New year, same clutter?
It’s time to get a fresh start with your stuff.
Decluttering tips for 2022
- Start small and build up, to gain momentum. Easiest: your cutlery drawer or sock drawer. Intermediate: a bank of drawers, your active wear, your books, your pantry. Advanced: a cluttered room, your garage.
- If you have no idea what the process is, have a look at Decluttering. Where do I start?
- Have a vision for that space. It helps to know what you are aiming for. Vague spaces with no purpose quickly become clutter-magnets.
- First, put any obvious rubbish in the bin.
- Take everything OUT of your chosen space. That way you have to make a conscious decision on everything before you return it.
- BUT, If you are deterred by the idea of causing more chaos, check out How to declutter without making a mess. That way you can take smaller chunks out of big decluttering projects when you have time.
- Have an active donate box and put all donations in it right away. It may sound obvious but sometimes we decide to donate and then do nothing about it.
- Set space boundaries for each category. For example if you are decluttering tea towels, assign a space – usually a drawer – and commit to keeping only what comfortably fits in that drawer. Ditch the rest.
- Take before and after photos. It’s a great reward.
- Use labels to maintain spaces for their assigned purposes. Labels remind us – the whole family – where everything should live.
- Think about what to keep by giving yourself rules. For Marie Kondo it’s “does it spark joy?” But I prefer a more concrete, two-pronged approach. 1. ‘“do I need it?” and 2. “do I love it”. If BOTH are a no, the item needs to go. You may decide on other rules for yourself, depending on your parameters and the situation. But stick to them and use them as an aid to lean on (they reduce decision fatigue) rather than feel constrained by them.
- Get rid of obligation. You don’t have to have a fruit bowl on the table just because everyone else does. You don’t have to keep your wedding photos up if you don’t like them. You don’t have to have a bookshelf with books you’ll never read. You sure as hell don’t need to hang onto unwanted gifts.
- Think about how you use a space, and store your items accordingly. That makes putting things away so much easier.
- In a similar theme, set up a go-zone to streamline your regular essentials and put them near the door. Sunscreen, coats, shoes, drink bottles, etc.
Decluttering tips for 2022 – maintenance
A place for everything and everything in its place. Ensure all your items have a home so they are easy to put away.
Make your bed every day. Sounds a bit trite, but having a smooth surface makes it easier to lay out clothes to get dressed, fold laundry and put it away, and generally feel put-together.
Likewise, empty your bins and do your dishes and laundry regularly. A lot of our clutter is made up of mundane daily tasks.
Don’t put it down, put it away. That means prompt action and no double-handling.
If a job takes less than two minutes, do it right away. Otherwise you’ll spend unnecessary time thinking about it when it could be already done.
Don’t change rooms empty handed. If you are heading to the loo, take your used dishes on the way. If you are off to bed you may as well take your clothes with you. Etc.
Unpack when you get home from being out. Otherwise you get ‘collections’ of unrelated items which are time-consuming to sort out later.
Do 10 minutes of ‘reset’ tidying before bed. It’s a great habit to get into, and means things don’t get too out of hand. And you wake up to organised bliss.
Stop the shop. Consumerism and clutter go hand in hand. If you must purchase, establish a “one in, one out” rule to minimise accumulation.
More tidy tips here.