Decluttering Tips: Simple Tips for a Clutter-free Home
It’s almost spring, which for some of us means a chance to declutter our homes. But where do you start? It can seem overwhelming if your home is chock-full of knick-knacks, clothes, or just the everyday family detritus we all accumulate. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive and easy-to-follow set of decluttering tips.
Simple Decluttering Tips for a Clutter-free Home
Where to start decluttering?
We get used to living in our homes. As a result, it can be difficult to see exactly where the clutter is. Try looking at your home as if someone is visiting for the first time.
Walk through your front door and cast a beady eye over everything you see. Take a notebook if you need to. Make a note of shoes and coats piled up, walk through every room and examine it with fresh eyes.
Where are your weak spots? Some people use any kind of surface to pile up papers, clothes, washing, mail, or shopping. Other people simply have too much stuff and don’t have the room to put things away properly.
Or, of course, it could be a mixture of both.
Now, before we even think about providing decluttering tips, the first piece of advice for a clutter-free home is to look at your stuff objectively. If you haven’t used it in a year, you’re not likely to and it needs to go.
Secondly, there are different ways to remove items from your house.
The Six Rules of Decluttering
- Store it: Anything you use should be stored. For example, if you saw a fork on the coffee table you wouldn’t leave it there, you’d pop it in the cutlery drawer. See all your objects as you would this fork.
- Bin it: If an object has no use, put it in the bin. For example, old receipts, bills, mementoes such as Christmas or birthday cards.
- Donate: If you haven’t used the item for a year but it still has some use, donate to a charity. For example, an old leather coat or a citrus juicer.
- Recycle it: Old papers, flyers, bottles, plastic can all be put into the recycling bins.
- Mend it: Have you got an old toaster, lamp or another item that doesn’t work but simply needs a new plug or fuse? Get them working, otherwise, they’re just clutter. If something is in your house it has to have value and contribute.
- Mementoes: That set of glasses that great granny gave you 30 years ago that you’ve never used but can’t part with? If you don’t use them either give them to another family member or donate them to a worthy charity. You are under no obligation to keep mementoes and turn your home into a mausoleum.
We suggest using big boxes or bags so that when you come across an item you can pop it straight into the right box/bag.
Tackle your storage
Before you can even start to put stuff away in their proper places you have to have the space to store them. Again, we come back to the six rules of decluttering.
How can you properly store the stuff you need and actually use if your cupboards and wardrobes are full of stuff you never use?
The first of our decluttering tips regarding storage is to go room by room and examine your storage. For instance, in the kitchen, look inside your cupboards and remove anything you don’t use anymore. That sandwich toaster still in its box? The grill by that famous boxer that you’ve lost the instructions to? Either give it away or if it’s valuable sell it.
Control your clothes
Did you know that the average person only wears about 20% of what’s in their wardrobe? That’s 80% storage space you’re wasting. One way to see exactly which items of clothing you regularly wear is to always put the clothes you wear on the clothes hanger back-to-front. When you wear the item put it back on the hanger the right way round.
At the end of six months, see which clothes are still back-to-front on their hangers and donate them.
Work through your drawers and remove any item of clothing that is too small or too big. Any clothes with tags still attached that you’ve not worn can be sold on eBay.
When it comes to clothes, don’t forget handbags and shoes and boots. Most women have one workbag and an evening bag. How many do you have? Could someone else make better use of that one gathering dust?
Look for creative ways to add storage in your home. Shoe racks fit really well under the stairs. Coat hooks can be attached to the backs of doors. Saucepans and pots can hang from ceilings in kitchens.
In addition, think about hooks and clips on the inside of cupboard doors. Hanging bags to hold shopping bags and kitchen trolleys that hide under work surfaces.
In the bathroom, place wicker baskets under sinks where you can stuff bathroom products or towels and soaps.
Now we have decluttering tips for each room in the house.
Decluttering Tips for each room
Living rooms and kitchens are the hardest places for decluttering because we inhabit them the most. Designate permanent areas for magazines, books, TV remotes etc.
Clear clutter from bookcases, coffee tables, mantelpieces and window ledges. Use the six rules of decluttering when deciding where to put stuff.
Now tackle electronics such as leads, equipment, chargers, gadgets etc. Check that everything works, then find a drawer when you can store them out of sight.
Start by emptying out cupboards, pantries and larders using the six rules. After you have decluttered the cupboards, go through cleaning products and put the ones you use daily at the front, weekly ones just behind and monthly products at the back.
Now sort through different areas such as glassware, cutlery, crockery, Tupperware, pots and pans. Anything that is worn or chipped or cracked and you don’t use get rid of it. Stack and store similar items together.
Finally, clear off clutter from work surfaces. Put away items on work surfaces to their rightful places. Only leave out the things you use on a daily basis such as coffee makers, beverages, kettle, toaster etc.
Start with your bathroom cabinet and clear out any medicine or health products that are out of date. Decant any half bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel etc. into fuller bottles and recycle the plastic. Hang towels and dressing gowns on hooks.
Put away clothes that are lying about, so dirty clothes go into a laundry basket and hang up clean clothes.
Remove bric-a-brac from nightstands using the six rules of decluttering. Throw out any rubbish, including old tissues, makeup, mail, pens etc.
Following our decluttering tips can seem daunting at times. But if you get into good habits it becomes easier to tackle. For example, take something with you to put away every time you go upstairs. Or put something away every time you make a cup of tea.
Remember, a decluttered home is a peaceful and calm home.