Having a big declutter of your home can be really liberating! It helps you to live a clutter-free and simplified life. This in turn creates a calm and enjoyable space, however big or small. Here are my professional top tips on how to start your decluttering journey, room by room.
Your bedroom should be a place of calm and zen, helping you to unwind and have a restful night’s sleep. Read about the impact clutter has on your quality of sleep here. Start by clearing the top of your bedside tables and your chest of drawers. When you enter your bedroom, your eyes won’t then be drawn to cluttered surfaces.
Reorganise your wardrobe by working through one category of clothes at a time, from socks and underwear to tops and trousers. Decide which items you love and use, and let go of the rest. If you find it difficult to decide, pick your five favourites in each category. Then use these items as a benchmark against the rest of the clothes in the category. It helps to start with a category you have the least emotional attachment. By doing so you will warm up your ‘decluttering muscles’. You’ll then find it easier to make decisions when you reach the harder items.
If you are short of space and have items you use less regularly (like ski-wear or bulky winter coats), use vacuum pack storage bags. Store them in less accessible places like under the bed or on top of the wardrobe. This helps to clear space in your wardrobe for more regularly used items.
Kitchens are often clutter magnets, with equipment and gadgets scattered over your surfaces. By decluttering your cupboards, you can create room to store items that normally take up space on the surfaces. Put items you want to keep but use less regularly on the harder to reach shelves. Consider whether you actually need those appliances that clog up surface space. When was the last time you actually used your pressure cooker?
Clear your cupboards of expired food and condiments. If you have food that hasn’t expired but you know you’ll never eat, donate it to a food bank. Most major supermarkets have a collection box close to their tills. Alternatively, you could give it to local neighbours via the Olio app. It’s far better this food goes to someone in need than the bin. Prevent yourself from overbuying at the supermarket by making a master grocery list with all the items you like to have in. When you’re about to go food shopping, check your fridge and cupboards against this list and only mark the items you actually need to buy.
Tupperware seems to multiply overnight! Match pots with lids and work out how many you need each week for batch cooking/food prep, then let go of the surplus.
After your kitchen, the living room is the place where you spend most of your time. Ask yourself what purpose each piece of furniture in the room serves, and if there are any surplus to requirements. If the piece is useful but you no longer love the way it looks, consider repainting or reupholstering it to give it a new look.
Have you got shelves and surfaces decorated with ornaments and photo frames? They may look lovely, but take effort and time to dust; consider whether you enjoy these items being on display, or if you could let go of some to simplify your cleaning routine in the process.
Let’s be honest, everyone has a ‘junk drawer’ where items that don’t have an official home get shoved. Try getting everything out and throwing away things that are no longer useful to create a ‘useful drawer’ instead.
If you work or study from home regularly, you’ll understand why it is vital that your home office or study room is clutter-free and organised to enable you to be as productive as possible.
Even in this digital age, paperwork is still a nuisance, so it’s important to create a system that works for you. Ask yourself why you need to keep each piece of paperwork you have laying around, particularly if you also have online versions available. Remember to shred any papers containing personal information to avoid identity theft. Decide on a filing system; A4 lever arch files with labelled dividers work really well to have everything to hand but if you hate hole-punching, filing cabinets with manila folders are another option. Digitizing your documents (by scanning or photographing and then uploading) is an ideal solution to save physical space – but do make sure it’s all backed up.
Think about where your paperwork system breaks down. Is it opening your post in the first place? Consider buying a letter rack and placing it near your front door. If you also place a waste paper bin nearby, you can open post and discard any junk mail straight away.
Anyone who has children understands how easy it is for a previously clean playroom to look like a bomb site within a matter of seconds. But the playroom is often one of the easier places to declutter. Less toys means it’s an easier room to tidy at the end of the day.
Try to involve your children in the decluttering process by asking them to gather similar items together, such as soft toys. Teaching them this ‘sorting game’ helps to establish a habit which they can carry over to their bedrooms, and ultimately their own spaces when they’re older. Keep an eye out for the toys your children have outgrown, no longer use or are duplicates. Donate toys that are in good condition to charities. The British Heart Foundation will come and collect them from your home. There are a great number of charities that take donations of children’s items, such as Little Village, which ensure these go to families who need them most.
Playrooms are a good place to display your children’s artwork. Take time at the end of each school year to review which creations you want to keep. A3 project folders for each child are a good way of storing artwork, and as they are slimline, they can easily fit on top of a cupboard or down the side of a sofa or wardrobe.
There we have it; my top tips on how to declutter your house, room by room. If it still feels too daunting or overwhelming, and you really don’t know where to begin or how, then do send me a message to arrange a consultation on how I can help you further.