There are so many advantages when it comes to having a tidy, uncluttered house – less stress, better self-esteem and a huge time-saver, to name a few. But let’s face it, we’re all prone to a case of the “Maybe one days” when it comes to deciding what to keep when having a clear-out. So, how can we simplify the process of de-cluttering our possessions, and regain control of a chaotic house?
1. Start Small.
Thinking small is key when it comes to many of the challenges that we face, and de-cluttering your home is no different. Trying to tackle just one room can be incredibly daunting, let alone the whole house, so look at key areas, like an old wardrobe or a chest of drawers, and make a start there. Some experts recommend cleaning and sorting your personal effects by category, i.e. clothes, rather than location. If you break tasks down into bite-sized pieces, they seem a lot more achievable and you’re far more likely to succeed with your goal by approaching them in this manner.
2. Helping Hand.
Roping in a friend or relative to help might seem like a bit of a cop-out but, actually, it’s one of the most effective things that you can do. Simply having someone sitting drinking a cup of tea and chatting while you sort is often enough. Not only will it help with your motivation, but your helper is far more likely to be objective and analytical about your belongings than you are able to be. They can even notice stuff that is imperceptible to you, because of your over-familiarity with your own environment.
Having a second pair of eyes and a consultant in the decision-making process is definitely desirable. Just be ready to return the favour to them in the future!
3. Money Motivation.
If tidying for tranquillity isn’t enough, then how about clearing out for cash as a motivator? Yes, there actually are people out there that will not only take your old items off your hands but pay you for the privilege also. Companies such as Vintage Cash Cow buy second-hand, vintage items. Their free postage and collection service means that you won’t even have to leave the house to throw away your old stuff, saving you a trip to the tip too. But be careful not to spend all the money you make on restocking your home with new clutter though!
4. Delve deeper.
When it comes to having a good old sort out, it can be easy to focus on just the obvious and visible areas. Remember though, that most of your unused and unnecessary stuff is likely to be hidden away in drawers, attics, basements, and garages. You’re bound to find stuff that you didn’t even remember you had. If you didn’t know that you still had something, or haven’t used it in the last year, what’s the likelihood that you will use it again in the future? By getting rid of these things, you free up more space for the items that you do use and want. Removing stuff that you no longer need has a cathartic effect, instantly making your home feel brighter and more organised.
5. Stay Strong.
Even if you’re really committed to de-cluttering your house, it can still be hard to cull certain objects. It’s far too easy to dwell on what emotionally significant memories an object represents, leaving you feeling that you are discarding a piece of yourself. If
you struggle to part with that old board game from your childhood, for example, you’re not really clinging onto the toy itself. Instead, you’re hanging onto the memories represented by that well-worn game that you probably won’t play again.
Its sentimental value may make giving it away feel like giving up a piece of your own identity, but recognising this sentimentalism can give you the power to move forward. Something that might help you feel able to get rid of the item is to take photos of it, so you can always look at it. Plus, photos take up a lot less space!
So, now you’re ready to make the first step and you’re going to reap the rewards, both physically and mentally. De-cluttering is not just good for your home environment, but for the world environment as well. Your old junk can be recycled, reused and re-loved by its new owners, whilst you get to bask in the glory of an updated, uncongested living space.
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