When you decide that you want to get rid of clutter in your home, it’s common to want to get it over with as quickly as you possibly can. However, real decluttering takes time. It probably took months or even years to accumulate all the clutter in your home, so getting rid of it may well take a little while!
Barbara Hemphill, the founder of the Productive Environment Institute , famously said that clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions. You know what she means – the piles of paperwork that never seem to find a home, the odd socks, the wardrobe full of clothes you don’t wear… they’re all things that wouldn’t take that long to actually sort out, but overall they add up to a lot of clutter.
The good news is that there are things you can do to speed up the process and get rid of clutter fast. Here are our top tips to help you get rid of clutter!
Get rid of clutter little and often.
A full Marie-Kondo-level declutter isn’t achievable for everyone. Instead, try and give the job a couple of hours a few times a week. Alternatively, try to tackle one room at a time and do each room until it’s done.
On top of these longer decluttering sessions, it’s also a great idea to try to do a little decluttering every day. Try and live by the old restaurant worker adage “full hands in, full hands out”. This refers to making sure you always have dirty plates in your hands when you go into the kitchen and full plates of food when you come out. Adopt something like this at home.
For instance, don’t leave your bedroom without an armful of dirty laundry and a sweater you don’t want any more. Don’t leave your living room without a couple of books, DVDs or CDs that you don’t have the time to enjoy anymore. You can do this with any and all items from any and all rooms in your house.This will help you always have a critical eye out for clutter that you can get rid of, as well as helping you cut down on the time it takes to do longer decluttering sessions.
Box it up!
If you’ve got a lot of stuff that you think you want to donate or sell rather than keeping or sending to landfill, great!
However, sorting things out to sell or donate after decluttering takes time. It can even take longer than the decluttering. This can put a lot of people off or result in things being sent to landfill that could be dealt with differently.
Instead – whether you’re having a decluttering session or not! – designate a large box or bag for items you want to sell or donate. When the box gets full, deal with the contents. Then fill it up again!
The fastest way to get rid of clutter? Bin it.
Do a bin bag sweep. This is exactly what it sounds like. Walk your house with a bin bag and throw in any clutter you come across. This can later be sorted into actual rubbish and your sales/donation box.
No clutter is safe from the bin bag sweep! Anything can go in there, anything from the face products you never find the time to use to the ancient towels you’d be ashamed to give to a guest. Don’t think too hard about it – use your instincts and be ruthless.
Get rid of the big stuff.
When we think of clutter, often we think of paperwork, shoes, and other small bits and pieces. And it’s true – having little items all over the place can really have a negative impact on how a space looks. However, having too many big pieces in your space won’t help either.
For instance, if you’ve got a large armchair in your living room that juts out into the space a little too much and never gets sat on… that’s clutter too. Removing just one major item that draws the eye can make a huge difference in a cluttered room.
Focus on high-traffic areas.
If you and your family spend most of your time in the living room or kitchen, it’s likely that those areas are more cluttered than other areas. If your time is limited, focus on the areas that are used often. Decluttering these areas will have a much bigger impact on day-to-day family life than decluttering the shed, office or garage.
The hallway is an important area to include in this high-traffic decluttering session. Having a clean and clear entryway will completely change how your house feels, and your mood when coming and going.
Get rid of clutter by making a system.
While you’re decluttering, remember that the goal is to create a space that is uncluttered and will stay that way. That means that all items need a home, and there needs to be designated space for future items too.
You know how some superstores have an aisle just for every type of crisp? This way, you always know where what you’re looking for will be. You know how other superstores keep the crisps on the ends of 5 different aisles and you have to search in multiple different places when you’re looking for something? This is a choice you can make at home too. If you find that your family’s keys end up getting lost often or left in multiple different areas of the house, make a home for keys. Whether it’s a hook or a key tray, it’ll help cut down on clutter and everyone will always know where their keys are!
This is a rule you can make for everything. If paperwork is constantly an issue for you, create a filing system with room for any more paperwork that may come your way (document storage is a great way to do this!). If you have a junk drawer, empty it and give everything in there a home with similar items.
The aim of making a tidying system is to cut down on tidying time as you get rid of clutter. It should help your house stay tidy, so you don’t have to make it tidy.
One in, one out.
Another way to cut down on clutter and tidying time in one is to be strict about purchases. If you’re not vigilant about what comes into your home, you’ll never get ahead of the rising tide of clutter. It’s as much about what comes into your house as it is about what goes out.
Try the one in, one out rule to get rid of clutter. Every time you buy a new t-shirt, an old one must go. This goes for towels, utensils, books, spices, bath products… literally anything and everything.
Take a look at our blog post on keeping your home tidy for more tips like this!
Find more space!
Sometimes, you’ve just got too much stuff and not enough space. Not everyone is in a position to move into a bigger home. But that doesn’t mean you should have to get rid of prized personal possessions in an effort to get rid of clutter!
Are you constantly struggling against clutter? Think about how you could utilise some extra storage space. That space could be used for furniture, out-of-season clothes, paperwork, books and toys you may need for future children or grandchildren… the list goes on!
If you feel like you desperately need just a little extra space, consider self-storage. Self storage is one of the best ways to cut down on clutter, as it allows you to simply have less in your house. It’s also easily accessible (for if you change your mind about what you want to keep in there!), simple, and secure. Contact us or get a quote today, so you can start cutting down on clutter.