Clear the mess! How to declutter your home in six, easy steps

“You don’t need more space. You need less stuff” – Anonymous

Have you ever looked around your home and afterwards convinced yourself that you need to let many things go? If you wake up every morning telling yourself that you need all these items but you haven’t found use for them in the last six months or one year, then you do not actually need them and it’s time to say goodbye.

Listening to your friends and colleagues talk about decluttering their homes, the minimalist challenge they got on to etc, makes you want to literally flush out all the clutter in your own home but when you get right to it, it overwhelms you.

The journey to decluttering can be inundating but there are less painful, more fun. creative and definitely effective ways to rid your personal space of mess and welcome a new, simple life.

Here are a few tips we can trust to help:

  1. Start small: It would be counter-productive and everything would certainly blow up in your face if you attempt to declutter all in one day. Understand that it’s a process that can last weeks or even years, if you decide to live by it so don’t try to attack it all at once or you’ll be swamped. Have fun with it. Set a decluttering schedule and follow it religiously. If you choose Saturdays, for example, don’t try to spend your entire day decluttering. Set a few hours aside and spare yourself the frustration.
  2. Make a list: We suggest you make a physical list and not a mental note, of the items you intend to put away per declutter session. That way, you’re focused and your goals are faster achieved. So you need to tear up some old receipts, flyers, notices and useless papers that lie around, then make a list of those. Meanwhile, make a note of where you intend to keep the ones you decide to keep – on the table, in a drawer, on a shelf etc. If you’re dealing with shoes the following week, write a list before then too and work with it.
  3. Hold off buying: As ridiculous as it sounds, we think its one of the best ways to keep your life and home simple and clutter-free. But before you get upset about this advice, we’ll say it another way: Buy only the things you actually need. Sounds better? We think so. Make only important and necessary purchases. There’s no point clearing stuff one day and adding new stuff the next. You’ll be going around in circles and after a short time, you’ll be left feeling like you haven’t accomplished much.
  4. Give: Let’s be frank, you don’t actually wear half the clothes and shoes in your closet. So, have you really sat down to think why you hold on to them? Pull out these items, put them in a box you’ve labelled “to donate” or “off to charity” and make it a point to drop that box at the appropriate place tomorrow. Don’t fill the box and let it also lie around for days or sit in your car trunk for weeks. NO! Give it out.
  5. Let go of one item per day: This should be fun and therapeutic. It could be a sofa, a pen, a jar, shoes, old curtains, your high school romance novels etc. Just make sure you get something out of your space and life every day for a space of one month. One item per day makes a lot of difference.
  6. Don’t get comfortable: So you think you’ve cleared your space and everything seems perfect now? Sorry but you have to keep this up. It will become a new burden if you clean up then relapse and have to carry out the entire process again. So we suggest you make decluttering a lifestyle and don’t expect everything to be perfect all the time.
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