Decluttering your home is indeed a therapeutic process. It is a process of going through and organizing all that you own. You can never ask someone else to do it for you, because only you know what is important to yourself. A lot of us are confined to our homes, of course for the health and safety of ourselves and all around us. The brighter side of all this is that we are spending a lot of time at home, which most of us were not able to. There is no better time to prepare for or practice whatever we have been putting away. Before we jump into ‘how to declutter your home’, there are some good-to-know things that you should read.
Why should you declutter your home and not just unclutter it?
De-cluttering is the removal of clutter whereas ‘unclutter’ is more like tidying up. Decluttering the house or room, or even a desk that we work at will declutter our mind too.
Lesser stuff means lesser cleaning and maintenance.
We know where our things are, so there is no time wasted in ‘searching’ for things.
It helps in prioritizing daily tasks and thereby getting through the day much more peacefully.
Irrespective of whether we have moved houses or have been put up in the same place, we all tend to accumulate a lot of stuff over time.
Apart from our wardrobe and other belongings, there would be furniture and furnishings, documents, gadgets, toys to name a few. A lot of this stuff just sticks around whether we use them or not. They take up a lot of space and energy. We keep cleaning them all the time because we are organizing the ‘mess’ instead of getting rid of it.
Imagine that feeling after clearing all the toys off the floor or clearing up the mess after a party at home. De-cluttering keeps that feeling intact all the time, every day.
Who needs decluttering and who doesn't?
Some genius minds tend to identify a pattern amidst all the mess. They have an underlying ‘system’ running in what looks like chaos to others. They need clutter to function. But there are others who no matter how much ever they clean and organize, at the end of the day is back to square one. Read on to find out what is it that needs to be set right.
Decluttering is for you:-
If you have to flip through piles of mails and flyers to find that one document you are looking for..
If your wardrobe can’t hold any more clothes, but still think you don’t have anything to wear.
If your ‘use in future’ collection is growing out of size or your cutlery draw seems to overflow.
Even your digital space can be full of clutter, with duplicate photos, screenshots, documents you no longer need.
The big questions: How to declutter your home and How to begin?
De-cluttering is basically, keeping what you “need”(not want :)) and letting go of what you don’t. Easier said than done, isn’t it?. Deciding whether you want to keep or let go of something is the most time-consuming part of the decluttering process. Also, decluttering and organization go hand in hand.
Rules of decluttering are just superficial. Because as is individuals, each space is unique. It is all about what is important to each person. There are no hard and fast rules, but sure there are guidelines to help you decide. Let us look at them one by one.
1.Start decluttering by tackling one area at a time
Are you planning to declutter your entire home over the weekend? It is probably not a good idea. It is definitely a long, tiring and not to mention an overwhelming process.
Chances are you might end up with a huge pile of trash. Or you will get too tired to finish.
So it is always better to start with a small area, preferably storage areas like shelves and cupboards. Clearing smaller places will give a sense of accomplishment without tiring yourself. Also, when storage spaces are sorted, it is easier to organize the stuff that you will be decluttering in the days to come. Take before and after pictures to make it a tad bit more interesting. Start clearing small sections of the house and do it every day for 10-15 min. This way the results are more visible and less likely that you will give up.
2. Before you begin, have trash bags or big moving boxes ready and label them as Sell/Donate/Trash.
The most simplest answer to How to Declutter your home is the KonMari method. As per the KonMari method, one should only keep things that spark ‘joy’. Let go of everything else, donate, sell or trash it.
Start by emptying all the stuff onto a flat surface, your bed or a mat on the floor.Then pick up each piece, see if the idea of owning it is sparking joy in you.
If yes, keep it. Else let it go.
Plan for an appropriate storage. Use organizers to group your things. Use desk organizers in your work space. If it is an item of clothing, either fold it or use hangers. Check out more ideas for efficiently organizing your wardrobe here.
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Mesh Desk Organizer
Use this simple test to decide whether to let go of something
This works for things like an outfit, craft supplies, books etc. If you chose not to use it in the past 6-8 months, it would be a good idea to part with it. Chances are having it or not, wouldn’t make a difference to you at all.
I had a pair of heels that I carried around for 2 years without wearing it even once (In my defense, that was before I knew about de-cluttering :D). Then there are summer clothes that I don’t get to wear for 6-8 months together. I gave the heels away but still have the clothes.
There are very few chances that your tool kit will spark joy and you are lucky if you didn’t have to use your First Aid kit. But you have to keep them whether it sparks joy or not. So it is very important to identify your clutter and decide accordingly.
Foldable Cloth Storage Box
3.organizing is as important as decluttering
Wooden Mail Organizer
If you cant assign a place to it, it's probably junk.
Decluttering is not just trashing what you don’t want. It is giving a home to everything you own. Find a place to put things and make sure you practice keeping things where they belong. If there is enough storage in the house, then group your belongings rather than storing everything together. Something as basic as a shoe box can be used to organize. Use labels to help you remember stuff. Get your creative juices flowing and build yourself some cool DIY storage. Baskets, bags, etc can also be used to group items.
Multifunctional Storage Basket
4.Finish the job end to end
Even if you are decluttering a small area like a drawer or a cupboard, make sure to do it end to end. ie, Declutter-Organize-Plan storage and finally Trash/donate. Once the stuff is sorted, organize it in temporary storage. Then invest in a good storage solution depending on the size of stuff you are keeping. If you are planning to give away your stuff do it asap or pack it away so that the clutter doesn’t come back. Do the same with the stuff you want to throw away.
Large Modular Drawer System
Check out these organizing ideas too
5.Done with decluttering your home, now what?
You will notice a difference in your daily life once you get rid of clutter. You will be more relaxed, have more time in hand and the best part is your home will always be ready for guests. Did you know we have a whole list of ideas on how to be prepared for guests always?
Organize the stuff
Group things as per their usage and closer to the area of use.
Keep the flat surfaces like tables and countertops free.
Store things in actual storage and don’t just leave them open.
Unclutter once in a while
Do not hoard again 🙂 Before buying, ask yourself two questions;
Do I need it?
Do I have a place to store it?
If the answer to both these questions is yes, then go ahead!!