Wouldn’t it be great if you could wave a magic wand and all the mess and dust that adorns our home was gone? Or even better, if once clean, your space never got messy again? AI is taking off in great leaps and bounds, but call me when they have figured out how to get a robot to sort the laundry and clean my pantry, am I right?
As none of the above are actual options for us mere fleshy beasts, we are left to our own devices to figure out the best way to clean and maintain our homes with the little time we have left at the end of every day so, I am here with my top tips that I have found helps when getting started in the business of decluttering.
Like many, I work fulltime (and in split-shifts) I have a husband, a child, cats, dogs and don’t forget the fish, so there is no end to the opportunities I have to clean, declutter and wade through the mess of a busy and full life. I have had to adapt my strategy many times and here I give you the best ways to get started and to live your life as clutter free as you choose.
But why? You may ask? Because of the mental health benefits that you receive by coming home to a clean and clear space, the less stress and anxiety of being surrounded by piles of stuff. Because when we let go of what we don’t want, we make way for things we do want and because I believe that the spaces we inhabit either energise or demotivate us and a dingy, cluttered home is definitely the latter for me.
So here we go, the top three tips for a clutter free home;
- Start a declutter challenge
Let’s start with the obvious, in order to keep spaces clean and clear, I have had to undertake the task of decluttering, but as someone who finds these sorts of jobs boring and difficult to maintain any momentum, I had to make it more exciting! Cue Pinterest and following decluttering gurus online; there are just some of the great free resources out there to get you engaged and excited to declutter, I share a few of my faves from time on my own social media channels and have had great success at following through and completing lots of different decluttering challenges.
- Stop the inflow of clutter
You have to have some sort of system to handle things coming into the home once you have decluttered, ideally you do not want to add to the stuff at the same rate you have been in the past, you need to slow down the inflow. For me, most of the clutter problem has occurred in the last 7 years since I have stopped moving house regularly as I would declutter when I moved. I have realised that I had no way to handle the sometimes constant influx of goods into the house, this was exacerbated by having a child enter the picture and the flow of toys etc that follows this milestone! Your wardrobe is another prime example, sometimes more comes in than goes out so establishing some ground rules is key to managing this. Maybe you could shop seasonally for clothes and purge last season clothes simultaneously? We have had success in slowing down kid related guff by giving our child a monthly allowance to spend how she liked (as opposed to weekly or buying on request), what other systems could you create for your own problematic cluttered areas?
- Everything has a home
Once you have some sort of equilibrium or balance where you don’t have random clutter that you no longer require and you have stopped adding to the piles of things you already have, it’s time to make sure that everything has its place. For example, if you have your books piled up in a corner of your room, find an adequate sized bookshelf for them to go on and limit yourself to that space for books. My decluttering started when I worked in a crowded retail space and one of my rules was; no items on the floor as it adds to the untidy appearance of an already cramped space, so find or create a space for every item you own as it is essential maintaining tidiness between your decluttering cycles.
So, there we are, my top tips for decluttering: Getting excited and engaged in the decluttering of your space or home is the first step, stopping the constant flow of more stuff to make sure you don’t undo all the great decluttering work you have done and finally, make a home for everything you have kept in the process of decluttering and cherish it! I hope this helps you get started on the path to a clutter-free life and reminds you that anyone can achieve balance when it comes to ‘stuff’ if they regularly recycle these three tips.
Okay, I have to go, today is declutter the pantry day!