How To

a tidy home

De-clutter your home ...and keep it that way

De-cluttering means much more than just tidying up. Letting go of items that you don’t need, don’t use, or are keeping ‘just in case’ will lead to a feeling of well-being, as well as an organised, more spacious and liveable home. De-cluttering is not always easy and can be overwhelming if you’re a bit of a hoarder, so here’s some tips to get you started.

  • Tackle clutter a little bit at a time; one drawer, one shelf; one tabletop. Or take the 10-10-10 approach. Choose 10 items to throw away,
    10 items to give away, and 10 items to put away. It’s a great way to quickly organise 30 things in your house without making the task of de-cluttering seem overwhelming.
  • Items that are to be given away, sold or donated should be dealt with as soon as possible so you don’t end up with boxes of stuff (yes, more clutter) waiting to be removed.
  • Designate a place for everything in your home. Take the time to think it through, a few things at a time. Always put those items back in their proper place when you’ve finished using them.
  • Wait until you’ve made decisions on what to keep before you go out and buy boxes to keep it organised. That way you won’t be tempted to simply put everything in attractive new boxes and not address the clutter problem.
  • Papers can account for a lot of clutter. On the table, on a desk, in a drawer or in the car, they can easily get out of control! Decide on a spot for an inbox and make sure that all papers (bills, receipts, manuals, flyers etc) go in the inbox. Then create a simple filing system and, most importantly, keep on top of it.
  • Find out what utensils you’re really using with the cardboard box test. Empty your kitchen drawers and put all your utensils in a cardboard box. Whenever you use one of these utensils, put it away in the drawer. Whatever is still in the cardboard box after 8 weeks is not needed and can be donated. This method also works well for the dreaded Junk Drawer.
  • Clothes are best tackled in one hit, when you have a couple of spare hours and are feeling decisive. Take everything out of your wardrobe and go through each item, quickly deciding whether you want to keep it or not. Ask yourself honestly if you’re likely to wear it again. If you need to make a maybe box, that’s ok but make sure you write a date on it and check back in a few months - if you haven’t missed it, you don’t need it. Sort the clothes you’re keeping into colour or type and put away.

Once your home is clutter-free, keep it that way with the ‘one in, one out rule’ - for each new item, get rid of an old one.