Have you ever looked around and noticed that your house is getting a little claustrophobic? The home is where the heart is- if you find yourself surrounded with clutter and mess, it can be hard to truly relax. If you start your day surrounded by mess and future chores, you’re already on the wrong foot. If you’re the type that starts the day fast and keeps up the pace, it can be hard to find a moment to breathe, never mind finding the time to completely overhaul your living space. It can seem like a mammoth task- thankfully Bamae has created a guide to help break down this huge operation into some slightly easier steps.
Create a scheme to help you organise where things go. This could look something like:
- Thing to be thrown away
- Things you will give away
- Things that need moving to another space in the house
When you glance over the space, your eye is sure to catch the main problem areas, because our minds know what we do and don't like to look at. We know an unpleasant sight when we see one, so why not use that to your advantage? For example, when decluttering a bedroom, you will likely hover over an unmade bed or mess in an otherwise clean space, so these can be some great places to start.
Try quick declutter operations
Try tackling the worst room in the house first, and giving yourself a set amount of time to make decisions for each item. Either give yourself a timer for the whole room or count in your head each time you decide whether to keep an item. By making the decisions there and then, you avoid overcomplicating the issue too much and avoid decision paralysis. Even if you only manage the first room before you find yourself burning out, tackling the hardest areas first leaves you with a far easier task for the future.
If you’re really unsure about keeping something, you can always put it to one side for the moment. Maybe give yourself a set amount of time to make a decision, or if you don’t use it at all in that time then you know you are safe to get rid of.
Pinpoint the worst spots for accumulating clutter.
There are always hotspots that will take the brunt of a busy schedule, for many people it’s the hallways and kitchen sides (guilty as charged). If you’re trying to tidy a place with a lot of items concentrated together, like a cupboard or drawer, and looking for a place to start, then begin by clearing the space the best you can, such as clearing the floor. You can then start organising the contents once you’ve taken that first big step.
Try to avoid making new clutter areas
When we start creating a pile of “maybes”, this can begin to transform into its own little clutter pile, and before you know what’s happened sorting out the solution pile feels like a challenge all on its own.
Paper is one of the worst for this, as it piles up into a whole separate problem all by itself. Much of it contains important information we might want to keep for a later date, but this can start to build up. One of the best ways to counter this is to create a space for them that doesn’t let them become a nuisance, such as creating a folder or using a container so you know where they are, or even putting up corkboards so the papers are easy to access and not lying around. Doing this also means that new papers can be organised far more effectively, so you are less likely to end up having to declutter your files in the future. Keep an eye on the dates of your paperwork too- if it’s out of date then there’s no need to keep it!
Try to keep an eye on areas that often get out of hand, like paperwork, clothes or books. When you add something new to your collection, look through to make sure there's nothing you can remove. If you’re having trouble knowing where to start, try asking yourself questions like:
Do you still like it? When did you wear/use it last? Does it still have the tags on? Does it add anything to your life by being there?
A tough line of questioning, but one you will need to ask yourself to truly get the best results out of decluttering your wardrobe. Maybe set yourself a period of time to ask yourself, have you worn this item in this time? If its broken, will you realistically fix it? If not, it's better to be ruthless.
Pair items togetherThis is both a decluttering tactic and an investment- by keeping similar items together you won’t need to search far for them in the future, and will be able to keep an accurate inventory of exactly what you do and don't have far more effectively. You will be far less tempted to buy
Keep it up!
No matter how motivated and energised you are, it can be hard to keep up that momentum once you get started. Taking a moment to sit down with a coffee, all of a sudden the job feels far less important, or you think to yourself “well I’ve made progress, so I can do the rest later”.
To keep the productivity levels high, try to tackle specific areas deliberately and efficiently rather than going in a mad scramble and burning yourself out. If you find your energy levels waning, don’t panic! Try to get yourself to a comfortable level of progress before you take a break, because this is when we might be tempted to procrastinate. These jobs can be hard to tackle alone, so if you can enlist help then it can make the task feel a little less intimidating. Bringing in other people to help means keeping each other motivated and dividing the workload amongst yourselves. It’s a big task, but it doesn’t have to be tackled alone. Listening to your favourite playlist as you work can also be a great motivator, who says that decluttering has to be a miserable affair? Have fun with it! When you’re done, you can reward yourself with a treat, like a nice hot bath or a glass of red to relax with. Well done you!