Time to declutter your home. Time to reclaim your space. Time to clear out that obstacle course you call a hallway so you can cartwheel from your bedroom to the living room like the playful rascal you are.
Decluttering your home isn’t all sunshine and acrobatics, though. There are a few things you’re going to want to avoid along the way.
Don’t Start Without a Clear End Goal in Mind
Before you start throwing things away willy-nilly, make sure you have a realistic, achievable end goal in mind. Do you want to make each room more accessible and organised? Great. Do you only want items in your home that you use or love? Let’s do it! Do you want your house to look like Oprah’s Hawaiian home? Now you’re just being silly.
Some more likely goals might include:
- Create a clutter-free study for your kids to do their homework without distractions.
- Clear out the spare room so your friends and family have somewhere to sleep after your boozy dinner parties.
- Make your kitchen look so good that not even your worst critic will find anything to comment on.
- Transform your wardrobe from an embarrassing mess into a fashionista’s dream.
- Make room in the garage for your car.
If you start without knowing what you’re working towards, you could end up holding on to things you don’t need (like that gnome collection). But focusing on an end goal will give you direction and motivation throughout the process.
Don’t Buy Any Storage Stuff Until You’re Finished
When you’ve been bitten by the declutter bug, it can be tempting to go out and buy every storage and organisation supply you see. But pull yourself together and have some self-control, for goodness sake!
Yes, we know there are heaps of storage hacks you can use to organise your home. For example:
- Install baskets on the inside of cupboard doors under the sink to store sponges and other cleaning items.
- Under-bed sliding drawers are perfect for maximising the space in your bedroom to keep things tucked away and tidy, like the books that didn’t make it onto your bookshelf.
- Use floating shelves as a simple storage solution in every room. They’re great for displaying your favourite gnomes that made the cut.
- Tiered fruit baskets are great for bananas, yes. But they’re also an easy way to keep your shampoo, body wash and other shower products organised and easy to reach. Hang one over your shower curtain rod and reap the benefits.
- Why stop there? Make your bathroom extra organised by attaching sideways wire baskets to the walls for your toilet paper, razors, water pistols… whatever you keep in the bathroom.
But if you buy these storage items right now, they’ll just get in the way.
So don’t hit the stores until you’ve finished your decluttering. This way, you’ll know what baskets, shelves and other storage supplies you’ll definitely have use for, and you won’t be forced to give every member of your family a box you didn’t actually need for Christmas. They’d call you ‘Storage Claus’ and mock you all day. You don’t want that.
Don’t Try to Finish in One Day
Don’t try to rush through your declutter or push yourself to finish in one day. You’ll likely burn out halfway through and retreat to your living room to watch Netflix, never to return to your project again. Or you’ll lose motivation, do a half-assed job and have to start all over another day. Future You will resent Past You, and inner turmoil will follow.
Instead, set aside a couple of hours each day to focus on one room or mini-project at a time. This will ensure you stay motivated and focused, and you’ll do a much more thorough job.
Print off this example schedule for inspiration:
|Monday||2 hours sorting out clothes & shoes|
|Tuesday||1 hour clearing the fridge & pantry|
|Wednesday||2 hours sorting out books & DVDs|
|Thursday||1 hour clearing out bathroom cupboards & drawers|
|Friday||2 hours sorting out items in closets|
|Saturday||1 hour sorting out decorative items/knick-knacks in each room|
|Sunday||3 hours on the couch with your good friend Jack|
Don’t Throw Other People’s Items Away Without Asking First
Sick of looking at that collection of stuffed animals your child left behind when they moved out? Or maybe their stack of yearbooks has been collecting dust for too long? When it comes to items that may be special or sentimental to someone else in your family, you’d be seen as quite the villain if you threw them away without asking first.
Put these items into boxes and deliver them to their owner’s door, or send a list of items you’re considering throwing away to get their permission first. Sending a photo of Mr Snuggles holding a sign that says ‘You have one hour’ should also do the trick.
What are you going to do with your spare space once you’ve decluttered? We’ve got some inspiring ideas right here.
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