Are you fed up with all the clutter in your home? Over time we pick up all manner of items, from the “that looks interesting” to the “I’ll definitely use that every day”. And before you know it, you’re out of space. But tackling your clutter problem can be a daunting task when you have items on every surface. We are here to help, read on for our top tips for purging your house of clutter.
1. Get Organised
There aren’t any fancy tools you need for decluttering your life and your home. To get started though, you should get boxes and label them following the 4 container method:
These boxes are to hold items that you need to put away. They’re items you use on a regular basis but got left out rather than put back in their storage spaces. Some examples are a towel or item of clothing on the back of a kitchen chair. Or a coffee cup on the bedroom side table. The items that you place in here should only be items that’ll go back in their designated storage spaces.
When you’re decluttering, you might come across rubbish that’s slipped under the radar. Use this to separate recyclables into the different waste types – like glass, plastic or paper.
You might also come across items that you don’t want to get rid of, but don’t work anymore or have broken. Like a sentimental piece of jewellery that needs a stone reset or a pair of shoes that need their soles replaced. Having a mend/fix box helps you identify those items and get them back in top condition.
While most items are recyclable these days, there are some that aren’t. Use this to separate out un-recyclable household rubbish straight away.
We’ve all heard the phrase – one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, right? For all those items you no longer need or want, but are still in good working order, pop them in your donate box. There will be other people or charities that can put those items to good use. Make sure to keep these to useful, practical items you can imagine another person needing.
2. Set Aside a Weekend to Declutter
It’s very rare that any of us get swept up in the mood to start decluttering. So, set aside a weekend that is convenient to do it. This means you can keep your schedule completely clear and you can get the whole family involved too! It also gives you time to prepare and get in everything you’re going to need. You’ll have time to get the boxes and the bin bags and find a charity shop in need of any donated items. Also, skip hire and decluttering go hand in hand. Especially if you’re planning a whole house declutter. It gives you one place to put your unwanted items at the end of the decluttering process. It’ll get taken away in one go and handled responsibly. This saves you the stress and hassle of disposing of it yourself.
3. Take Time to Visualise the Room
Before you start, look around the room you’re in and how it looks now. Then visualise how you want it to look when you’re done. Think about:
What are the most important furniture pieces?
Is there anything that doesn’t belong in this room currently?
Is it only furniture and rugs on the floor (hint: it should be) or other items too? What’s covering the other flat surfaces? It’ll help you see what you need to do to achieve this result. You’ll figure out what the essential items of the room are and you can take out what isn’t meant to be there with ease.
4. Set-Up and Clear Your Start Zone
Set up your no-clutter start zone that will act as your base of operations. You can use a dining room table or kitchen counter or anywhere with about 1 meter of space. The rule is nothing should be in this space that isn’t in current use. Everything in that area you’re not using, put it away where it belongs until there is no clutter in sight in this zone. Once this is set up, start expanding outwards doing the same. Put away anything you’re not using but need to keep, and the rest goes into your container system. Keep going until you’ve done the entire house! It might take you a few days, but by doing it this way you’ll see immediate progress and can keep tabs on where you’ve been. It’ll be a great morale booster to see room after room coming together too!
5. Clear Counters as a Priority
A good first goal to set yourself is to focus on decluttering counters and flat areas first. This doesn’t mean removing everything from them. A decorative candle or table centrepiece is fine, or a kettle on the kitchen counter. Start with one counter at a time. Take everything off it and look at what you’ve taken. What essential items need to be there? If that is where your toaster goes and you use it every day, put it back.
6. Set-Up a ‘Maybe’ Box
It’s great when we’re decluttering and we know exactly what’s staying or going. Sometimes the items we use often and love are obvious and it’s easy to separate out the donations or rubbish. Sometimes it’s not that simple though. As you’re decluttering, you’ll often come across items you don’t wear/use now but you think you might in the future. To deal with this, set up a separate box for these ‘maybe’ items. Once full, store away somewhere out of sight and out of mind. Set a reminder or note down on your calendar to come back and check it in about 6 months time. Then, in 6 months’ time, get the box out and see if it contains anything you actually needed. Get rid of anything you didn’t need – which is often the entire box!
7. It’s Time to Go if It’s Covered in Dust
It’s safe to say that if there is a layer of dust on an item, we either don’t use it anymore, or we’ve outgrown it. Sometimes these are items that you’ve lost in the back of a closet like a pair of fancy shoes, or sporting equipment. Or they could be appliances or equipment you bought to use once or twice during a phase and never used again. Whatever the reason, if they’re covered in dust it’s telling you the answer – these items need to go!
8. The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is a good guide to follow when cutting down the clutter. When it comes to the items we have, we’re usually only using 20% of them, 80% of the time. This applies to things like:
- DVDs & Video Games
By only using 20% of those items, that leaves a whopping 80% laying around taking up space and gathering dust. A good decluttering tip is to work out what that favoured 20 % and get rid of the remaining items you’re not using 80% of the time.
9. Talk to your Household
It’s all well and good getting rid of your own personal clutter, but everyone in the house needs to be on board. After all, everyone who lives there is likely contributing to the clutter in the first place! Take a moment to call everyone together and explain that you want to declutter and run a tidier home. Explain that the only way to do that is if they agree to help you. Be positive and explain the benefits – this will encourage and persuade people. Avoid nagging or negativity as this will turn people off to your cause.
10. Make Your 30-Day List
Decluttering is only the start though. We can all declutter our homes, but it’s keeping the clutter away that can be a real challenge. The best way to avoid new items creeping up on you and becoming the next decluttering project is simple… don’t buy them! Start a 30-day list and add any non-necessity item to it with the date you put it on there. The rule here is, you say you aren’t buying anything that isn’t a necessity for 30 days. After a 30 day period, we often lose the urge for the item and realise how much we didn’t need it. This will not only save you a lot of decluttering in the future but you’ll save a lot of money too!
Purging Your House of Clutter is as Easy as 1, 2, 3…
So there you have it! By following these 10 tips, you’ll be purging your house of clutter in no time! Organisation is the key to success here. Set up a box or basket filing system to sort your clutter into. And start with a starter-zone so you can keep track of progress and not get overwhelmed.And don’t forget to plan ahead, set time aside to declutter, and make sure you have what you need to be successful. Boxes, baskets, and bin-bags are vital and hiring a mobile skip will save you stress and time. Don’t worry, skip bin hire is easy! If you’re looking to start decluttering your life and home, contact us today. At Mobileskips.com.au we’re ready to help you with all your mobile skip needs. So when you think spring cleaning, think really smart rubbish!