We all have stuff in our homes. When stuff takes over the space and loses focus, it becomes clutter. Decluttering is something that’s easy to put off.
"Things work fine as they are", you tell yourself as you shove another miscellaneous item into that drawer. But clutter can actually have a negative effect on your brain - it can affect your sleep, ability to focus, and anxiety levels. So how do we get started? It’s such a big task! Don’t worry - here are some easy minimalist tips for how to declutter and stay calm!
1. Understand the benefits
We all know that decluttering is one of those tasks that make things worse before it gets better. You’ll have clothes strewn all over and big bags of junk hanging around the house. So it’s important to remember why you started! We already mentioned that clutter can affect your sleep, focus, and anxiety. But what can declutter do for you?
Spend less time cleaning - cleaning isn’t exactly our favorite chore. So why make it longer than it has to be? Having fewer items to clean around can significantly reduce the time you spend cleaning.
And less time tidying - what if things just stayed tidy? If you have less to tidy, organizing becomes a whole lot easier. And if you organize well, things might just stay where they’re supposed to be.
Lower risk of allergies - dust gathers on everything. And for any allergy sufferers out there, you’ll know how much difference a dust-free house can make. The less clutter you have, the less dust you’ll have!
2. One thing at a time
Thinking about how to declutter your house is a big task. So many rooms, and so many things to sort through! It’s important to take it one step at a time. This stops you from overthinking and worrying! Start with one item, one shelf, and one room. After all, you’ve got to start somewhere! Here are some ideas for where to start:
Start with something easy and non-sentimental - sorting through your precious keep-sakes is going to be the most difficult task! Keeping things like that till the end means you’ll have more motivation to get it sorted and finished - you’ll be on a roll by then!
Try starting with 5 minutes every day - we’re all busy with work and life and it’s difficult to find time sometimes. But anything worth doing is worth doing for 5 minutes. It might not feel like much, but you’ll start to see a difference after a few days. Plus it might just motivate you to do more!
3. Making decisions
For some items, this will be easy - a sock with a big hole? Bin! But for others, this can be the most difficult part of decluttering. Being ruthless is hard!
Here are some questions you can ask yourself for each item:
Does the item work?
When was the last time you used it?
Is it beautiful?
Does it spark joy?
If you’ve answered all of these with ‘no’ but are still unsure, move on to the next item and come back round to it.
By the time you’ve spent hours sorting through other items, you might just be able to part with them!
“But it was a gift - I can’t throw it out!”
Gifts are tricky. Remember that the important part of a gift is the giving and receiving. If it brought you joy when it was given to you but it doesn’t any more, it’s ok to give it away. It might just bring someone else joy!
4. Donate & Sell - How to declutter & feel good!
Finding a new home for your unwanted items not only helps the environment but also helps others in your community! When you're working on a budget, buying second-hand can be a lifesaver. Plus, knowing your item is going to someone who needs it can help you part with it. Here are some tips for how to declutter and rehome:
Find a charity that means something to you - knowing that your old items can make money for a good cause is a great feeling.
Speak to local charity shops about what they do & don’t accept before donating - most charity shops won’t want anything broken and may not accept certain kinds of items. Make sure to check first to avoid wasted trips!
Use apps like Wallapop, Shpock, or the Dutch app Vinted to sell some of your items. Make sure to check the value by searching for similar second-hand products. And beware of your online safety - avoid giving out personal details. If handing over in person, meet them in a safe place and avoid having people you don’t know visit your address.
5. Use the opportunity to redecorate
Decluttering gives you the perfect opportunity to rearrange your home decor. Here are some tips for refreshing your home:
Use items that mean something to you - instead of focusing on a theme or color scheme, think about building your world. What can you add that feels authentic to you, reminds you of your loved ones, or a trip that you took once?
Add some greenery - house plants can do wonders for brightening up a room. Find out more about what houseplants can do for your home.
Keep it simple - this is an easy minimalist tip. Sometimes, less is more! Think about what you can store in cupboards and drawers so that the items you display are purposeful and focused.
Decluttering is a big job, but it’s worth doing! Making time to declutter regularly will help you stay clutter-free and make your home a happy place.
Changing up your home decor? Find personal, unique decorations to make your home a sanctuary.
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