Decluttering is more of a necessary evil than a joy to embrace for most people. But this doesn’t mean the whole thing can’t be made a little easier, by heeding a few words of wisdom from the professionals.
The benefits of decluttering
First and foremost, focusing on the benefits of decluttering holds the key to getting the job done properly and efficiently. Irrespective of how joyless the process may be, sorting the clutter around the home brings the following advantages among others:
- Less to clean as you’re physically eliminating unnecessary objects and obstacles from the home.
- Less to organise, tidy and sort by removing things you neither want nor need.
- Less stress having finally tackled a job you have probably been putting off for quite some time.
- Less waste as much of the stuff you come across could be sold or given away, rather than simply gathering dust.
Long story short – decluttering isn’t something you do simply for the sake of it. It can be beneficial in a whole variety of ways, which more than justify the time and effort involved.
Effective decluttering tips
When setting out to declutter the home, getting started is half the job in its own right. Tomorrow always seems like the best time to make a start, but it isn’t – think of it more as a ‘now or never’ project you need to get to grips with ASAP.
- Start out with just 5 minutes a day at first, gradually increasing how much time you spend decluttering each day. Over time, you’ll gather plenty of momentum.
- Find one thing to give away daily which has no value to you personally but could be of use to someone else. Small or large, it all makes a difference.
- Consider a bulk charity donation by filling a couple of bags with old clothes, textiles, toys and anything else your local charity shop will appreciate more than you do.
- Bag up anything you haven’t worn in a year and pop it to one side. If you still haven’t worn any of this stuff a few weeks down the line, you probably never will – so get rid of it!
- Pull out all clothes or accessories that don’t fit and stop telling yourself you’ll be ‘getting in shape’ to fit into them next year. (Unless you’re serious about it).
- Create a decluttering checklist to work by, specifying a plan of action as to how you plan to tackle your home and timetable for getting the job done.
- Don’t declutter on a random basis – set aside a certain amount of time each day or week to tackle the job and ensure you stick to your schedule like glue.
- Take the 12-12-12 challenge. This means finding at least 12 items to donate, 12 items to sell and 12 items to throw away with each rummage.
- Use before and after photos to keep motivated, showing you just how big of a difference your efforts are making around the home.
- Reward yourself for a job well done, using some kind of incentive to motivate you to keep going and finish the job properly.
One additional tip that may well take precedence over all of the above – never declutter alone. Taking at least one friend or family member along for the ride is essential for two reasons:
- It’s so much less boring and tedious when you have someone with you to share the ‘experience’.
- You might not be as rational as you think you are when deciding to get rid of stuff.
The second of these points is actually the most important, as you’re pretty much guaranteed to let emotions and sentiments cloud your judgement. To you, keeping a whole bin-liner full of broken ornaments that remind you of your childhood dog might be a no-brainer. To a neutral third party, it’s more likely a hazardous waste of space you could do without.
Decluttering is really enjoyable, but the satisfaction that comes with getting the job done is something else. Especially if you do a good deed or two along the way, ensuring the things you no longer want or need find a new home where they’ll be appreciated.