How many times do you tell yourself you need to declutter? Like magpies, people have the tendency to collect and fill their homes with desirable objects. This is fine, but it means you end up with too much ‘stuff’, and you need to find effective and practical ways to declutter. Things start building up, spaces get taken up, and houses become incredibly cluttered. The difficult thing is you probably want to keep most of the possessions you have, so just throwing them away isn’t an option. Take a look at these 20 Brilliantly Practical Ways to Declutter your Home for some help!
1. Mental Preparation
The first step in deciding to declutter is to park the emotional attachments at the door. No matter what way you choose to declutter, it has to be approached dispassionately. Switch the brain chip to sensible and forge ahead with purpose.
2. Get Rid of the Crap
The first and most simplest of ways to declutter your home is to just throw away any rubbish lying around (actual rubbish, not things you think are rubbish). Anything you’ve stuck away in a cupboard that needs a repair, anything that doesn’t work properly … ditch the junk! This then allows you to see the true extent of your clutter problem.
3. Mobilize the Troops
Unless you live alone, decluttering is a house/family responsibility. Decluttering is easy when everyone mucks in. Communicate with the people you live with. Try to organise a house meeting in each room and go through things that everyone agrees can be thrown away.
4. The First 5 Minutes Rule
To start off, allow yourself only five minutes to begin decluttering your house. Time yourself, and see how much you can get done in just five minutes, then increase the time based on your progress achieved. This is a great way to declutter but even more so, a way to motivate yourself, when you see just how much you can achieve.
5. Plan It
If it is a major operation, it is essential that you plan it. All the practical ways of decluttering are not going to be useful if you aren’t methodical. You’ll find yourself simply moving things from one place to another.
6. Box It
One of the most practical ways to declutter is to grab a box and go around each and every room. Search for things that should belong to only one place. For example, collect any scattered DVDs, games or books in the box and put them back where they belong.
7. Tame It
Clear out cupboard or storage space. This is one of the most effective ways to declutter your home that only takes some time, effort, and a hardened heart. You may be keeping a pile of clothes, toys or nick-knacks due to sentimental or nostalgic reasons. Find anything that you sincerely don’t need or don’t want and just chuck them away, or better yet donate them to a local charity. Don’t forget recycling too. Recycling is not only a terrific way to get rid of clutter but you’re helping the planet too. You’ll find that you will gain lots of storage space to fill up again with any clutter that’s been lying around on the floor or on shelves.
8. Sell It
Need motivational ways to clear your clutter? Put on a yard sale or stick it on eBay and earn a little money with your clutter.
9. File It
Despite the predictions, we still live far from what is a paperless society. Paper soon piles up and is easily scattered and rarely looks tidy. Having a filing system, even if it’s just a lidded cardboard box, will help you declutter.
10. Clip It
If you’ve got a busy family, finding ways to declutter is always a hard task. For a start, you’ve probably got loads of paper bits for each child – doctor/dental appointments, after school activities, party invitations and so on. Instead of plastering them on the fridge, have a clipboard for each family member.
11. Ban It
Create ‘clutter-free’ zones. This can be the dining table or kitchen counter: a place where nothing but practical things may sit on it, and even then it should only be temporary. House keys, car keys, homework, cell phones – none of these are allowed in clutter free zones – but make sure you have somewhere for them.
12. Chuck It
One of the important ways to declutter in the home is to regularly check your medicine cabinet and throw away anything that’s expired.
13. Discourage It
Buy or create a sign that requests no junk mail and put it on your mailbox. Take your name and details off of mailing lists you don’t want any more to get rid of unwanted junk mail.
14. Question It
Ask yourself – do you really need it. Most homes hold a lot of old gadgets and electronics that are redundant, but people like to keep them anyway because they were expensive when they first bought them. But old electronics, particularly broken and unused ones, should be recycled.
15. Fix It
If you have stuff lying around waiting for a repair, make time to do it, or get rid of it. Don’t move things to the garage or basement – out of sight, out of mind does not count as one of the ways to declutter.
16. Risk It
A rather risky and hard hearted method of decluttering your home is to introduce the “in-out” rule. Buy one new thing to come in, throw another thing out. This nullifies any build up of stuff.
17. De-dupe It
Work your way through each room making a pile of things that are repeats or duplicates. For example, in your kitchen after sorting out your utensils you may find you have three potato mashers. This is a little unnecessary, so throw the cheaper or rubbish ones away or donate them.
18. Hang It
One of the most cluttered areas of a family home can be the hallway, where coats, shoes, umbrellas and school bags accumulate rapidly. Put winter coats away until they are needed, the same for wellingtons and boots, organize the umbrellas and make the kids take their bags to their room instead of heading straight for the fridge when they get back from school.
19. Alphabetize It
It sounds incredibly anal-retentive, but keeping your CD, DVDs and even books in alphabetical order, actually helps with housework and it does help keep rooms free of clutter.
20. Share It
If you have family, teach everyone to follow these tips! Don’t make decluttering your house a job for the lone wolf. Teach the rest of your pack to help declutter the house and it’ll achieve brilliant results.
They do say that decluttering is therapeutic. Some of these ways to declutter may be hard to instigate at first, but do so, and reap the rewards. Think of how great it would be to have a clutter-free home – it sure means housework takes less time, and actually worth doing.
We’d love to hear of any practical tips for decluttering you have.
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