Household clutter is commonly perceived as a harmless subject. After all, no matter how neat or organised you think you are, it’s an understatement of how easy it is for your space to be filled with clutter.
Everyone has a little bit of junk lying around, right?
On the contrary, most of us have more than ‘a little bit’. It’s time to learn more about the art of downsizing and how to spruce up your living space! In this article, we provide a helpful guide on getting started on your very own decluttering project.
How to Start Decluttering Your Home
The thing is, we know that we should start decluttering, but it’s all too easy to chuck it into the to-do list and procrastinate.
Eventually, the list gets longer and longer. For those lost on where to begin, we’ve got your back.
Below are the three steps you can apply to kickstart your decluttering process:
1. Have Specific Goals
As carrying out the task itself is problematic, start with brainstorming. Create a plan with a set timeline and goals. This will then help to clear your mind and make it easier for you to start decluttering. Some of the matters to take into account are:
- Jotting down your ‘clutter hot spots’ and grade those areas based on their clutter severity to help you have a better grasp of your priority. For instance, on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the worse), a very messy closet, let’s say, would get 4 or 5.
- Tackling one area at a time and taking your time, too. No need to rush! For example, you can work through one room each weekend so you don’t burn out.
- Planning your time to work and set completion dates by choosing attainable timelines according to your pace. That way, you will feel as if the decluttering process is a game. You can even reward yourself after accomplishing your goals!
2. Set up a Sorting System
Next, create a sorting system to help you sort your items and avoid getting overwhelmed. For this, you can build your own preferred approach, or you can take advice from tidying experts such as the famous Marie Kondo.
Miss Kondo indulges in a unique organisational method. Her system, dubbed as the KonMari Method, encourages people to live a life that sparks joy. To be brief, the KonMari believes in the 6 Rules of Tidying:
- Commit yourself to tidy up
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle
- Finish discarding first
- Tidy by category, not by location
- Follow the right order
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy
For more information, visit her official website here.
3. Purge Your House
Not sure how to discard your unnecessary or unwanted items? Here are some options:
- Donate: Do some good and give back to the community by giving unneeded items to those who actually need them. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! You can freecycle clothes, household items, and anything deemed to still be in tiptop condition to your local charity.
- Garage sale: If you want to make some money, you can host a garage sale and invite your neighbours, friends and families to look around. Alternatively, you can try selling your items at your nearest thrift shop or consignment store.
- Recycle: Recyclable items such as paper, plastics, and glass should be disposed of correctly into your recycling bin.
Essential Tips for Decluttering
1. Make sure to start with the easy stuff
Yes, decluttering is undeniably overwhelming. Thus, take baby steps and start with items that are easy for you to part with, such as:
- Clothes and shoes: Use the 80/20 rule to help you clear out your closet. 80% of the time, we generally only wear 20% of our clothing; this is also applicable to other items.
- Paper: Unneeded papers or documents like extra copies and envelopes. Instead, only keep compulsory hard copies, such as your birth certificates.
- Several of the same thing: Do you find yourself owning multiple pans or mugs? Do you really need them all? If not, you can always choose one of the three purge options aforementioned.
2. Track the items you actually use and love
If you encounter an item you haven’t been using for the past six months, then you should probably dispose of it. The same is true if you don’t even remember the item in question or why you had them in the first place.
The second half of this tip might seem starkly obvious, but people often mistake love with momentary fascination. If you figure you don’t love the item anymore, then get rid of it. If you’re still on the fence, sleep on it. You can always rethink your decisions later.
3. Clear off flat surfaces
Flat surfaces are notorious clutter magnets. To elucidate, shelves, counters, and kitchen surfaces are clutter hot spots. The solution is to relocate items that do not belong and ensure that they have their own place. For example, you can assign a suitable home for crucial receipts, mails, and letters to avoid them turning into a pile of clutter.
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