped or cracked. Saucepans with broken handles, no lids or worn away non-stick surfaces should also be binned. Don’t worry that you will be left with nothing it may be the impetus you need to replace those old items.
Once you have cleared out the rubbish put everything that you are keeping back in its place – you should now have spare space in the cupboards so can move some items that are not used regularly off the worktops and into a cupboard.
5: Loft, Garage & Garden Shed
Once your living spaces have been decluttered you will need to tackle those havens of clutter – the loft, garage and garden shed. Start by setting aside the regularly used and seasonal items such as tools, bikes, garden furniture, Christmas decorations, winter sports gear, suitcases, etc. Invest in some inexpensive shelving units to help you organise the things you use regularly. Label anything stored in a box so you can find it easily when you next need it.
These areas are not easy to declutter, especially if you have been living in your home for many years, but if you can keep them organised and clutter-free then it will help you to keep the rest of your home organised and clutter-free. So if it is going to be your New Year’s resolution to declutter you home then there is no time like now to get started – Good Luck!