Organising our homes can take a lot of time and effort but it can be easy if you implement a few tips along the way. We all have those time periods where we go declutter crazy and want to get rid of pretty much everything. I know I do, I have particular times of year where I really want to have a good sort out.
Junk and mess can cause us a lot of stress. Whilst some of it simply needs to be put away neatly, sometimes things need throwing away but it can be hard to let go. Decluttering is beneficial to us all. Here are ten easy ways to organise your home and declutter.
Make A Plan
It can be ever so tempting to go straight in and get cracking, with all the gusto you can muster. The problem is that you will soon lose momentum and will start to let things slide. Making a plan makes it a lot easier as you know exactly what you need to do, step by step. Make a list of all the rooms you want to go through and the particular problem areas you want to target and prioritise your time around these, doing one room at a time. Have a system in place to sort the items out.
We’ve all done this before – had different piles for different things – keep, recycle/charity, throw etc. Set up your own system for this and be brutal – if you haven’t used it in a certain amount of time or can’t see yourself using it in the near future, throw it if it isn’t in great condition or recycle it/gift it to charity if it is.
Make sure all flat surfaces are clear
Flat surfaces are very tempting – it issoeasy to put our paperwork on there or just leave our keys there. You think that you will only leave them there for a short while and then before you know it, it is absolutely covered in all manners of junk. Make sure to keep them clear – if you see something on it, put it where it needs to go!
This is especially important if you have children as we all know they like getting all their things out and aren’t all too keen on putting them back in again. Have storage for their toys, for their clothes, for their books so even if it ends up being you putting them back, you know that they have a place for them to go back to.
Sort out your clothes
They say we only utilise around 20% of our wardrobes so it is important to declutter wardrobes and make sure you only have clothing that you will actually get use of. The easiest way to go through these is to see if the items are damaged, stained or faded; to see if they fit and then finally if they haven’t got any of those problems, work out if you’ve worn it in the past six months to one year (accounting for seasons). If no, then get rid! Obviously you are allowed to be sentimental about certain things such as wedding dresses but store them properly away from your closet so it is simply stuff you wear on a day to day basis.
Pile through your paperwork
Perhaps the worst part of decluttering is paperwork but if you have a system in place, it shouldn’t take too long. Have piles for paperwork you must keep that has been actioned, paperwork that is yet to be actioned and paperwork that can be binned – once finished, shred the paperwork in the bin pile and get that to do pile actioned – or file it safely until you can get to it.
Sort out your kitchen cupboards
Now if you’re anything like me, your kitchen cupboards can get into a right mess at times – pulling everything out trying to find something stuck at the back – until you get so fed up, you take ages organising it – only for it to be messed up again by someone else in the family! Use storage for stuff like pasta, cereal etc so you can get rid of bulky packaging; put away appliances that you aren’t using so they don’t take up space on the counter top – and consider giving them away if you haven’t used in a certain amount of time. Go through your cupboards and get rid of any food you won’t use or has expired – consider donating any unopened yet still in date food to your local food bank.
Try one in, one out
I know of someone who loves handbags but at one point had so many she was running out of space to store them. Her and her husband came up with a rule that if she bought or was gifted a new one, she had to get rid of another – especially if it was similar or almost identical to the new one. This system works for them – she gets a lovely new bag and her friends, family or charity shops get use of the old one. This is something I am going to try and implement this year.
Give your bathroom the once over
How many of us have multiple opened products in the bathroom? Try to use up old ones before opening new ones, even though it can be tempting to start using that sweet smelling new shower gel rather than the open one you are bored of. Also make sure to clear the bathroom of empty packaging – if you find that there is still a little product in one tube but you can’t squeeze it out, grab a pair of scissors and get the last of the remnants out so you aren’t wasting any.
Don’t forget the garage
Ah, the old dumping ground. I bet many of you that have a garage don’t actually put your car in it but use it for a storage space for all the things you either can’t fit in the house or don’t know what to do with but don’t want to get rid of just yet, right? This is why it is so important to go through it on a regular basis; seeing what needs to be purged and what needs to be kept. Even if you just organise it so it is easier to see what is in there would be better than nothing.
Do a little each day
The easiest way to avoid mess and junk in the home is to do a little each day and don’t allow it in the house in the first place. Don’t buy items for the sake of it, don’t feel pressured into taking things that you don’t want as you will only regret it later. Take five minutes out of your day to go through the post and filing it, putting away toys and tidying up the kitchen after your meals. You’ll find it really helps.
Do you have any organising or decluttering tips?