Despite our best intentions, sometimes items, products, and even foods simply build up in our homes without us realising it, creating a dated, cluttered look rather than a sleek and stylish contemporary feel. Every home needs a good clean every so often, but many homeowners are daunted by the prospect of decluttering as it can be such a mammoth task. There’s really no need to be scared! If you’re someone who is reluctant to declutter your home – or if you’re simply not sure how to declutter your home – here are some handy tips to get you started:
Make a list of the places and areas which need decluttering in your home. Tackle the hardest first so that you know you’ve got the worst job out of the way! Use the list to schedule times to declutter each area so the process is broken down into manageable chunks.
Decluttering the Kitchen
It’s so easy to buy food products, put them in the store cupboard, and then forget about them, sometimes for years and years! Products that are beyond their use-by date should not be eaten, and they take up valuable room in the kitchen. Here are some suggestions for decluttering the kitchen or pantry:
Start with the refrigerator. Get rid of anything that’s beyond its best, and definitely get rid of anything that is out of date. Cheeses, milks and creams, and condiments are common offenders, often having a very short shelf life. Clean out the food from any packaging and recycle the glass jars, cardboard cartons, or plastic bottles that it came in!
Move onto the store cupboard or pantry. Throw away anything that is past its use-by date (remember to recycle the packaging, if possible), and then take a look at other products in there. If something is still in date but you don’t think you’ll use it, consider donating it to a local food bank.
It’s also worth looking at your cutlery and utensil drawers or holders, and your cookware shelves. Reorganise any jumbled cutlery or utensils – organise by type and keep in separate sections. Consider storage for large, bulky items that you rarely use – such as novelty appliances that seemed like a good idea at the time – and get rid of any pans that are tarnished.
Tackling Clutter in the Bedroom
Decluttering the bedroom is important, too! It’s not good for clothes to be stuffed into an overloaded wardrobe; the materials could become damaged, and clothing could crease easily. If you decide to declutter your home, the bedroom should be one of the first areas you tackle. Here’s how to do it:
Don’t be tempted to hang on to clothes that don’t fit. If they don’t fit, there’s no point keeping them. There are other people that could make more use of the garments than you could, so consider giving these items to charity.
Similarly, you may wish to give away any items that you just don’t wear any longer. Make a note of any items you haven’t worn in the last month, and ask yourself if you really need to keep them.
Your delicates drawer is another place that would probably benefit from some attention! Socks and underwear with holes in aren’t particularly comfortable or hygienic, so it may be time to say goodbye to them. If you’ve got room in your cleaning cupboard, old socks make good rags.
Decluttering the Bathroom
When was the last time you took a good look in your medicine cabinet? What many people don’t realise is that all medicines have ‘best before’ dates, too. It’s easy to buy a medicine, use it a few times until you feel better, and then forget about it, so have a good look and throw out anything that is out of date.
Bottles of shampoo, bubble bath, and lotions can also make your bathroom seem cluttered. Go through all your products and think about which ones you actually use. If you don’t want some of them, then empty them and recycle the containers.
The Best Decluttering Methods for Your Home
Decluttering the home is a big job! The secret is to break it down into manageable chunks, doing just a small bit at a time. Firstly, focus on just a single room, and forget about the others. If you start tidying and decluttering multiple rooms at once, it’s likely to be overwhelming and you’ll be left with a bigger mess than when you started! Once you’ve decided where to begin, start by tidying a single cupboard, moving onto a shelf, and so on. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be.
How to Declutter Your Home Without Fear
If you are keen to declutter your home but are very nervous about throwing things out or giving items away, it may be worth storing these items for a short period of time before making the commitment. If you’ve got an attic or garage, pack your items away and leave them there for one month. If you find you haven’t missed them, it should help give you peace of mind that you’re doing the right thing.
Start small. Decluttering a cupboard or book shelf is a good way to begin. The achievement of completing these tasks will motivate you to move on to your next – perhaps slightly bigger – task.
Declutter room by room. This will break it down into manageable chunks and help you to stay organised.