Do you need a decluttering session for your home but have no clue from where to begin? You are not alone, a cluttered home adds to your stress and overwhelm in life, and the very thought of decluttering seems like a mission better delayed.
But cluttered space reflects your state of mind. You cannot think clearly when you have clutter around you. It affects your motivation, focus and productivity. A good decluttering session will give your home a sense of organization.
When you declutter and remove unnecessary things from your home you will feel a huge load has lifted from your shoulders. It gives you the motivation to tackle things you have been procrastinating on.
But certainly this task may seem incredibly difficult, especially if you are living space is already stretched and jam-packed with stuff, you don’t even recall buying. The decision of what to keep and what to throw can result in a serious mind-fog.
As with most things, a plan or a strategy before you actually begin decluttering your home will reduce chances of overwhelm when you are tossing aside things that have served their purpose.
The post here aims to share 23 such practical tips so that you take sensible decisions when it comes to discarding items and your home and life remain relatively clutter-free.
#1. Decluttering methods for your home
Here are 5 simple ways you to declutter your home. It is always better to have a systematic workflow in place during your cleaning session because decuttering does consume your energy. For some deep cleaning you can mix and match some of these methods. You can also customize these techniques as per the situation.
A. The Marie Kondo way
Marie Kondo the world-famous professional tidying expert in her bestselling book ‘”The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up gives us a simplistic method of decluttering our home.
She says you should keep things that spark joy, if not toss it aside. She also suggests you visualise your ideal life and tidy up your space category wise and not location wise. So if you start with clothes, toss aside all unwanted clothing items and move on to next items like books and then to your crokery and so on.
Marie Kondo claims if you once use the Konmari Method you will never face the issue of clutter again and be sorted for life.
B. 10-thing technique
This is again a pretty straight forward technique of identifying 10 things you want to discard, 10 things you wish to keep. If your discarded items are still in good condition you can always donate them.
Before decluttering your home take a small survey of all the spaces you need to declutter. You can spread this cleaning session over several weeks to avoid overwhelm.
C. The SEEYA system
This article by Best Life quotes Katrina Temple, founder and CEO of Operation Organization who speaks about the interesting SEEYA method of organising things at home. Ask yourself if an item is S – Sucking your energy, E – Is it excessive? E – Is it emotionally draining for you? If you say ‘yes’ or ‘ya’ to all of these or even one of these questions it’s time for you to discard that particular item.
D. Box method
This is gain another effective method of decluttering your home label three boxes as discarded items, donation and relocating. Use the room by room approach to select items for the boxes. Fill up the boxes with all items you wish to discard, don’t hold on to anything. This is method works when you want to just clear all things at a go.
E. 15-minute challenge
You wish to declutter your home but you are pressed for time? No problem, take the 15-minute challenge. Pick the smallest area in your home which can be cleaned under 15-miutes or so. It could be your study table or your bed, your washroom cabinet. Anything that doesn’t seems overwhelming. Once you start removing the junk you can build up the momentum easily.
Set the timer before starting to clean, after 15 minutes you can restart again or take it slow and spread this method over several days.
Decluttering your home with 21 tips
There are specific areas in your home which may be better organized after you declutter and put certain system in place to avoid the pile up in future. A lot of clutter happens in our home because things are not put in a convenient spot. Here are some ways you can customize things so they are just within your reach when you need them.
#1. Make a declutter plan
Make a list of things or areas you want to clean make a plan on how to go about it. Also have a mental frame of mind whether you want to clean all your junk at one go or spread the cleaning session over several weeks. Some complete it within a day or two while other may spread their cleaning ritual spanning few weeks. But it is always better to spread out your cleaning ritual.
#2. Start small
Divide your house and each room into sections before starting to clean, start with small spaces like small cabinets and then proceed on to other bigger areas. Approach each section as if you are cleaning it for the first time. Throw away all things you don’t need or haven’t used for a year at least.
