In a survey of 2000 Americans, almost 70% admitted that they needed to declutter but refused to get rid of their rubbish.
That’s why we’ve put together our best top tips to help you ditch your junk and create a calm home where you can relax. Let’s get to it!
Why declutter your home?
One of the best ways to motivate yourself to declutter is to remind yourself of why you want to in the first place. Ridding your house of old items is a fantastic way to make more space, giving your rooms a new lease of life. Make way for a bigger sofa, a home office, or even just more room to move around in!
But did you know that decluttering can also boost your mental health? It’s been proven that getting your home in order can relieve anxiety, sharpen your focus, and help you feel more confident. It can do a lot to ease stress, too, ridding your mind of the concerns of clutter and creating a clearer space to relax in.
Once you begin to clear out the junk from your house, you build the momentum to continue clearing away, space by space. The momentum coupled with the satisfaction of creating a calm and clean space allows for your brain to breathe and your mental health to improve.
Creating a calm, relaxing haven for you to live in has many benefits for your mental health. Once you have a positive track record with cleaning and decluttering, begin organizing a schedule to stay on top of it! For added motivation, pair your tasks with rewards such as a slice of cake or an evening walk.
Although it is unlikely that you’ll miss that old vacuum cleaner or rusty toaster, and keeping it around is just taking up space, it can actually be beneficial to your mental health to throw out old belongings. Your motivation will improve when you have a clear living space that is free of most non-essentials.
We know that cluttering isn’t always an easy task, and the thought alone may be enough to put you off. Write down all of the reasons that you want to declutter before you begin. Seeing the future benefits of your work can be all the motivation you need to get going.
Take things room by room
Thinking of the clutter in your entire house can be enough to make anyone shrink from the task! That’s why it’s advised that you take things room by room. Choose one space to focus on and forget the rest, and the job will seem a whole lot more manageable.
If room by room is still too much for your mind to handle, don’t worry! You can break the task down further by looking at it section by section. For example, start by working through the shelves in your bedroom or one cupboard in your kitchen. Don’t think about anything else other than this little area, and give yourself a big old pat on the back when it’s done.
You may find it helpful to stay consistent, and work in small chunks until the whole area is cleared. Consistency when cleaning and decluttering is key, as it is easy to let it slip - so make a timetable, set a timer to have some quality focus time, or put up a few post-it notes to nudge you!
Create an action plan
Lots of people struggle to stay on task when they start decluttering. Keep your focus by outlining a detailed action plan in your favorite Ink+Volt notebook, outlining step-by-step how you’ll tackle your tasks.
For example, in your bathroom, you might start with your medicine cabinet before sorting the toiletries around your bath and then around your sink, and finish by decluttering the cupboard full of towels and face cloths. Finish with a quick clean, and your bathroom is done!
Keep your sorting boxes by your side
If you don’t keep boxes or bags ready to sort your things into, decluttering can quickly get out of hand. Soon, you’re surrounded by both the items you want to keep and the items you don’t, and the whole thing is a bit of a mess. Keep five boxes in the room you’re sorting to combat this problem. Designate one box each for:
- Throwing away
Your organizing will be neater and quicker, letting you quickly sort through large piles of clutter in no time.
Start small and work your way up
For some people, the thought of decluttering is pretty terrifying. This is when starting small and working your way towards larger goals is your best bet, helping you make a difference without even noticing.
There are a couple of different challenges you can do if you’re using this method.
One is to get rid of something every day. Just one thing, but you have to keep it up! You can either throw it, recycle it, or donate it, but you can’t keep it in your home. After just one year of this, you’ll have ditched a whopping 365 items, and it will have taken less than a minute a day.
If you want to step it up a bit, look at the 1-1-1 challenge. Every day, look for one item to chuck, one to donate, and one to recycle or relocate to its proper home. Increase it to 6-6-6 or 12-12-12 for more impactful decluttering that can be done less frequently.
You can also make it easier by setting time limits. Start with just 5 minutes of decluttering. If you know you’ll only be tidying for a limited time, the task becomes a whole lot easier.
Make decluttering fun
If you’re really not a big fan of decluttering, put in some effort to make it fun! There are tons of ways you can jazz up your decluttering days, including:
- Putting on music you love to sing along to
- Bringing around friends or family to help
- Listening to audiobooks as you declutter
Be sure to reward yourself as you go, too. Whether that means treating yourself to a delicious lunch halfway through the day or a fun wellness activity such as yoga the day after you’ve decluttered.
Invest in good storage
Decluttering isn’t just about getting rid of what you don’t want but sorting what you do. By the time you’ve finished with a space, it should be neat and organized, as well as more minimal.
To do this, you need the right storage. We recommend that you clean your space, focus on what you need and what can go elsewhere, then prepare to buy storage boxes or organizers once you know how much space you have left! Shop around for smart solutions for your spaces, like drawer organizers, shelving dividers, and nicely designed boxes to store your belongings.
Decluttering isn’t an easy task, but it can have incredible benefits for your mental health and create a cleaner, calmer home. Hopefully, these tips have made the task a little less daunting! Remember that the hardest part of clearing your home is taking the first step; after you’ve done that, the rest will come naturally.
Today's post is a guest post from Gemma Hart.
Gemma Hart works remotely from as many coffee shops as she can find. Since graduating many moons ago, Gemma has gained experience in a number of HR roles but now turns her focus towards growing her personal brand and connecting with leading experts in productivity and education. Connect with her on Twitter: @GemmaHartTweets