The best way to declutter your home is to do it quickly, so why not get it done this weekend?
Whether you enjoy spring cleaning or you’ve been putting it off, the aim is to have your home looking clean and clear as quickly as possible.
The rising popularity of minimalism has put the declutter challenge in the spotlight. Even Oprah is known for her love of decluttering, and an advocate of a ‘less is more’ approach to the home environment.
It’s widely reported that a clear home means a clear mind, so it stands to reason that a cluttered home can wreak havoc on your emotions and productivity.
This study even found the cleanliness and order of a home could influence the level of the occupant’s stress hormone, cortisol. It found that women in particular experienced increased cortisol release and more depressed feelings if their home was cluttered, and when returning from work to long to-do lists at home.
If it’s been a while since your last big clean-up, it can certainly seem like a mammoth effort. But applying these simple proven strategies can help you declutter your home with ease in a single weekend.
So, let’s get started!
Get clear on why you’re clearing the clutter
According to the experts, physical clutter is a reflection of our mindset. Whether we let dishes pile up on the kitchen bench, bury the dining table under paperwork and junk mail, or fill the ‘spare room’ with boxes of things we never use, research suggests clutter is usually a result of fear, guilt, or both.
Humans are creatures of habit. So collecting material things can make us feel good, for a little while, and keeping them gives us the comfort of the familiar. We can become scared of letting belongings go because a) someone gave it to us, b) it cost a lot of money or c) we might need it ‘someday’.
So take a moment to reflect on why you want to declutter your home, and be aware of the negative feelings you have about the current state of disorder. The experts say this should help you change your behaviours, particularly once you experience the rewarding feeling of living in a clean, tidy and peaceful home.
Identify the problem areas
Now that you have some insight into potentially why your home is cluttered, take a look around to see what is making your home look messy.
It’s likely there are some key problem areas, while others aren’t so bad. Considering you’re short on time, focus on the worst areas first.
One study revealed almost 90% of Australian homes have at least one cluttered room, and the most commonly cluttered areas are the garage, kitchen and bedrooms.
Considering Australians buy on average 27 kilograms of new clothes each year, it’s quite likely the wardrobes are bursting at the seams.
And that means a lot of clothing we don’t wear, and probably never will.
There’s no time to waste, so don’t overthink it. Just take action.
Trash: Experts recommend you grab some boxes or bags and attack the rubbish first. If you’ve made the commitment to declutter your home, now is the time to be thorough. That box of recycled Christmas wrapping from five years ago that you might reuse one day… it’s probably time for it to go.
Sell or Donate: Keeping the environment in mind, reduce what you send to landfill by selling your unwanted goods or donating as much as you can. The best rule of thumb – if you haven’t worn it or used it in the past 12 months, you probably won’t use it or you don’t really need it. So if it’s still in good condition, sell it or donate it to charity.
Keep: Whether you’re spring cleaning or embracing minimalism, you don’t have to throw everything out. Just make sure every item has a dedicated home, and keep it there. While some people choose to remove all items from sight, you might prefer to keep photos, lamps and mementos on display, simply minus all the mess. There is no right or wrong here, it’s just about creating a space you love.
Review and improve the space
Decluttering your home can reveal a range of issues, from a lack of storage, to damaged or stained furniture, walls and floors. Sometimes this can even be the cause for allowing items to build up and cause clutter in the first place – in an attempt to hide the mess underneath.
Give each decluttered area a thorough clean and then determine what should be done to ensure the space stays decluttered permanently. This might mean giving walls a fresh coat of paint, installing new storage spaces, restoring damaged furniture, or replacing old and stained floor coverings with a new, durable and streamlined flooring option such as polished concrete.
By applying this strategy to the task at hand, it is possible to declutter your home in just one weekend. You will also be taking steps to ensure your home remains more organised and welcoming for longer, so you can regain control over your space and enjoy the peace and tranquility of your home.
For more inspiration and information about home renovations and design visit the Geostone blog archive.