You don’t have to be Marie Kondo to keep your home free of clutter. Find 30 minutes every week and you’ll quickly get on top of the situation.
Making decluttering a regular habit also has the psychological benefits of feeling lighter and less weighed down. It’s as easy as assessing the value of every item that comes through the front door and constantly purging those that are no longer used.
Here are my tips:
1. Create a plan
Divide your decluttering plan into action items that won’t take more than 30 minutes. Identify and prioritize what’s bothering you and then split your plan into zones of the house. In each zone, you should be able to do a decluttering project in a 30-minute window.
2. Take an inventory
Identify the problem possessions and split them into categories such as, “keep”, “store”, “donate”, “sell” and “throw”. It will make every decision so much easier. When deciding if you want to keep something, Kondo recommends that you ask, “does it give me joy”. It’s a nice approach. In your wardrobe, anything that doesn’t fit or is uncomfortable to wear needs to go, regardless of how much it cost!
3. Let it go
Promise yourself that you will throw out everything that either doesn’t work, is broken, chipped or past its time. No exceptions.
4. Box it up
Use boxes and other storage devices to get them off the floor and out of sight. Think vertically and loads of storage ideas will come to you. Consider hanging closets and wire baskets for the kitchen and kids’ bedrooms. But before you head to the storage shop, though, complete your plan so you are confident of the storage solutions you’re going to need.
5. Move possessions off the floor
Across your home, try to get everything off the floor. Larger possessions will often be stashed in corners of rooms or under beds. Find a better storage spot for these and you’ll be amazed at the space you create. Opportunities often exist in the living room to bring the family together when there’s more space. For young children, put some space aside for their toys so they can play while you watch TV. Rolling storage trucks from IKEA are a great storage device for this.
6. Focus on cupboards and pantry
In the kitchen, consider taking on one cupboard at a time, thinning out your baking dishes and electrical appliances, and re-organising the pantry to make cooking meals more efficient. Throw away tired, stained or chipped cooking utensils and dishes. Take appliances off the bench and store them in the newly-created drawer spaces. That will make your kitchen appear larger and make cleaning easier.
7. Small actions count
Consider whether you really want all those fridge magnets. Throw out magazines and newspapers that have been lying around for weeks. Tidy and cull your book collection, especially the books you thought were only so-so.
8. Don’t forget outside
The garden can be one of the most cluttered areas and dissuade the family from using it. Take the first step to making your garden fabulous again by putting toys and tools away. Throw out large items that have been dumped in the garden. You’ll be inspired to put in some new plants.