If you feel like you’re drowning in too much stuff, it’s probably time to face your fears and battle the mess monster that’s raging in your home. Not only does a messy home affect your mood, but it can also affect your mental attitude towards life. It’s well known that when your surroundings are clean and tidy it can free up a lot of mental space, enabling you to feel more focused and positive about your life.
Many people think that tidy and organised, means minimalist and clinical, but in fact, you can still implement your personal style on your home without having to live a world of white. We may be coming to the end of spring, but there’s never a better time to de-clutter your home and give it a spring clean, ready to take on the next months of summer fun and frivolities.
Follow these simple steps to de-clutter your home, and you’ll soon be feeling energised and ready to tackle life head-on.
Where to Start
It may seem like a mammoth task is laid out before you, but take one room at a time, and avoid trying to tackle too much at once. Enter a room equipped with everything that you need, from black bags to cleaning products, and make a list of everything you would like to do in that room to make it feel clean, tidy and de-cluttered. Being organised and focused is the key to avoiding distraction.
Any professional organiser will tell you that there are some rules to live by when you decide to de-clutter and cleanse your home, and these words of wisdom are as much common sense as they are expert tips.
- Whenever you’re attempting to remove items from your home start small with inconsequential things that don’t have any special meanings. This can be gifts that you’ve perhaps never used or random items you’ve collated.
- ‘Just-in-case’ items need to go. If you can’t give an item date of when you’re next going to use it, then the likelihood it’s not going to get used. So be brave and donate it.
- Turn special items into extra-ordinary items by giving them a purpose in your home. We can all become very nostalgic about inherited items because of their meaning, but rather than keeping them hidden away to collect dust, turn them into something special or useful for your home. Framing unique items can be a way of adding them into your home without the risk of it being broken.
- If it hasn’t been used in 6 months say goodbye to it.
Areas of Distress
For many de-cluttering can be a painful experience, not only because we can easily become attached to items, but because we’re now in a society that is told constantly that our lives would be better if we bought this or that, leading us to feel an emotional connection to all of our purchases. This world of consumerism can make us spend money and keep items that we just simply DO NOT NEED!
In our homes, we may all have particular areas that cause us headaches, but they can all be tackled with a positive mental attitude and a little organisation;
- Wardrobes – ‘Nothing to wear’ syndrome is a common frustration, but it’s probably because your wardrobe is overspilling with items that you haven’t worn in months or years. But it if doesn’t fit or make you feel fabulous then it has to go. We have a common issue of keeping clothes that we think will fit when we’ve lost a little weight, but the likelihood is you’ve probably been saying this for months or years, so do yourself the favour and just say goodbye to it.
- Man Draws – We’ve all got those draws that are home to leftover birthday candles, dead batteries, and wires we have no idea where they came from. But spaces like this are just an amalgamation of disorder bundled into a draw. Don’t dismay at the thought of organising this space though, it can become the treasure trove you need it to be as long as it’s organised appropriately. Tupperware boxes and labels will be your best friends in this situation of organised chaos. Bin anything that’s broken or not working, and box accordingly if in working order.
- Computers – It may sound odd, but when was the last time you gave your computer a detox and printed out those thousands of pictures that are saved on your hard-drive using up all the space. If you can’t afford to print them all off, download them on to a USB stick, and store them in a labelled box. Remove any programmes that you no longer use and the same for any old documents. After all, it’s better to have them on a USB stick than at risk on the computer.
It can be a little upsetting to de-clutter your home of unwanted items, especially when you realise that you have collated so much stuff. But don’t make waste when you don’t need to. If you can give items away with purpose the task can become more meaningful. As the old saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so search around to see what other charities you can help.