Thinking about decluttering? It’s aways a good time to start and you’ll feel great once you see that you’re making progress.
These tips are about decluttering your house but they apply equally to your office or any other space you need to declutter.
Don’t look at the house as one giant project or you will be overwhelmed. Choose a room, pick a corner of that room to start, and everyday, do around 20 to 30 minutes. You’ll get a sense of completion every time you finish an area and you will get your decluttering and organising done much faster because you’re not finding ways to put off a massive task.
For each area you tackle, empty, lay it out and place in rough categories - this way you can clearly see what you have and spot any repeat items.
Have the general rule in your head that if you can’t see it you are less likely to use it. This will help you when you are placing things back in their new homes – is kitchen equipment placed on a high shelf at the back really going to be remembered? Unlikely, so how much do you really need it in your life?
4.Throw it now or later
Often clients I work with will put off a decision to get rid of an item even though they know they don’t really want it. This is fine for now, don’t put extra pressure on yourself however do have a think about whether or not you will likely come back to it in the future and then discard it anyway…so in theory you are simply storing it unnecessarily??
5.Go with your gut feeling
You know if you use, need or even like something. If you don’t feel like you can get rid of it yet anyway do not force yourself it will only create feelings of discomfort or negativity. Give yourself a break and when you feel ready it can go. But try and be brave and more than anything realistic. Remember why your doing this.
6.Things to think about…
Remind yourself that there is a strong possibility that your life will be no worse off without the majority of items in it that you possess. Many people have an irrational fear that it will be, but honestly you will be just fine. Don’t put too much emphasis on ‘stuff’.
7. Buy A Memory Box for each member of the family
A huge part of not wanting to throw things away is when those items hold sentimental value. If you haven’t got a specific place to put your child’s first shoes, perhaps letters or meaningful items, you’re just going to move them around the house 20 times. A memory box means precious items now have somewhere to live. This is not an excuse to throw everything in that you don’t know what to do with – it still requires you to be selective!
This general rule is very useful to think about. Any item that lives in front of another will more than likely mean you won’t use the one placed behind. Make as much of the contents of your home easily accessible especially the things you use daily.
By Vicky Silverthorn - Vicky Silverthorn is one of the UK's most sought-after professional organisers, and author of Start With Your Sock Drawer. She has helped everyone from celebrities to busy familes declutter, organise and simplify their homes.
Vicky is speaking at The London Group on September 25th 2019