If the very word ‘declutter’ fills you with dread and has you thinking about skips and bin bags think again. It doesn’t have to be like that. You can declutter gently and slowly and get magnificent results.
Getting rid of your clutter can be easy and these ten tips will help you get started and stay motivated.
1) Get rid of the bad stuff now
Even if it cost a fortune, if something makes you feel bad, sad, too fat, too thin, angry, frustrated, guilty or unhappy
in any way shape or form get rid of it. This kind of toxic stuff lurks in our homes reminding us of our shortcomings and nobody needs that!
Did you know – Most of the larger charity shops will send your stuff to a different location if you ask them to, so you don’t need to look at it again.
2) Get a good decluttering habit
You cannot diet once in your life then eat all the things and expect to stay thin. You cannot declutter your home in one exhausting round of skips and tips and expect it to stay decluttered. Get into the habit of decluttering just a few things a day and you can avoid all the stress of an overhaul.
If you get rid of 5 things a day, 5 days a week you will have decluttered 1300 things over the year. Starting slow and aiming small takes away the dread of decluttering.
If you want some company in your quest to rid your home of clutter please join our very lovely Facebook group.
3) Have a place for your clutter
Find a small cardboard box or bag to put your clutter into. It has to be small so you can carry it to a charity shop if you need to. If you have small people or inquisitive animals in your home use a bag and hang it up out of their reach.
4) Put your decluttering box where you will notice it
If your decluttering box is in a cupboard you are likely to forget it. Put it somewhere you cannot miss. If you are focusing on decluttering a particular room, put it in there. Change the location regularly because you are likely to become used to it being in one place. You want the box to remind you to declutter.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start I’ve written a book about how to declutter your home.
5) Have a plan for your clutter
Deciding where to take your clutter before you have collected it will make it easier when your clutter box is full. If you are taking your box to a charity shop do you need a lift? Can you carry it? Do you need to work out a bus route? Can the charity shop collect it?
You can also:
- Sign up to your local Freecycle, or Freegle, which ever is more active in your area. These are free and they are full of people willing to collect your unwanted stuff.
- There are many local groups for buying, selling and giving stuff away on Facebook. Try searching for “Buy and Sell” or “Facebay” in your area. My local group is called BS5 Booty!
- Try Preloved to sell your stuff
If you have lots of random stuff that could be sold in a yard or car boot sale but you just want it out of your house, try advertising it as ‘bag of jumble’ on Freecycle and someone else can profit from selling it.
Did you know – The majority of the money made by selling clothes donated in Charity Bags will not go to a charity. www.charitybags.org.uk says “Taking your unwanted clothes etc to a charity shop raises around 50 times more money for charity compared with giving your clothes to a typical house-to-house ‘charity’ collector !”
6) Get rid of the worthless stuff
It is impossible to make decisions about sentimental clutter when it is surrounded by every day stuff you don’t need. Get rid of the useless, broken and unwanted stuff in your home first. When that is gone you will be able to think more clearly about the things that bring up lots of emotions. Remember you cannot do it all at once. Make it as easy for yourself as you possibly can. If you have loads of this kind of thing consider skip hire.
I have loads of guides that show you how to declutter and that help you decide what you can get rid of. Each one talks you through a specific area that attracts clutter, has a checklist of questions to ask yourself and will take 5 minutes to do.
7) Use waiting time to declutter
In the time it takes to boil a kettle you can declutter a few things from a kitchen drawer or cupboard. Instead of having to take a whole weekend to overhaul, you can nibble away at the clutter and actually get somewhere with it, instead of putting it off. Check the bathroom cabinet while you are brushing your teeth. Check your sock drawer while you wait for the iron to heat up. You can declutter your wardrobe one thing at a time. Because you don’t have to pull everything out to declutter gently, you can easily fit 5 minutes of decluttering into your day.
There is a random generator on less-stuff that will choose an area to declutter for you if you want to make a game out of organising your home.
8) Get rid of it fast
Try not to let clutter linger in your box for too long. Get it out of the way and into the hands of someone who will love it more than you. Avoid keeping the full box around for longer than you have to, there is a risk you might go through it again if you keep it too long.
9) Avoid recluttering
Slow down, buy less, enjoy what you have and try not to treat yourself with things. After a couple of weeks of gentle decluttering you might find you are buying less stuff. Somehow imagining it in the decluttering box stops me getting out my purse to buy it!
10) Love the good stuff and reward yourself
No one should tell you what to get rid of because they will not know what it means to you. If it makes you feel good then it is good stuff no matter what anyone else thinks. Enjoy and cherish your good stuff and remember to reward yourself after you have got a box of clutter out of your home.
Decluttering is grade A adulting! You will deserve a reward of some sort – I’ve a list of non cluttery treats here.
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