How to Declutter: a Brief Guide

how to declutter

Decluttering is all the rage. Just about everyone understands that life can be a great deal more enjoyable when you aren’t surrounded by things that add no value to your life. The benefits of decluttering may include more time (because you no longer waste time looking for belongings), more money (no more buying duplicates!), greater mental clarity and a home that is easier to clean. What’s more, the treasures you unearth can be donated, sold or even pawned for short-term financial gain!

But the actual business of going through every room in your home and letting go of your clutter can be enormously time-consuming. It can also be energy-intensive and emotionally draining.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you might make the process a little easier to cope with, and more efficient, too. Let’s take a look at some of the best tips to help you with this, such as:

Accept Organising help

Decluttering on your own is often challenging for a range of reasons. For one thing, it’s a task that you may not want to do. And so you might procrastinate, and invent excuses in order to avoid ever getting round to it.

By asking a friend or family member to offer their assistance, you’ll force yourself to commit to the exercise. Plus, you’ll get the emotional support and impartial perspective you need to throw those superfluous items away.

If you have a real problem with hoarding, then it might be time to be frank about it with your friends and ask them sincerely to come and help you out. If they know that you’re really struggling, they’ll probably be inclined to help out in any way they can. You may also need some support for your mental health and the possible trauma which might have triggered the hoarding.

Also, remember that our professional declutterers and organisers are highly trained and work sensitively with clients. We always offer a free consultation to see if it’s the right service for you. Check out our FAQ on the A Tidy Mind homepage and our testimonials.

Go through one room at a time

You don’t want your entire home to be subject to a declutter at the same time. It will feel overwhelming, and you might end up living in a work-in-progress for weeks, or even months on end. Instead, go through one room at a time. And consider working on contained spaces such as a single drawer or cabinet. Call a break when you successfully make it through one of them.

Many of the project-management techniques that apply elsewhere also apply to the world of decluttering. You might divide the labour up and specialise, Perhaps one person in charge of rooting through cupboards, another in charge of fetching and carrying, and a third in charge of getting items into temporary storage.

Ideally, you’ll want to inject as much fun into the process as possible – which means leaving a little bit of time for social interaction. Just don’t forget that you have work to do.

Sort everything into piles

When you’re performing your edit, there is not just one approach as everyone is different. Some find it useful to categorise things and group similar items together. In this way, it can be easier to deal with all your herbs and spices in one go or all your baking equipment, and so on.

When it comes to going through belongings, one option is to sort into four piles: keep, donate, recycling/rubbish and action (items which need to be returned/mended etc).

Some need to have a final pile for things you aren’t yet sure of. When you’ve finished the entire declutter, you can come back and make a final decision on the third category (also known as a second edit). It might be that you need to do a little bit of research to determine the monetary value of a given item. Or a little bit of reflection to decide upon its sentimental value.

Finish the task

After your declutter, don’t forget to carry out the most important task. Take unwanted items to charity shops, waste to the tip or book pick up services. This is really the gold standard when it comes to how to declutter. If you have committed to selling items, then plan this into your schedule as it’s the only way it will happen!

Happy Decluttering!

You may also be interested in reading one of our most popular related posts sharing all our best professional tips. Click on the link below to read the post:

Declutter Your Home Checklist


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