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How to declutter your home

We all have a little bit of clutter laying around the house.

You know, that one kitchen drawer that is stuffed full of paperwork, bills, junk mail and other miscellaneous items?

The spare bedroom in your new house that you haven’t quite had the chance to furnish yet, so instead you use it to store your suitcases, Christmas tree, its decorations and last year’s clothes that you were meant to donate.

Yep, we’re all familiar with it.

Of course, the feeling of accomplishment that comes along with finally giving your spaces a good clean and tidy is oh-so-sweet. But finding the time (and, sometimes, the motivation) to get down to it is difficult, to say the least.

Plus, mess causes stress, and you’ve got enough stress in your life as it is.

So, before we get into it, what defines ‘clutter’? Well, clutter is anything you hang on to around the house that doesn’t add value.

Whether you want to destress, purge your useless things before moving into a new home, or simply want to free up additional space, here are some tips to help you get your Marie Kondo on.

  1. Set goals and timelines. Before you get started, sketch out the areas you want to focus on decluttering and give yourself a realistic goal of how long you want to spend completing the task. This will stop you feeling the need to get it all done in one day, and by breaking it up into more manageable chunks, it won’t feel like as much of a chore.
  2. Create a sorting system to help you categorise the importance of each item. The most popular system is the three box method, where you create three boxes and label them ‘keep’, ‘throw’ and ‘store’. Be ruthless with your sorting, too!
  1. Don’t be wasteful. Once you’ve filled your ‘throw away’ box, sort through it once again and determine whether there are items that can be recycled, donated or even sold at a garage sale. Be mindful of unnecessarily contributing to landfills by taking the easy way out, a.k.a. tossing everything in the bin.
  2. Remember the 80/20 rule when it comes to your wardrobe. If you’re a happy shopper, you may have more clothing than you need. We only wear 20 percent of our clothes, 80 percent of the time, so think about which clothes you haven’t donned in over a year and find a new home for them.
  3. The same goes for other household items, including toys. If something hasn’t been used or played with in the last six months, chances are, you probably don’t need it.
  4. Don’t stress over money lost. If you can’t get back the money you spent on something, think about whether it continually adds value to your life (now and in the future). If the answer is no, you know what to do.
  5. If you don’t absolutely love it, or it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it.
  6. Clear your flat surfaces. Remove everything except for the essentials, like your kettle, toaster etc. Then, try to find a home for everything you have cleared. If you are left with lots of paper or junk, find a space for it in your study or simply throw it away if it’s unimportant.

Probably the most important decluttering tip is to keep it up! How good does it feel when your home is organised and tidy? Make an effort to keep it that way and get the family to help you maintain things.

No one wants to come home to a messy house after an already long-enough day at work. Imagine how refreshed and instantly relaxed you’ll feel when your space is tidy and mess-free.

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Emma

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