Decluttering when you can’t leave the house

Are you spending more time than usual at home now? Have you thought it might be a perfect opportunity to declutter?

It is a good time, but if you have restrictions getting the stuff out of your home, that can be challenging. This post has a few ideas that might help you to make it work.

Can it be mended, reused, upcycled….?

Before you declutter something have a think about it’s potential. Is there something there than will be useful if you use it in a different way, change something about it or mend it.  Be realistic here, this isn’t an excuse to keep everything, but a bit of breathing space before you decide to get rid of it.

Is it just rubbish?

Our beloved stuff is rarely rubbish to us, but imagine it in a charity shop. Is it good enough to be resold or is it actual crap that has no home other than landfill. This may sound harsh but it will save everyone time in the long run.

Will the recycling crew take it?

In Bristol, our recycling will take away a lot more than scrap paper and bottles.

They will take clean, dry textiles in labelled carrier bags, (not black bin liners). They say they only take usable or wearable textiles, They will also collect spectacles, cases, magazines, and wearable shoes paired, tied together and put in a carrier bag.

Check your local council website for what they will take away for you.

Will a volunteer collect it?

Facebook has a growing number of groups of volunteers that are collecting and delivering things for people. There are families who need toys and books to keep kids amused. There are people who have time to do that jigsaw you will never get around to yourself. Search for local groups and let them know you have something they might like.

Will you have to store it for a while?

The main danger with storing your decluttering is that you might go through it and decide to keep it. If that happens give into it. If something makes you feel happy, is useful or you are not ready to let it go, then keep it.

You can reduce the chances of you wanting to explore old boxes and bags if you know what is inside them. Try

  • Taking a photo of the clutter
  • Writing a list of what is in the box
  • Writing down why you wanted to get rid of something

If you have to store clutter and feel you haven’t the space for it a bit of creativity needs to come into play. Can you designate a corner or a shelf to stuff you no longer want. Will it hide behind the sofa? Under the bed? Not forever, just until things change.

Click on the images or here to download a printable PDF to help you remember what you are storing.

Note about safety

I am alluding to a huge global problem but specifically not writing about it directly. However, please check current advice about sanitising things that you bring into your home and be mindful of the safety of others. If you have any symptoms please don’t donate any of your stuff yet.