Is there anything more invigorating than decluttering wardrobes, kitchen cupboards and sideboards? We accrue all kinds of possessions and items, the majority of which we like, enjoy and use. But lurking at the back of the cupboard or shelves are things that we don’t. These things need to find a new purpose or a new home and these decluttering tips could help you cut the time it takes to make your home tidier and easier to manage.
BEFORE you start decluttering, read these tips first!
- Starting decluttering. We all underestimate just how big a task decluttering the home is. Start small, taking it a room at a time. If you have a lot of cupboards and other areas that need emptying and sorting through, start with one area at a time.
- Think through the whole project. Often, we start the decluttering full of va-va-voom and whilst ‘throwing things out’ can be cathartic, it could mean that you are moving one pile of mess to another location. Think through the whole process especially what you are going to do with the things you no longer want.
- Check the opening times of your recycling centres and local charity shops. One person’s rubbish is another’s treasure so if you can recycle items then do so. Check the opening times of your local recycling centre as well as charity shops. And don’t leave this job to another day – do it today!
- Have plenty of storage options. From vac bags for clothing, throws and cushions to storage boxes with strong lids and handles, if you plan on putting things away.
- Allocate new homes for things. For the items you do hang on to, make sure you have somewhere to store them. If you don’t think it through, you’ll find you have the same things hanging around, just in a different place…
The room-by-room decluttering guide
With the craziness of Christmas behind you and the warmth of spring to look forward to, use the time in between to de-clutter and streamline bookshelves, shelving units, and cupboards.
Decluttering the hallway is great for a quick win. It’s the first space that you step you into when you get home and so, a streamlined, stylish hallway is a must. However, it is also the area where items are dropped or put with the intention of putting away somewhere, sometime…
Reduce what you store in the space, prioritising coats and shoes. Anything else needs a new home, not to be left in the hallway. Considering adding a hallway console table for smaller items.
The busiest room in the home, it is no wonder that the kitchen cupboards get filled with all kinds of bits and bobs, and not just pots and pans. It is also true that we accrue dishes and pots that we once used but we now no longer need.
The kitchen can be a big decluttering project so set plenty of time aside. Have a box ready for things that can be recycled and have a good quality cleaning product to use too.
In the kitchen, prioritise the worktops – what this means is effectively storing everything in the cupboards (bar the kettle and coffee maker) so that worktops are free from clutter. This makes the room appealing to the eye but also gives it the feeling of being bigger than it is. Consider stackable storage containers to keep your cupboards neat.
TOP TIP: When it comes to stacking things in the cupboard, keep items you rarely use on higher shelves and on the very bottom shelves, items you use occasionally. Middle shelves and to the front of the shelf should be things that you use daily and more frequently. Use the same formula for storing items in the wardrobe too.
THE LIVING ROOM
It isn’t just accessories that clutter a room, furniture can too. Take a long hard look at your living room and consider what really needs to be in there in terms of furniture.
Try removing one large piece of furniture and see how the rooms feels and flows. Scaling down the size of items can help too. So, ditch the oversized coffee table and opt for a more streamlined item instead.
When it comes to cushions and throws, they may have once given the idea of sumptuousness to the space but if they are just ending in a heap at the end of the sofa, the time has come to repurpose or store them away.
Consider replacing some items of furniture with those that have integral storage, such as a coffee table with drawers or a console table instead of a nest of tables.
The truth is all that clutter of toys means that your children cannot see what they have to play with. But if they don’t have the right storage solutions for putting things away, then they won’t be able to.
Consider wooden toy boxes and stackable boxes with lids for larger items. Once decluttered why not consider building a shelving unit into the room? It will ‘grow’ with your children, holding books and other items as they grow into young people.
These rooms can be very busy with items, especially the wardrobe and drawers. Take your time going through the wardrobe making sure you recycle items that you no longer wear.
Some people suggest that if you haven’t worn it in the previous 12 months, clothing should be recycled. This depends on how you feel as some items could be put away and worn another time, such as coats and jackets.
Making sure they are clean and dry, they can be safely stored in Vac Pack Go! bags. With the things you have left, arrange them in colour blocks in the wardrobe so that you can reach for items easily when you are in a rush in the morning.
Decluttering is something we all have to do at some time or another, and the energy of the New Year is the perfect time to take on the task. Which room will you tackle first?
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