Managing your home: Tips for decluttering

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Several years ago the thought of 'decluttering' becoming a fashionable term would have been laughed out of the room. Now, it's the 'in-thing', mainly due to the work of Marie Kondo.

While some people will go the whole hog and decipher Kondo's book word-for-word, we're all about condensing things into an easy-to-action format. Today's post will therefore jump straight into some simple methods to declutter your house and prompt all of the benefits associated with the practice.

Give everything a home

If something doesn't have a home, it's always going to fall into the cluttered category. It doesn't belong anywhere and will generally hop between spaces in your home.

This needs to come to an end. Everything needs to have a home. You might need to research some options for packaging and storage, but by the end of your decluttering mission make sure that you know where all items in your home belong. Nothing can be left on the side.

You should have an interim landing zone, though

Following on from the above, you should cut yourself some slack in relation to items that recently entered your home.

It might be loose change, or even your car keys, but designate a space for these sorts of items.

Of course, the trick is making sure this landing zone doesn't become a runway of unhoused items. Regularly keeping this area in-check is crucial in your battle against clutter.

Not used it? Bin it.

OK, the above phrase might be a little too cut-throat for some households, but hopefully you understand the concept.

A lot of people keep clutter because one day, they "might" use it. As it turns out, that one day rarely comes. It means that you need to start devising rules. If you haven't used an item in the last 12 months, it's time for it to move on. This doesn't have to be in the bin, it can be given to charity or even sold on eBay.

In truth, you can come up with your own timelines for this and many people abide by a 6-month rule. If you want to stretch to 12 months, you will at least take all seasonality into account which can sometimes distort the importance of some items.

The before and after process

One of the worst things you can do when decluttering is not appreciating the work you have done. Let's not forget that this can be a grueling task, that sometimes requires a lot of emotional involvement.

The problem is, as you gradually work away at a room, it can be difficult to visualize the progress that you are making.

This is where the before and after photos come into play. Before you lift a finger, take a photo of the room you are tackling. Then, when you have concluded proceedings, repeat the exercise. You’ll soon see the fruits of your labor, which should hopefully fuel your motivation to take on the other rooms in your home which need the decluttering touch!