There are three things certain in life: death, taxes and clutter. Trying to tackle heaps of clutter can be very daunting and overwhelming. Where did all this clutter even come from? There may be items that have mysteriously moved away from its usual spot. There may also be items that are of no use to you, but nostalgia tempts you to keep them. And of course, there’s always things you wish to discard of completely and throw straight into the rubbish bin.
But where to even start decluttering? All that organising, sorting, tidying up…it would be enough to overwhelm anyone. We know exactly how you feel, so we compiled our best decluttering tips to organising your house (room by room), as well as the benefits of a decluttered house so you can finally breathe in your own space again.
The living room tends to get a lot of use, so can often be the hardest room in the house to getting rid of clutter.
The best approach to this is by taking all items that don’t belong there and sorting them into three piles-items that you want to keep, you want to put into storage, and you want to discard completely. Assess each item; do you use it regularly? Is it important to you? Does it serve a function?
Items you want to keep are most likely simply misplaced, so your task here would be to return them to their appropriate home (e.g. toys in the toy room). Find a permanent place to put frequently used items that may not have a designated home such as video games (e.g. video game box or under the TV), remote control, keys etc.
Items you want to put into storage you should put into a labelled box and either stored in your attic, shed or in a storage locker. Items that can be discarded can be donated to charity shops or chucked into the appropriate bin.
Give the place a quick dusting down and hoover after you’ve decluttered, and your living room will be feeling brand new.
The kitchen is often referred to as the ‘heart of the home.’ People spend most of their time there, whether it’s cooking, eating meals or socialising with family members. It can also be one of the messiest rooms in the home, with lost and unused items often finding their way there.
A lot of things are stored in your kitchen, and with so much going on, it can often be a magnet for clutter. It can all feel very overwhelming, can’t it?
Our first tip for organising the kitchen is to ensure your counters are completely clear of any unnecessary items. Next, you’re going to sort out all the items you took off your counter-do they belong in the kitchen? If yes, then put them back where they belong. And when we say, ‘where they belong’ we don’t mean scattered back on the countertop- towels under your sink, cutlery back in the cutlery drawer, keys in the key bowl etc.
Consider storing things that go together near each other, such as cups near the teabags or the kettle. Anything that belongs to another room (AKA toys, mobile phone chargers, even the TV remote) make sure it goes back to that room-it’ll make it much easier to find it next time you need it if it’s in the right spot! If it is only rubbish that’s left after that, such as old newspapers or magazines, bin them (or shred them, whatever method of disposal takes your fancy.)
If you are unsure whether to throw away an item or keep it, it is important to ask yourself three things; Do I use this regularly? Is it important to me? Does it serve a function? If the answer is ‘No’ to all three of them, you know what to do.
Now that the countertops are completed, move onto the kitchen cabinets, storage spaces and shelves. You can immediately dispose of any expired food you find. As with the countertops, make sure to clear off everything and assess each item, and then put it back in its right place. Ask yourself the same three questions above; this is an excellent way to determine if the item is really needed and whether it’s worth taking up space in your kitchen.
The first thing you should do before decluttering your bedroom is making sure your bed is made-how can you possibly tackle a decluttering job when an unmade bed is looming over you? It’s an easy step and can really be a good starting point to help kick-start the decluttering process.
We tend to leave random items on the bedside locker, such as unfinished books or keys. Gather everything off your locker and analyse each item. Make sure you return them to their proper space or throw them away/recycle if they are no longer needed. Repeat the process in your dresser and under your bed.
If there’s an item you no longer want but is still in good condition, consider donating it to a charity shop. If you have a desk in your room, it very easily attracts volumes of clutter. As with every other room, assess each item and determine if you still need it. If they have not been used in a long time or are broken, chuck it out.
The wardrobe may be the biggest decluttering job you face in your room, which is why we recommend tackling last after you’ve cleared away everything else. Have you ever heard of the Marie Kondo method? We suggest giving it a try, especially when it comes to tackling your wardrobe.
Clear out your wardrobe by going through each category of clothing individually. So, start with shoes, then move onto jeans and trousers, then dresses, then tops and finish with jackets.
Take out all your shoes from your wardrobe and create three piles-one for shoes you wish to keep, one to throw away and one to donate to charity. Repeat this process for all your categories of clothing. Any items you want to keep can go back into the wardrobe and any clothes that can be donated to charity can be put into either a large box or a black bin bag. Throw away any pieces of clothing that are unsuitable to donate and are no longer wanted.
Put any items that don’t belong in the wardrobe, such as socks, hats or scarves back in their normal spot. Any dirty clothes can go into the wash basket and any that are damaged or needs to be mended can go to the tailors or dry cleaner.
Tackling your bathroom clutter may not be the most pleasant job but it is certainly the most rewarding. If you have a medicine drawer, take out all your medications and throw out anything that is expired.
Put everything you use least often at the back of the shelf and medicines you use most often at the front. If you keep your makeup in your bathroom, do the same thing and get rid of any makeup or skincare products that are out of date, and put makeup you use the most at eye-level.
To tackle the drawers, take out everything and do a quick evaluation of each item. Look for any empty shampoo bottles or toothpaste tubes you might have been hoarding and chuck them out pronto. Like the medication drawers, store items you use most often at front and items that you use the least or may use later at the back. Do the same procedure for under your sink and in your shower.
If anything is empty or expired, it’s straight to the bin. If it belongs to another room, make sure it returns there immediately. Remember, if it’s not used regularly, isn’t important in your life or serves no function, you can get rid of it.
This area can be tricky as it needs decluttering frequently. If you have a drawer or desk in your hallway, you should start there, as clutter tends to build up very easily due to it being the first thing we see when we come through the door. Items such as keys, umbrellas and hats can find their way to this drawer, but with no organisation it can become very hectic.
Remove the contents from your drawer, assessing each item and determining if they belong there or somewhere else. When putting everything back, why not create each drawer for a specific type of item-top of your drawers can be a nice spot for a key bowl, as it’ll be easy to throw your keys in there every evening when you’re home.
Middle drawer can be for items such as hats or gloves. Bottom drawer can be used for shopping bags or whatever other item you may need to quickly grab when leaving the house. Make sure it doesn’t get too overcrowded as it can lead you right back to square one again.
Go through your shoes and jackets too; only keep your everyday items near the front door. The hallway needs decluttering regularly as items from other rooms easily find their way there. Be prepared to spend time returning items to their home.
Benefits of a decluttered home
A cluttered home means a cluttered mind. Organising and clearing out your space can not only be beneficial for your whole house but also your head. Here are some of the reasons why you should get decluttering:
1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety.
Getting rid of unnecessary items can help clear out your head.
2. Improves productivity and creativity
Once the clutter has disappeared you should find productivity levels grow.
3. Save Money
You can also sell your unwanted items on eBay, Amazon or Depop.
4. Finding lost treasures
You may find things you were planning on buying again, or something that brings back happy memories!
5. Better Sleep
By clearing out your bedroom you’ll see how much easier it is to get that much needed shuteye.
6. Clear Allergens
Dust can quickly build up in your home, which in turn can affect your breathing space. By cleaning out your home, you can help avoid these problems and live in a healthier and clearer environment.