How to declutter your home: 10 quick tips
Christmas is over, the tree has come down and your home can once more be restored to order. And following a December full of decorations, fairy lights, presents and guests, I certainly yearn for a bit of decluttering in the cold light of January. No one could call me a minimalist, but I do believe that everything should have a place. Here we’ve rounded up some quick and easy tips to help you with a bit of New Year organising, should you feel the need:
- Try Joshua Becker of becomingminimalist.com’s 12/12/12 challenge; the aim is to find 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate and 12 items to be returned to their proper home. It’s a more manageable, less intimidating way to make a start on decluttering.
- Your hallway is the first thing people see when they visit your home so help it to give the right impression. Make sure you have plenty of hooks for coats plus storage for shoes and handbags so it doesn’t become a dumping ground.
- Colleen Madsen at 365 Less Things gets rid of one item every day – she’s been doing it for several years now and it has led to quite a transformation of her home.
- Often when it comes to decluttering, things sneak back in because you can’t be sure you won’t need them one day. Zenhabits.net advises creating a ‘maybe box’ for this stuff – fill it up, pack it away somewhere and in six months time revisit it: have you needed or missed anything in the box? If not, you can get rid of the lot. Breaking it into two stages makes the whole process less painful.
- Take one bin bag and fill it up as quickly as possible – old papers, out of date packets from the back of the larder, toys that are no longer played with…grab them and fill up that one bag as quickly as you can. This is much more achievable than some mammoth purge where you attempt to go through every cupboard in your home only to be found weeping on the floor hours later, surrounded by stuff.
- If you have children, Christmas probably means that there are now TOYS EVERYWHERE. You need to make way for the new by giving away the old and outgrown. If you can persuade your children to help then great; they’ll start to understand the importance of donating and decluttering. If that’s asking too much, then I’m not above sneaking things out when they’re not looking.
- Provide toy storage that your children can reach easily so they can find what they need AND help with tidying up. Pentreath and Hall have terrific, colourful baskets of varying sizes which are ideal for toys.
- Make sure you have a proper filing system for your paper work (which I find is responsible for the majority of the annoying piles at home). Have a folder or tray for each different category of paperwork and file it as soon as it arrives. Switch to paperless bills and bank statements to reduce the amount of stuff that comes through your letter box.
- The bathroom is an easy one – chuck out any expired makeup and skincare products….including that gummy bottle of bath salts that’s been lurking at the back of your bathroom cupboard for years.
- Take the ‘one year’ clothes rule seriously and bin anything you didn’t wear in 2017. If you’re unsure, you could try Oprah’s tip: turn all your hangers the wrong way round, then each time you wear something, turn the hanger the right way round. That way you can see exactly what’s been worn and what hasn’t. Try keeping a bag in your cupboard of things for the charity shop that you can add to, bit by bit, throughout the year.
Good luck and if any of you have any other good tips, we’d love to hear them!
Want More? see below for some practical but pretty organising solutions