Freeing your home of clutter will bring many benefits to you and your home and there is never a better time to start than now. It will create a calmer environment, make tidying and cleaning quicker, and free up space.
As a Professional Organiser, when I work with a new client my approach is always to fully understand their vision for the home first before diving into tackling the clutter. With a clear idea of where you’re headed, you stand a better chance of de-cluttering effectively and quickly.
For some, the vision might be to have a minimalist home with clear surfaces, for others who prefer the more homely feel the vision can look very different. It might be to always find what you’re looking for or to keep better track of what you have. It’s important to say that there is no right or wrong when it comes to a vision, however, what is generally true of most people is that there will be clutter in your home that needs to be managed.
So, take a moment and think about it. What’s your vision? Jot it down and think about it as you start to tackle your clutter.
As you get stuck in, here are a few tips that will help you:
#1 Avoid getting overwhelmed by breaking the task down into manageable chunks, ideally 15-30min jobs. It can help to make a list, for example if you’re tackling the entire kitchen, you could list each small area, e.g. a single shelf.
#2 If you’re struggling to get motivated, challenge yourself to complete the task in a set time, using a timer to keep you focused and reward yourself with a treat such as a cup of tea or a piece of chocolate, once the task is complete.
#3 Don’t be put off if you don’t have a lot of time as sometimes 10-15 mins is all it takes to sort a shelf or a drawer. Equally, don’t set aside an entire day to de-clutter and organise as you’ll likely lose focus and reduce your productivity. It's much better to spend 2-3 hours at a time.
#4 Organise first and buy second. It’s tempting to race ahead and buy storage items as you start to think about organising your home. However, I recommend de-cluttering first so you know exactly what you’re dealing with and how much of it, as well as accurately measuring the space you’re buying for.
#5 Don’t know where to begin? Start at the place that’s bothering you the most, perhaps a cluttered drawer you access a few times a day, as this will give you the greatest reward. Or start at a place that won’t take long to fix as this quick win will motivate you to keep going.
#6 Enlist the help or a friend or a Professional Organiser who is on-board with your overall vision and can help you decide what should go and what should stay. It will also make the task quicker and more enjoyable.
#7 Use this ‘litmus test’ when deciding what to keep or get rid of: Do I love it? Do I need it? Am I holding onto it out guilt? (items that were given as a gift, inherited or cost you a lot of money often fall into this category) Is it broken and will I really make time to fix it or ask someone else to? Does it fit me? Will it ever fit me? Do I have space for it? Or is it taking up precious storage space or getting in the way?
#8 Complete each task completely. Once you’ve decided what to do with something, action it! Put rubbish and recycling into bins immediately, return adrift items to the correct part of the home, put items you're passing on in your car or make arrangements for dropping them off, list items you are planning to sell or allocate a time in your schedule to do this.
So, have a go and you’ll be one step closer to your vision, with a home that is more organised, easier to manage and less cluttered.