It seems that there is just never enough storage in the house and the amount of belongings we own just keep mounting up. There has to be a time where you have to start donating, selling or throwing away items which are no longer useful as hard as that may sound to do, but where to start? De-cluttering can be hard, ironically due to all the clutter which is around you, but decluttering can be an easy task if properly planned. In some cases self-storage units are the best option when you have limited space but have items which you want to keep. Nevertheless, you should still attempt you de-clutter your home as you know what they say a ‘tidy house, tidy mind’.
Realistically you would want to ensure that you tackle the task at hand in sections and over a period of time which won’t make you exhausted. If the house is small and you are energetic then it can be done in a weekend but if there is no real rush you can do a section a weekend for example. There are five main steps which will allow you to successfully de-clutter your house.
1. Loft, Garage & Garden Shed
You might want to start with the hardest, where years of household goods have been kept. You want to ensure that you are only keeping the necessary items and not something which has no use and no sentimental value. By tackling this first you may be able to make space for items which you would like to keep but have no place in the main living area, but don’t worry if not as you can always find cheap self-storage.
To de-clutter these areas you should first start with the items which you use on a more regular basis such as bikes, tools etc. and place them to one side. Then seasonal items such as Christmas decorations, personally we always buy additional ones each year but then never throw out the old ones so our collection just keeps growing. And then move on to the rest.
It’s also a good idea in such storage spaces to have shelving as it enables you to have the items organised and easily accessible. If you already have them make sure you sort them out to.
In my opinion this is the worst area of all of them as somehow you just don’t want to let go of these clothes which you may not have even worn for years. You somehow find your self saying ‘oh I could still wear that’ even though you haven’t for the last two years and may have even forgotten about it but it still ends up on the ‘to keep pile’. So you have to be ruthless, and stick to three main points, which are if:
- you have not worn it in the past year or so it has to go
- it no longer fits you
- you do not like it.
The clothes which are in good condition can be given to charity or if you think that someone might be interested in buying it as it is a brand for example you could sell it online through eBay or Gumtree. Otherwise you could use a recycle bank or throw it away. There are some clothes which you may have only worn once or twice as they are for a special occasion then of course they can stay, but only if it fits and you still like it. There are also some clothes which may have sentimental value, especially children’s clothes. For them you could correctly package them and store in the loft (as you hopefully made some space) or consider renting a storage unit which you could fill with other items as well.
The kitchen is not a hard one to tackle. You know those jars and cans which have been in the house since the day you moved in, there is a high chance that they would have gone off by now so throw them away, they have no other use – that’s for sure. Then go on to your pots and pans, ones which have been burnt, got scratched and more or less have no use for your cooking, then throw it out. Also the old ones which you never use as you have upgraded – what is the point in keeping them? Just make sure you don’t keep anything which has no use to you anymore, this way you will have more storage space in the cupboards meaning less clutter on the worktop.
It is more or less the same as with the kitchen; just make sure that you are not keeping anything which has no use to you. The bathroom cabinets can hold a range of items most of which have an expiration date. Just go through all the medicines, sunscreen and cosmetics to see if there are any which have past their best and throw them out. Also make sure you are not keeping anything old which you will not use again such as razors or old toothbrushes. Additionally if you are that type of person who has a range of different shampoos and conditioners on display but there is only a little bit left in each- maybe not even enough for one use, make sure you finish all the products which are out before getting anymore as getting rid of the vast amount of bottles can just make the bathroom seem more clutter free.
5. Everything else
This I believe takes the most effort mainly due to the distraction which it can bring. Clearing out general items can take a long time as it has just accumulated over the years, such as children’s toys and books. In my experience when I try to clear out items which I have kept over the years even paperwork in what should be my perfect study space, for example, I take my time to ensure I only keep the absolute necessities but then somehow I end up keeping the majority, as I tell myself I may need it one day. In situations like this self storage is the only option for me and due to it being inexpensive I have been able to keep all the items I wished to.
However, you should not be as bad as I am in such situations. You have to go through everything and the items which have no use and very little sentimental value such should really go in the bin. Items such as old children toys which they no longer play with but are in good condition can be donated to charity. Things such as magazines dating back to 2000 should not be kept just simply place them in the recycling bin. Of course, there will be some people with collections of items they have acquired over many years such as a fine wine collection, photography collection or a collection of vinyl records. These obviously have both sentimental and monetary value but don’t necessarily need to be on show so think carefully about how to store your record collection or your photographic film collection or how to preserve you wine collection – just don’t let them clutter up your home!
Even house decoration such as old ornaments which you no longer like can be donated to charity as there is no reason for you to be keeping it as it is just cluttering up the house. Instead bring your house back to life with the right storage and a bit of ruthless decluttering.
Just make sure you are as ruthless as possible and try not to fall into the trap of believing that you might need it one day.