#3. Use the labeling system
When decluttering your home, use the labeling system to arrange things. Label your cabinets and arrange things alphabetically it’s totally worth the effort. Like suppose you are arranging your kitchen cabinet label your jars and create specific spaces for every day utensils, separate sections in your kitchen for spices and condiments and so on.
When writing your lables please ensure that your handwriting is legible for everyone. Use capital letters with a good font size.
#4. Closet arrangement
Our closets are the primary places where most of the mess lurks. It is a humongous task that may seem overpowering. When arranging your closet go the Marie Kondo who suggests to arrange clothes according to catagories like ‘dresses’, ‘tops’, ‘scarves, trousers, denims, denim jackets and so on. After that pile all your clothings and dump them on the ground.
Then way toss aside things that don’t ‘spark joy’ like things you have simply worn out. Avoid sentimentality and nostaligia when discarding old clothes. You can then arrange your clothes lengthwise. Keep heaviest items that are longer in length to the left while clothes smaller in length are placed right. Apparently this arrangement is more positive to your mind.
#5. Single Socks
Unless you don’t mind wearing mis-matched socks, discard any pile of single socks that have lost their mates. These will make some space for your closet and reduce the sock chaos in wardrobe drawers. Most cleaning experts suggest to start small so when you start decluttering you home you can deal with your sock mess first.
# 6. Accessories arrangement
Accessories take up a huge space in our wardrobe and dressing areas. When decluttering your home, make sure you have separate boxes for your jewelry, hair-pins, bobby pins, scrunchies and so on. It also helps if each of these boxes contains a label of all the contents. It is certainly time-taking but worth the effort.
For your shoes you can arrange them the Marie Kondo the lengthier one like boots, stilettos and high wedges to the left, pumps, sneakers or floaters to the right.
If your discarded items are in a good state you can think about reselling these, E-bay and Amazon are good options. After all everyone could use some few extra bucks.
Many find handbag cleaning annoying mostly because there are too many contents to count. The Konmari Method suggests we clean our handbags every single day. But if decluttering isn’t possible everyday you can easily do it once a week. Recycle unimportant crumpled receipts and paper in your bag. Scan the important ones and save it in your Google drive.
#8. Arrange your Important papers
Organise, label and keep a designated spot for your and important papers and documents like home deeds, tax receipts, insurance papers, bank papers etc. The best thing you can do is to keep a digital copy of all your important documents and keep them in an external drive.
#9. Digital Declutter
Our phone has so much junk in form of long–forgotten images, rarely-used apps and messages, most of which we don’t even read. Similarly with your emails there must be countless of saved mails and drafts which you don’t need any longer. So don’t wait just delete all stuff needlessly piling up your inbox.
Clear your phones at least one a month to save some storage space and pump up that battery power. Use labeling system for your computer to organize important files in designated folders. Keep back-up of important receipts and files in Dropbox, Google drive or any external drive.
#10. Expired Make-Up Products
Believe it or not but many people don’t throw away expired cosmetics products even after those are well beyond the expiry date, because apparently you can use cosmetic product beyond the expiry date too since it’s a sale strategy to mark the self-life of a product for maximum two-three years.
But seriously don’t let your dressing area or vanity table pile up with expired cosmetics products which can harm your skin seriously. The only place where these belong is your trash can. Equally important is cleaning your make-up and hair-brushes regularly.
#11. Expired Medicines
When decluttering your home, start with clearing your medicine cabinet, because this area is easily overlooked. Check your medicine cabinet and throw out all expired meds and replace all things that are not needed anymore. Doctor’s prescriptions and reports can be digitized to gain more space.
#12. Declutter your Kitchen
Decluttering the kitchen is as mammoth as your bedroom. But a clean and organized kitchen will certainly make you more happy and relaxed. Start with remove all bottles, jars and cans you don’t use. Even spices and condiments you haven’t used for a considerable time shouldn’t be in your kitchen for two reasons. One, those items are not as fresh when you bought them and secondly, if you haven’t used these till now you’ll never ever use them.
