5 Tips for Effectively Decluttering Your Home
Living in a cluttered home environment can be deeply stressful and frustrating in a variety of different ways – even if you wouldn’t necessarily think so at first glance.
Whenever we allow our living spaces to become highly cluttered, disorganised, and chaotic, we inevitably put ourselves in a situation where our own sense of comfort and harmony in our surroundings is compromised – and where we accumulate a significantly greater amount of more or less subconscious stress, as a result of never quite feeling as though things are the way they should be.
It’s no doubt for these reasons – at least in part – that there has been such an explosion in the popularity of different cleaning, decluttering, and home-organising methodologies, ranging from the “Konmari” method of Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo, to various forms of minimalism.
Of course, actually decluttering your home is often easier said than done – especially when it comes to getting the decluttering process carried out as smoothly and effectively as possible, so that it has the best chance of lasting for a prolonged period of time.
Here are a few tips for effectively decluttering your home, in a way that is likely to have a real impact.
1. Listen To Your Gut
One approach to decluttering your home is to try and be as rational as possible, and to simply throw out everything that doesn’t have a direct practical function. When it comes down to it, though, this is likely to be a pretty terrible approach to take, since, as human beings, we all rely a lot on emotional connections and intuitions in our day-to-day lives.
This is probably one of the reasons why Marie Kondo’s method is popular – because it relies on the basic principle that you should only throw out those items in your home that don’t cause you to feel a “spark of joy” when you hold them in your hands.
The idea is to go through all of your belongings, category by category, holding each item in your hands before deciding whether to keep it or let it go. Although you should probably throw a bit of practical decision-making in their too – you don’t want get rid of all of your clothes and kitchen utensils at once because they don’t cause you to feel “spark of joy” – the idea of listening to your gut intuition when decluttering is likely to be a good one.
When all is said and done, the point of the decluttering exercises is to make you feel happier and more empowered in your home. So pay attention to what “feels right.”
2. Look for ways to minimize waste when getting rid of clutter
Often, people are put off decluttering their homes because of how wasteful the process can feel – And it certainly might feel wasteful if you end up throwing or eye bags and bags of old clothes, books, and other items into the trash.
In order to minimise this kind of waste – and to feel better about the process, while also doing some good – look for ways to “get rid of” household clutter and debris, that is a bit more nuanced.
Finding out where to take scrap metal for cash, For example, not only allows you to do a kind of recycling, but it also allows you to win a bit of extra cash as a result of the entire decluttering process, which is certainly not a bad thing.
Other options can include donating all clothes to collection banks, giving all but still functional appliances to charity shops, and so on.
3. Aim to do it all in one go, to the best of your ability
Getting an entire home decluttering job done “in one go” may seem virtually impossible depending on the size of your home, and the amount of stuff you’ve accumulated. All the same, it’s a really good idea to try and get the process done as quickly as possible – ideally over a weekend, or a week at a push.
The problem with going through a decluttering process over a longer period of time, is that you will inevitably end up accumulating more clutter, and having things end up “out of place” as a natural result of everyday life – meaning that it is very likely that your decluttering process will be completely stalled long before it can be completed.
Getting the whole decluttering process done as quickly as possible can also be a bit like pulling a Band-Aid off quickly, rather than slowly. It can reduce a lot of the second-guessing and procrastination that might otherwise arise, and be a real issue.
4. Take steps to address the root causes of why the clutter accumulated in the first place
If you end up in a really cluttered living space, where it feels as though nothing is properly balanced, and where the situation is a long way from “harmonious,” it’s important to think about how you ended up in that situation in the first place.
Did the mess and clutter end up accumulating because you just didn’t have a good cleaning rota or schedule in place to ensure that everything was packed away neatly on a regular basis?
Or, you just end up accumulating too much stuff that you didn’t really care for very much, because you are using compulsive spending as a way to try and deal with boredom, or other frustrations in your life?
If you can tackle some of the root causes of why the clutter first accumulated, there is a much better chance that you’ll be able to keep it away over the long term.
5. Create a home environment that is positive and life-affirming – that you are more motivated to keep tidy
If you can create a home environment that is as positive and life-affirming as possible, there is a good chance that you will simply feel more motivated to keep a tidy home environment, automatically.
Of course, it’s worth pointing out that there is a bit of Catch-22 here– since one of the best ways of making your home feels more positive in this way is to actually give it a good declutter and tidy.
– a contributed post
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