De-cluttering a home can seem like an overwhelming task and many people never get started; others abandon the process half-way through. But if you tackle the task one step at a time it can be done with the reward of living in a calm clutter-free environment after all the effort.
The task of de-cluttering a home can seem so overwhelming to many people that they never even begin tackling it; others start the job but then it all becomes to much for them and they quickly abandon the chance of living in a clutter-free environment. But if you tackle the task of de-cluttering one step at a time it can become manageable enough to encourage you to begin and will also ensure that you complete the task so that you have some rewards for your efforts.
Of course, there are other, emotional reasons why we might be reluctant to begin or finish the de-cluttering process, most particularly the fact that many of us tend to become unreasonably attached to our belongings and find it almost impossible to part with them. And by this I don’t mean the possessions that have genuine sentimental value. Decluttering is not about throwing out your memories and treasured possessions but simply about getting rid of the trivia we can surround ourselves with; trinkets and ornaments, piles of out-dated magazines, old clothes and shoes, broken electronic equipment etc. etc. It is these items that need to go.
So follow these easy steps to help you achieve that clutter-free, calm and relaxing space you have always wanted:
Where To Start
Begin in the least cluttered room in your house, for instance the bathroom, spare bedroom or study so that you are not overwhelmed before you even start. Tackling just one room at a time and started with the easiest will encourage you to continue.
Look around the whole room before your start: on the shelves, in the cupboards, on the floor, under the furniture. Look for particular items that do have importance in your life, or that you use regularly then look at what else is there and see how those items make you feel – if you feel nothing (or possibly anger, frustration, stress) then these items are clutter that has to go.
Making A Start
Gather some cardboard boxes and label them “Charity”, “Recycle” and “Rubbish”, and you are now ready to start on the hard work. De-cluttering is hard work but the effort will be worth it when finished. Much like gardening is hard work but the delights of spending a sunny day in a lovely garden make the effort worthwhile.
Start working your way systematically through every item, being as ruthless as you can and placing as many items as possible in your 3 boxes. It is important to recognise that probably every item you own will trigger a memory but you need to ask yourself whether the item itself is necessary for the memories you will continue to hold. It can be helpful to imagine that you only have 5 minutes per room to grab those items most precious to you – you may be surprised at how little clutter you could live without
Cleaning Those Forgotten Corners
Once your room is clear give it a really thorough clean, including the inside of cupboards. It is a much easier task to clean a room when there are only major pieces of furniture in it so you will find it takes very little time as there is no need to move things off surfaces before they can be dusted or wiped. If you had stuff piled on the floor or under furniture there will probably be areas of your carpet, tiles or wooden floor that have not been properly cleaned for a long time!
Storing Everything You Are Keeping
Once you have boxed up and removed everything that you are not keeping then it is time to find a storage space for your precious items. Try to keep surfaces as clear as possible – this makes it easier to keep your home clean and don’t overfill drawers and cupboards, otherwise, you will not be able to find the things you want when you need them. Your room should now be uncluttered and functional with everything in an allocated space. If you need to, buy more storage units to make sure it stays that way.
All you have to do now is repeat the process for every room in the house – that might take you days, weeks or months but eventually you will have an uncluttered living environment that will make your life calmer and less stressful. If you can’t handle throwing away, donating or selling too much stuff at once then try renting a self-storage unit on a temporary basis for storing the items you would like to dispose of but aren’t quite yet ready to do so just yet (you can compare storage prices here). After a few months without them in your home you will probably find your attachment to them has gone.