Do I Really Need To Declutter?
It’s January, the start of the new year when everyone is bright, fresh and ready to take action with fully decluttered homes and a get fit plan to boot, right?…. Or maybe not. There can be a lot of pressure to have everything in order, that decluttering can feel completely overwhelming and become the last thing you want to look at on your, seemingly, never ending To Do List.
But is having a declutter worth it?
According to the National Soap and Detergent Association (USA), getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40% of housework in the average home, sounds good to me!
And that’s not all - clutter can stop you from focussing, make your feel more stressed and increase cortisol levels, affect your sleep and take up your precious time. Ever been late for work because you couldn’t find your keys? Yep me too.
So ok, we know it’s good to rid ourselves of the clutter and create a calm, organised space. But how do we go about it without it turning into another mountain to climb?
I’ve popped some simple tips to follow below to help make this a fun experience, where you get that JOD (Joy Of Decluttering feeling)
1) Do It In Bitesize Chunks;
If you don’t have the urge to plunge straight in, try tackling a room at a time. And if that feels like to much how about picking one cupboard. This would be less demanding on your time and means that the clutter shouldn’t pile up again too quickly. I would suggest working on the space that is stressing you out the most first and then moving on.
January might not be the month for you, so don’t feel pressured to do it then. Spring might feel like a better time to focus on decluttering and that’s ok.
2) Make It Fun;
Put on your favourite album and get in the zone. I love a bit of George Michael Freedom when I get to that frazzled “I want to throw this out the window stage”. If your clearing out your wardrobe invite friends round to help. Pop open some champagne and enjoy reminiscing over that little red dress that stole the show at your friend wedding 15 years ago.
3) Do I Need This;
Really think about what you need and what holds sentimental value.
If you have enough plates for 20 people but really only have up to 8 people for dinner at a time, do you need to keep all of them? If you are keeping a pair of jeans from 15 years ago just in case you fit into them again. Take a look and ask yourself if they did fit, would you really want to wear them again anyway (a lot of the time I think you would say no). If the kids have 100’s of similar toys could you cull the amount a little. You could involve the kids and ask them to pick their favourite (non-negotiable toys) and then ask them if they would like to donate some to children who are less fortunate.
I decluttered our kitchen recently and found so many old utensils I was keeping just in case. If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s time to go.
When looking through your wardrobe a good way to check if the colour really suits you is to hold the clothes up to your face with no make up on. If it drains the colour from your face it’s probably not the best colour for you and you will find it’s an item you skip past quite a lot any way.
I know a lot of items will hold memories so a good way to tackle clutter is to make 3 piles;
Non Negotiable – These are the items you absolutely love and couldn’t part with or classics that will always work.
Not Sure – If you find yourself ‘hmmmming’. Pop them in this pile and move on. I would come back to this pile at the end and really think about if you need it. If not it might be time to sell or recycle it. Or think about whether you could upcycle it and give it a new lease of life in your home. If you are still unsure and have space in your loft pop them in a box and see if you need to use them in the next 6 months. If not it’s probably time to find a new home.
Sell/ recycle/donate – Don’t think of this as throwing away (unless it is in on its last legs) this is time to donate or sell to a new home. Remember your clutter could be someone else’s treasure.
4) Invest In Some Storage Solutions;
From draw organisers to space saving hanging storage - It really helps to give items there specific place and stops everything rattling around. It also means you can find anything in a hurry. Try taking products out of their packaging as this can take up a lot of space too:
Here are some storage options for inspiration:
SONGMICS Hanging Storage Shelves,...
Trouser Hanger, 3 Pack Trouser...
InnoGear Set of 8 Desk Drawer...
InnoGear Set of 12 Desk Drawer...
RenFox Drawer Organisers Divider...
5) Toy Storage;
When It comes to children’s bedrooms you really need as much available space to store toys as possible. Bench storage is a great option as it’s easy to drop toys in at the end of the day, I love this one form Wayfair https://www.wayfair.co.uk/furniture/pdp/mack-milo-amelius-wood-storage-bench-hmeu1218.html?&experiencetype=2&selectedvertical=2
Try not to store anything heavy or cumbersome on top as you want easy access. You can dress it up with a few cushions and even use as a chair – imagine turning the tidying into a game and then snuggling up for story-time as a treat afterwards. I love Marias Island by Victoria Hislop
And remember take your time (unless you’re an ‘all in’ type of person like me). This isn’t a race it’s about creating a sense of calm and organisation to help you breeze through life. And once you’ve done it the first time, I guarantee it will turn into your new habit, you might even do it more than once a year.
I’d love to hear your top tips for clearing clutter too, so please feel free to comment below.
And if you feel like you need help, please get in touch and I can help you lovingly declutter your space while giving you inspiration for room layout and of course storage solutions (we live in England, it’s a given).