Now that the snow is over and spring is here it is traditionally the time for a spring clean. However de-cluttering doesn’t have to be a once a year thing. Research has shown that 9 in 10 of us have up to £1000 worth of unwanted furniture and ‘stuff’ in our homes which we want to recycle. In our busy lifestyles we never seem to find the time. Below I have put 10 simple steps to help you de-clutter your home.
1. Don’t try and tackle it all in one go
Do not set an entire day aside to organise your whole house, instead spend a few hours on one space or project and do this regularly.
2. Be brave!
Most people find it hard to throw things away, but not everything we own has a sentimental value. As you are going through your items really ask yourself do you love this item or does it have a regular practical value. Maybe it is a present you secretly hate or a dress from 10 years ago that you keep promising yourself you will slim down into. If you don’t need it get rid of it or recycle it!
3. Be logical!
There are 2 basic rules when it comes to reorganising your house. Firstly, keep like with like eg all tools live together in the same place. And secondly keep items in the room they are going to be used in, when things are scattered around the house they will never be where you need them to be eg keep paper next to the printer.
4. Ditch what is broken
If items are broken set yourself a deadline to get them fixed. If the deadline passes throw them away or give them to someone else.
5. Buy a shoe rack
Not only will this help everyone find their shoes in the morning, but it will stop them cluttering up your hallway. Your hallway is usually the first entry to your home. If it is clutter free here it will give a good impression for the rest of the house.
6. Buy savvy storage solutions
If your home lacks cupboards and in built storage compromise by placing baskets and shelving in alcove areas that don’t impact floor space or under tables and behind doors.
7. Clear flat surfaces
Countertops, shelves and other flat surfaces are clutter-magnets. Mail, bills, magazines and small appliances are just some of the items that tend to consume flat surfaces in the home. But is that really the best place for them? The answer is usually no. Make space in drawers or add small boxes or bins to your shelves for paper items.
8. Try the four box method
Take four boxes into the room you are sorting; rubbish, give away, keep or relocate. As you go through the room place the items you are sorting into these boxes to help clear your mind and ensure they don’t get left on the side with you meaning to throw them away.
9. Give away what you don’t need
Once you have sorted a room give unneeded items away to local charities and social enterprises. The Stroud District Furniture Bank offer a free furniture collection service and will distribute it to families in need in the Stroud District (www.strouddistrictfurniturebank.org.uk).
10. Have a swap party
Gather together a group of friends who all bring their unwanted clothes and you swap them between yourselves. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure!
Finally I will leave you with the thought that not ALL clutter is junk. Keeping your first mother’s day card is important. However keep them in a keepsakes box and not out all over the house!