How To Make Space and Declutter Your Home
Decluttering projects typically begin with a phone call from a client feeling somewhat overwhelmed. They may be in the process of downsizing or have had a life change, such as children leaving home, retirement, or they may just be struggling to maintain control of the detritus of everyday life. It is also a normal first step in an interior design process, once you have decided you want to redecorate a room or move house.
Decluttering your home can have so many benefits. Once rid of the things that clutter up your life, you are left with the objects you value most. A home left with only treasures, will feel calming and full of value. Clearing out wardrobes, for example, may also lead you to rediscovering forgotten gems. From an environmental stand point, decluttered kitchen cupboards encourage you to use uncovered items, rather than repurchasing duplicates. A money and waste saver! Decluttering your home will create an easy base for your interiors project, and ensure the end result is polished.
Start Small and Easy
When starting a decluttering project, it is important to set yourself small, achievable goals. You might not be able to do a whole room, let alone the whole house in a day! If your ultimate goal is to declutter a bedroom, for example, perhaps start with your chest of drawers. Focusing on one section will help to ensure you start and finish an area in a single sitting. Leaving half-decluttered spaces over days will be less satisfying and may cause you to loose momentum.
Empty out the contents of your drawers or cupboard, so that you can view all of the items clearly. Set aside to keep any items that you use regularly. From here, chip away at the items slowly. Consider what value each object holds in your life, whether practical, decorative, or sentimental. Divide these pieces into three categories: Keep, Throw and a final pile for pieces you are unsure of. Tackle the unsure pile last, and try to be as brutal as you can!
Once you have decided all of the items you are keeping, start to reorganise them back in the cupboard, or find a new, more relevant home for them. The beauty of reevaluating each object individually, is that you may find a new appreciation for forgotten loves. Even if you only dispose of one or two items, you will find new value in the items that you keep.
Everyone’s version of ‘decluttered’ is different, so don’t feel like you need to get rid of everything to declutter successfully. But at the same time, be tough with yourself. As Marie Kondo says, you really do only want to hold onto the things that ‘spark joy’. The aim is to be left with only items that add value to your home, and to your life.
Declutter at Your Own Pace
For those hoarders out there (you know who you are!), with cupboards stuffed with clothes, boxes full of knickknacks, and shelves overflowing with books, decluttering probably will not come naturally to you at all. It can be overwhelming, and even emotional, letting go of potentially sentimental objects. It is important to declutter at your own pace.
If you struggle with the idea of throwing things away permanently, put all of the items you are considering chucking into a box and stash them somewhere out of sight. I know what you’re thinking – this sounds like hoarding! – but hear us out. Store the box out of sight for 6 months. Once the set time has passed and you have not used the items, it is time to give them up for good. (A year is usually a good length of time for clothes, as you can see how you don’t use them across all seasons). This exercise will demonstrate how little you really miss those items, and make it easier to slowly declutter.
PARTING WITH YOUR ITEMS
Donating your pieces to a charity can be a great way to help a cause whilst clearing out. Some non-profit organisations will collect furniture from your house free of charge. Take a look at what options are available in your area. Try to ensure that any objects that you are donating to charity are in good, resell-able condition. Be conscious that overloading charities with junk can actually be a hinderance to them, so try to only send items that have selling potential.
If you have the time to set up an eBay, or any other resale site, this can be an exciting and profitable project. Not only can you make a penny or two, but selling on your preloved items will ensure that they are reused and treasured by their new owners. This is a great way to keep precious resources out of landfill. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!
At the end of all this, there is often a wonderful sense of achievement for everybody involved. The declutterer has the benefit of a beautifully organised new home, surrounded by the possessions that give them the most joy or serve a useful purpose in their life. The unwanted items have mainly gone on to live new lives, with family, friends, charities and people who found them on e-bay. Most of all there is a new sense of space and the relief of having it all sorted.
Decluttering can be a time consuming event. Consider enlisting a Buddi to help. It is amazing what you can achieve when you work as a team. An insurmountable task because it is really quite easy when you have an experienced friend at your side.