Declutter Your Life: An in-Depth Guide to Cleaning up Your Space
While the jury’s still out on whether a complete and ruthless declutter can help or hinder your emotional state, there’s no denying that getting rid of all the stuff that fills our spaces makes our lives easier.
Something about the new year rolling around always makes you feel like you need a good clearing out, doesn’t it? Whether you’re moving house and want to cut down on your expenses or just wanting to get rid of all your rubbish, decluttering helps you feel lighter.
Need some tips on how to declutter your life? Our in-depth guide has you covered from start to finish.
Set a Timeline
Your first priority when decluttering should be to create a timeline you can stick to. Too often, we try to make a large, whole-house cleaning project a single-day affair.
Don’t do this. You’re only setting up your own failures in the long run.
Think for a moment about which rooms in your home bear the most clutter. Whether that’s an over-crowded kitchen, an overstuffed closet, or a living room with more stuff than walking space, make that room your priority.
A solid rule of thumb for time is to ensure you’ve got a weekend set aside per room or area of the house that needs decluttering. By stretching the project over the course of a month, your goals feel more attainable.
Categorise Your Collection
Once you’ve set up your timeframe, it’s time to categorise your collection. How you do so depends on which school of decluttering you follow. In general, there are three bins you should use throughout the process.
The “Keep” Bin
The “keep” bin, as the name suggests, holds the items you intend to keep and use in your day to day life. Once you finish cleaning and decluttering each space, these items should be placed neatly into their new homes.
The “Toss” Bin
The “toss” bin holds the items you intend to part ways with. Some organising gurus recommend splitting this bin into three bins of its own. A “trash” bin for outright rubbish, a “recycle” bin for those things that can get recycled, and a “donate” bin for those items better served in the homes of the less fortunate.
If all that seems too complicated, you can always start by chucking everything in the “toss” bin, then sorting out which sort of tossing you’ll be doing later.
The “Storage” Bin
The “storage” bin is for items that you still use, but may only serve seasonal purposes. It may also be used for items that are too sentimental to part with. Once you’ve finished each room of your decluttering project, put these items into well-labeled storage containers in a space you’ve designated.
It’s important to have a designated space for storage, as otherwise, your space will get consumed by the very items intended to bust your clutter!
Reflect on Your Intentions
Everyone’s biggest fear when decluttering is going too far and getting rid of something they’ll later regret not keeping about. Here’s where reflecting on your intentions before you declutter your life can help you.
Why do you feel the need to declutter? Is it for your health? For ease of access to the home? Are there more emotional triggers behind it?
Once you know why you’re decluttering, it’s easier to stop yourself from going too far or allow yourself to go far enough.
That’s why Marie Kondo’s method has become such a smash hit with organising companies and laypeople. It allows you to focus on the emotions you feel with an item, rather than its use.
After all, how often have we convinced ourselves to keep useless rubbish around because ‘someday’ might come that we need it? Word to the wise: ‘someday’ never comes around. It will just sit there, gathering dust.
Now that we’ve covered some basic decluttering tips, it’s time to get specific. After all, different rooms require different levels of cleanliness, so it’s important to make sure you have the right tools in each space.
For the Bathroom
Take everything out of your shower and cabinets. Everything. Then go through item-by-item and check the expiry dates. You’ll be stunned by how much-outdated rubbish you’ve kept about.
Once you’ve got the old stuff cleared away, keep the things you use daily at eye-level so you can find them. Keep your countertops as clear as possible, as this makes the space feel larger and easier to clean.
For the Kitchen
Again, remove everything you have from your cabinets and set about checking expiry dates. Even pantry staples with long shelf lives can go bad if not used.
Then, examine all those kitchen gadgets you have about. What have you used within the past year? Set these aside in your keep bin.
The rest? Chuck it. All of it. You didn’t use that air fryer for a year, and you won’t likely break it out now.
For the Closet
The closet is one of the hardest rooms to tackle when moving house, as it often becomes our junk storage location. It collects all the unwanted clutter from other rooms in the home, as well as no end of clothes that we’ll never wear.
Start with clothing type. Examine your shoes, then pants, then shirts, etc. Think about what you’ve worn within the past year.
That dressy outfit you’ve been saving for a special formal occasion that never came about? Lose it. Your worn, old football jersey from secondary school? You don’t need it.
Trust us, you’ll feel much better once you’ve gotten rid of things you either can’t wear any longer or don’t wear. (And stop using your closet as junk storage! Keep it to clothes, please.)
Need Assistance to Declutter Your Life?
Even after you’ve found ways to declutter your life, you may still find the project overwhelming. Not to worry. Man With a Van of Dublin is here to help you. Whether it’s rubbish removal or clearing out unwanted clutter, we’ll help you get cleared and moved out.
Contact us today for a quote. We’re ready to assist you!