Getting Rid of the Junk

Recently I decided I just had to declutter and organize my home better. I’m tired of holding on to the past and things I neither need nor want. If you want to start the process in your own home to live a less cluttered life, then let me share with you my favourite decluttering tips.

Arrange a time to declutter

First, you need to plan a date with the space you want to declutter. We hardly ever get around to tackling clutter because of our busy lives. In the same way, you would arrange a doctor’s appointment for a checkup, in the same way, you need to organize a time to tackle your home. One morning, why not set aside two hours to start putting everything in order.

Find a target

Explore around you and think about what really bugs you the most. What is it that frustrates you the most often? Could it be your messy wardrobe? Not finding the food you want in the cupboard? Or it could be the piles of paperwork that litter your office floor? Decide on the area that causes you the most stress and begins there.

Picture the result

Don’t just buy a load of containers without thinking about the end result. First, visualize your goal. What do you want a room to appear like? Is there a function space needs to perform? It’s far easier to declutter when you have a clear vision in mind.

Be ruthless

Go through the space and get rid of everything that isn’t a fit with your needs, lifestyle and goals. Don’t hold onto something because you think that someday it might come in useful. Only hold on to what is useful now. Be honest. Is it something you use? Is it something you need? Is it something you love? These reasons are the only ones to justify keeping something. And don’t hold onto something just because it was a gift from someone else. Some things have sentimental value or are obvious they need to be kept. I have a lot of sewing items that I acquired when I recently took up sewing as a hobby. Others might consider these things clutter, but to me, they are an essential part of my hobby and lifestyle!

Work with three containers

As you move through your space you should have three containers to hand. Laundry basket, donations bag and a bag for garbage/recycling. Miscellaneous items that should be in another part of the house go in the basket for laundry. Try to donate to charity or recycle, but trash everything else.

Group things together

Work methodically through the room, starting from the left and moving to the right. Sort as you go keeping similar items together. For example, pens, pencils and other stationery together. You don’t need to decide if you are keeping an item or not yet, just concentrate on grouping.

Be realistic

Once you’ve grouped your items, now it’s easier to make that decision of whether to keep or trash. Do you actually need 29 pairs of blue shorts? You might not even realize that you had that many! Jettison items that never get used or are broken. This will soon eliminate a lot of clutter.

Not on the floor

Try to keep items away from the floor. This is useful advice for garden sheds or garages where there may be space to hang things on walls or ceilings.

Keep things where you use them

This may seem obvious, but how many of us end up leaving a screwdriver or a hammer in a kitchen drawer instead of returning it to the toolbox? Only to forget that’s where we put it and get frustrated when we can’t find it?

Keep essentials safe

Make sure you store important documents such as birth certificates and passports together and not just scattered around the house. This means you’ll know where they are when you need them and reduces the potentially costly risk of replacing them if they get lost.

Trash it in the first place

Now you’ve finally managed to declutter your home, avoid having to do it all over again in a few months by avoiding building up clutter in the first place. Keep more wastebaskets in each room, decide early on if an item really needs to be kept, if not, just throw it in the trash! This way if you don’t make clutter, you’ll never have to declutter.