Let’s be honest, we’ve all spent way more time in our homes recently than we usually do with not one but two lockdowns. Coupled with an increase in Internet shopping, could it be that are we all due a Spring Clean? What is the saying, Tidy house, Tidy Mind? If you want to tidy then follow these tips from the tidy experts
Why declutter our lives?
Life can be easier for some of us with just a tiny bit more organisation. How many times have you looked for a particular item of clothing, your toothbrush, your phone charger, the list goes on. This build-up of tiny annoyances is why decluttering can help some of us to live a less stressful and anxious life.
Now imagine how much simpler life could be if everything was vaguely where it should be and you found things on the first or second time of looking? So, when you go to look for something, the time you need is minimal and you should hopefully be less stressed. That’s the theory.
Start with a blank canvas, an empty room
Rooms become messy and chaotic because we just keep piling items into a room and over time, the clutter builds up, until it can become unmanageable. The only way to positively change this is, is to try and start again. Start with emptying a room before decluttering and laying out all your items in your garden, if you are able to. If you don’t have a garden then use another room if you can The next trick is to put back only the things you absolutely need. Be as ruthless as you can; the goal is to create as much space as possible, which can free up our brains and thoughts, allowing our minds to breathe.
Reclaim the Room
Another trick is to try and remember what a room was originally designed for and try to take it back to basics. Has your bedroom also become a home office, but in an organic slightly weird way? Or has your kitchen become a toy room and a study and a front room? Have you forgotten that it is actually a kitchen? Let’s take it back to basics and reclaim the room. Move the toys back to their rooms. Move the lounge items back to the lounge/front room and let’s think about the work items, as you may not have a dedicated study in your house, but there are ways you can keep the kitchen as kitchen, for most of the time. One idea could be to pack up your work laptop and folders each night. Then you are reclaiming the space and also you’re not constantly looking at your work items, which can upset you work/life balance. The goal is that you end up with dedicated spaces that don’t feel encroached upon by the rest of the house. The rooms take back their identity and hopefully you will know where to find your possessions a bit more easily.
Chart your progress
Nothing will help you identify areas of progress like photos. Before you start to declutter your home, choose a room in your home and take a photo of it. Once you have tidied and organised that space, take an after photo. Then you can keep a record of all of your hard work and use it as motivation to declutter more of your home.
Use Storage Boxes
Boxes can be really useful storage tools as part of this process. You could try to label the boxes as ‘Trash’, ‘Donate’, ‘Keep’ or ‘Relocate’. Everything in the room you are decluttering has to go into one of these boxes, no skipping items. If you’ve fallen behind with any letters, forms to fill in, etc then put that all into one box as paperwork isn’t necessarily room specific. Put everything into one box, unopened mail, paperwork or files. It all goes into one box. Then when you are ready to go through the box you can make that dedicated task. One it’s done you and you’ve either shredded, filed or processed, you can then keep on top of any paperwork as it arrives.
How can you donate or sell?
Getting rid of your decluttered stuff will take some creative thinking, especially during a period of lockdown. A service like Music Magpie is greta for DVD’s or CD’s and they will send the box out to you. Facebook is also really for local trading pages, you can either sell or give items away locally, so you’re saving on transport miles for your goods. Charity shops will be reopening soon and they are always a good place to donate items and you can pick a charity that is close to your heart.
However, you might have bigger items that you would prefer to sell. Ebay is great for furniture and Vinted and Depop specialise in second-hand clothing. When selling online make sure you are clear and honest you’re your description. Include measurements and clear photograph. The photo will be the main selling point for your product, so ensure that it’s high quality and visually appealing. Also, take as many images as you can to show the product from different perspectives in order to give the potential buyer a really comprehensive view of what they are buying
Mental benefits of decluttering
Once you’ve reclaimed your rooms and decluttered, it will hopefully help you feel clearer and less stressed in life. It doesn’t have to be super tidy, that’s not the goal of decluttering. Trying to clear your mind and become less stressed is hopefully a really nice by-product of a bit of decluttering. Good luck x