Happy New Year to all our readers! Now that Christmas and New Year is over, it’s time to start looking forward. It’s a brand new year and, more importantly, a whole new decade, and now’s the ideal time to think about de-cluttering your home.
Clutter often accumulates because of what’s known as ‘deferred decision making’, i.e., rather than dealing with something now, you put it off until later. You only need to say “I’ll leave this downstairs for now, in case I need it …” or “I’ll put that away later …” a few times, to end up with surfaces full of papers and bits and pieces strewn all over the house.
In reality, a cluttered house is far more difficult to clean, organise and maintain, so it really does make sense to bite the bullet and put some time aside for a proper de-cluttering session.
De-cluttering is something most people dread and, as a result, put off, until the clutter becomes truly unbearable and unmanageable. However, letting go of the ‘stuff’ you’ve been hoarding for no reason and really don’t need will help you to feel more in control of your life and be able to face the coming year feeling far more organised and empowered.
So where do you start in your quest for a de-cluttered, minimalist house? De-cluttering doesn’t have to be stressful, as long as you make sure you have an action plan in place before you start.
If you’re looking to de-clutter your surroundings, here are 8 tips to get started that won’t take much effort, but will make an enormous difference:
- Think about the areas in your home where the clutter tends to build up and create storage solutions for them. For example, if your family tends to leave their shoes, coats and bags in the hallway, how about investing a shoe rack and coat stand, or attaching hooks or shelves to the wall? This also applies to children’s play areas or bedrooms, where clearly labelled storage boxes are essential.
- Use dividers in drawers to categorise specific items. This will prevent items being thrown into drawers that belong elsewhere and will enable you to find things more easily.
- Give away clothing that no longer fits or hasn’t been worn for over a year. This is a tricky one as we often have an emotional attachment to clothes that remind us of past occasions or happy times. However, if you haven’t worn them for a long time, then you’re unlikely to wear them again, so perhaps it’s time to be ruthless. On the plus side, you’ll have more space when you decide to buy new clothes!
- Go through your books and donate any you won’t read again to charity or a local hospital. The same goes for CDs and DVDs that are sitting there accumulating dust. Most music and films are available online these days, so your huge collection is just taking up unnecessary space.
- Get rid of old products and empty bottles in the bathroom. Bathroom cabinets are famous for harbouring a collection of expired medication, worn out toothbrushes, empty shampoo bottles and bath products you will never use. If you were guilty of dumping that gift set at the back of the bathroom cabinet (the one that Auntie Mabel gave you for Christmas ten years ago!), isn’t it high time you threw it away?
- Get a pinboard for important receipts, notices and bills and encourage your family to use it. This will avoid these items being dumped on the sideboard or worktop, where they can easily get mislaid or accidentally thrown away. So when your husband demands to know when his next dental appointment is or you need to know when your child goes back to school, you’ll be able to find the answers instantly!
- Go through your kitchen cupboards and drawers and throw away expired tins and the items you never use. Most people are guilty of forgetting about certain tins of food at the back of the cupboard and suddenly discovering they expired five years ago. Also, we all have items and gadgets in our kitchen that were bought in good faith but hardly ever used. Getting rid of these things, as well as duplicate utensils and other items will free up your space to store items that are currently sitting on your worktops, such as cleaning products and the gadgets, pots and pans you actually DO use.
- Get some help! Assign tasks to family members and insist they’re each responsible for their own area as, ultimately, they will all benefit from de-cluttering. Failing that, why not call Extra Help? We can provide you with a fully insured, reference and DBS checked home-helper, who will assist you with many different tasks around the home, including de-cluttering, tidying, cleaning and many other services.
If you’ve been procrastinating about re-organising your surroundings, I hope these tips will inspire you! You’ll be amazed at the changes that will occur, once you’ve got rid of the old to make room for the new, and you may well find that life, in general, will take a turn for the better.
Do contact Extra Help on 01604 532932 if we can assist you with any aspect of de-cluttering, tidying or cleaning your home.