According to the Daily Mail, we’re a nation of hoarders. Only 1 in 5 of us dispose of things we no longer have a use for and admit that we could fill a whole room with the clutter we’ve collected over the years.
Clutter can accumulate without us being aware of it – it’s only when we begin tripping over things that there’s some urgency to do something about it.
Decluttering isn’t as difficult as you may think, you can rather quickly create more space and feel less penned in by your possessions. You may also be able to put those unwanted items to better use.
5 Steps to Declutter your Home
- Have a Plan: The first thing you need is to do is set a time and day for your big declutter and put a plan together. What do you need in the way of boxes and bin bags? What are you going to do with all those unwanted items? More importantly: What do you really want to get rid of? Good decluttering is all about being focused. You may want to do it all in one go. Perhaps you’ll find it easier to do a room at a time. Top Tip: I find it helpful to have a small rule, if I haven’t used it or worn it for 2 years then does it really need to be there?
- Set Aside an area for the Clutter: You will want to organise everything into piles, so you can deal with them appropriately. Perhaps, you’ll have a section for clothes, one for books and magazines, another area for toys the kids no longer use, and one for those old electrical items. Or maybe you will organise them into piles for disposal: the tip, charity shop, the attic or is going to a family member etc.
- Be Focused: When it comes to decluttering it can be easy to talk yourself out of throwing something away – we can find all sorts of reasons. Set yourself some clear parameters and be honest with yourself. Is this something that you are going to use again? Do you really need it in your life? Does it have sentimental value? As much as it is important to declutter you don’t want to be left regretting this exercise.
- Get Everyone Involved: If you have a big home and family, getting the children and your partner involved makes sense, although levels of commitment can vary from person to person. Decide upon the rule of thumb together.
- Deal with the Clutter Immediately: Once you’ve finished decluttering, and everything is sitting in piles, deal with it as soon as possible. The quicker you get things out of the house, the easier you will find it to stick to your plan.
What to do with Unwanted Items
There’s a useful guideline called the waste hierarchy which should help when you get rid of your clutter. This stipulates that you should first reuse and repurpose if possible, then recycle. That way you make sure you don’t send stuff to landfill and clog up the planet. Reusing and repurposing can be achieved in a few different ways.
- You can give items to friends or family.
- You can donate it to the local charity shop.
- You can sell items on eBay or even run a car boot sale and make a little extra cash.
- Finally, if the items are broken or unusable, then these should go to the tip or recycling centre.
Split your items up, label them and then get rid of them. The next option is to consider recycling and most towns have a recycling centre where your clutter can be taken, particularly for old electrical items. The big thing you need to be focused on is getting everything out of the house before you change your mind. Once you’ve finished, sit back and enjoy your spacious new home and relax with a much-earned cuppa!