Create sections within the kitchen where things are arranged conveniently so it is with your reach; like keeping your coffee mug near your coffee-maker.
#13. Extra Utensils
Using fewer utensils will not overwhelm you when you are cleaning your kitchen after a cooking session. Most of us have more than one similar utensil item. When you think about it is more of hazard to buy more utensils, especially if you are living in a rented apartment.
#14. Garage and storeroom arrangement
Most garage cum storeroom are choc-block with old furniture, tools, things from our childhood, other discarded items. Decutter everything that you have stored over the years unnecessarily. Like other areas in your home create sections for garage too, for example a specific area where you store your garden tools, a section where your home accessories are kept another space where you keep old items to be discarded.
An organised work space is a sign of an organised mind. A clear desk cleaned of all bits of paper, used note books and other stationery items makes you feel more motivated, focused and productive. To keep your desk clean, consider buying less items and clean it weekly.
#16. Drawers, counter-tops and bed storage areas
Our bed storage and drawers are places where we shove things mindlessly. Ultimately our storage areas are overflowing with things but we don’t bother because ‘out of sight out of mind’. Our countertops are also overcrowded with things we don’t often.
When decluttering your home, take a pro-active approach when cleaning these areas. Dispose old and worn out items and things that are no longer usable. This way you can get more space to store things that have been lying neglected
#17. Magazine, Newspapers and Books
Although many people prefer to read online now most of us do have collection of old magazines and newspapers. If you have no nostalgic attachment to these things then it’s good idea to discard these items. If you have undamaged books consider donating them to your local library or sell them in Amazon.
#18. Get a mail sorting system
If you find sorting mail an annoying task put in place a rack near your front door or porch where your mails are sorted into categories such as bills, bank statements and junk and so on.
#19. Keep spare clothes in suitcases
If there is no space in your closet or bed storage use your empty suitcases and bags to store extra clothing items, like seasonal clothes. This is a pretty cool way of utilizing empty spaces in your travel bags.
#20. Decluttering your car
Just like your home while decluttering your car you need to put a system in place to avoid the clutter. Simple things like putting a trash can inside the car and not overstuffing the car with too many comfort pillows and stuffed toys can go a long way in keep your car interiors clean.
#21. Make quick decuttering decisions
When decluttering your home don’t be nostalgic and hold decisions when it comes to discarding items. If you need clutter-free zone you need to think pragmatically. Toss aside anything that contributes to the clutter and don’t doubt your decisions.
#22. Create some supportive habits
Some supportive habits like cleaning your home regularly, checking your expenses, putting labels in objects and returning them to their designated spots can really check the clutter in your home. Also ideally it would help if you set up a donation corner with a couple of boxes in your garage or storage area.
#23. No spend week/month
Impulsive shopping and splurging on needless items is unnecessary and contributes to the clutter. Instead try having a no spend week or month challenge where you not buy anything that is excess and adds no value to your home.
When Should you Declutter your home
Clutter will find a way back whether we like it or not hence it becomes extremely important to analyze your work patterns. Do you slack off and postpone your cleaning chores, do you work by system whereby your work, appointments, emails, are done according to a schedule or you just do things on the fly.
Analyze the way that you do things create systems in place that will save you a lot of overwhelm. Like writing a to-do list at the end of each day, cleaning your work desk once a week.
Decluttering toxic energy from life
Declutter is not just limited to physical possessions. Declutter people who constantly harm your peace of mind by setting up some healthy boundaries. This list includes all your toxic relationships, mean friends, the penny pinchers. It’s not easy to cut off such people completely but certainly possible to keep them at arm’s distance.
The key to maintaining balance between space and clutter lies with us. The more we fill up our spaces with needless things it increases the scope for mess and overwhlem. So finally we have come to the end of a might long post. Hopefully you found these tips feasible. Which of tips would you adhere to when decluttering your homes?