Before we get started, let me be clear: I am a self-confessed enemy of clutter. Its effects are both mental and physical. Spending time in a cluttered environment will eventually leave me feeling stressed, overwhelmed and unproductive, causing a feeling of lethargy. That’s why I want to give you some ideas I use for decluttering.
Just do it
Living amongst clutter will cause you to procrastinate. Soon your belongings will own you and you will struggle to get rid of them. The most important thing you can do is to begin. It doesn’t mean you need to spend a full day decluttering, but it means you need to accept that you need a change and then actively do something about it.
It’s just stuff
This is a critical point. All the stuff that’s currently lying around, gathering dust and getting in the way of life is just that: stuff. Inanimate objects that add no value. You have to get to the point where you can accept that, otherwise you’ll fail at the stage of throwing things out. Of course this doesn’t apply to things of real emotional and financial value, but when it comes to cheap decorations from Ikea, meaningless old newspapers or even a CD collection that gathering dust, I say be ruthless. It’s just stuff and it doesn’t own you.
Decluttering as a process
Clutter is as much a mental problem as it is physical, which means you’ll likely struggle with it and there may be a tendency to let the clutter build up again. If every room in your house is cluttered, then address the problem a room at a time.
When you have decluttered, you need to institute some new rules. One very simple new rule: any time you leave a room, leave with something that shouldn’t be there. As a parent, that means taking a toy back to a bedroom or putting some food in the bin. You get the idea though.
Another idea is to calendar certain repetitive tasks. For example: on Mondays you will always make sure that the kitchen is cleared, on Tuesdays you do a sweep of the bedrooms, every last Friday of the month you do a sweep of your wardrobe, etc. Reserving time like this means you are always addressing any possible build-up before it gets too entrenched to easily do anything about it.
Some swear by this one simple rule: you can only buy something new if you remove at least one thing. You can scale the ratio up if you want to declutter faster, e.g. one new item for three old. It’s simple, scalable and proven. Try it.
How do you encourage yourself to resist and persist with these good habits? It’s obvious. Clutter can become so endemic that the true, often sorry, state of repair is hidden. Once you have it removed, you have room to manoeuvre. So perhaps now would be a good time to improve your interior décor? If so, you can save up some cash or take a look at what’s on offer at CB Online or similar bank. Set yourself a strict budget, set some guidelines in terms of what you will replace and get stuck in. Not only will you have a decluttered home, but it will also be fresher, more appealing and therefore easier to keep free from clutter.
The end result
Essentially, you have two options here: do nothing and continue to live a shadow of a life, or do something about it. It really is that simple. If you initiate some of the tips above, you can declutter quickly and more importantly stay that way. The benfits are myriad. You’ll be able to think more. You’ll be a lot less stressed. You’ll generally have a healthier and more fulfilling life. If I was you, I’d start binning stuff right now.