The more we read about decluttering, the more we realise it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Every expert has their own way of vanquishing the clutter, whether it’s Marie Kondo urging us to chuck away anything that doesn’t bring us joy or Dave Bruno challenging us all to reduce our worldly goods to just 100 items.
These may sound a bit farfetched to those of us who don’t want a minimalist lifestyle per se, we simply want to restore some order to our chaotic surroundings.
We’ve searched for the practical tips that make the purging a little more bearable and less inclined to send us into shock.
1. Store your items in utensil holders
It has to be said that not all declutter experts are minimalists who’ve eschewed materialism altogether. Some are better described as “super organisers”, such as Alejandra Costello, “America’s Most Organised Woman” who still has lots of items, but she’s devised systems for storing everything tidily. She suggests we use cutlery holders and utensil pots for keeping our stationery items. This could also be applied to makeup and other collections made up of lots of small pieces.
2. Repurpose what you have
Another of Ms Costello’s rules is to reduce clutter by putting items to better use. So instead of rushing to Ikea to buy lots of storage tubs, why not use what you already have available at home?
3. Put your children’s toys on rotation
Saima Mir was inspired by Marie Kondo’s Netflix show to sort out her belongings and ended up having a brainwave of her own. She decided to keep out only the toys her children used most of the time: Lego, books and art supplies. She relegated the rest to the loft and now swaps them periodically.
4. Start with pen and paper
Chrissy Halton shared her unique approach to decluttering in the Huffington Post. Her recommendation was not to start with the binbag in hand, but instead get a paper and pen, map out your floor plan and assign “functions” to each room. The rooms should then only house items that pertain to the purpose of that room. Anything that doesn’t belong anywhere is the surplus you can eliminate.
5. Change your mindset towards your things
Jasmine Birtles believes that the key to decluttering lies in how you think about it. Instead of feeling like you’re losing out on all the items you’re getting rid of, you should imagine all the time you’ll be gaining back. You’ll find things more easily and cleaning won’t be such a chore when surfaces are clear.
6. Ask yourself new questions
Professional declutter Laura Kinsella says that most people are asking themselves the wrong question. Instead of simply: “Should it stay or should it go?” you could ask:
“Would I buy this item today?” or “Does this item reflect who I am now?”
7. Keep your tabletops clear
Stephanie Hanes suggests that coffee tables should be free of clutter to give the illusion of a minimal space. That means tabletops should be three-quarters clear space.
8. Start with the easy bits
Laura Cattano of Organization Design recommends starting with the easiest jobs first. That way you get in the flow and don’t make it too much of a challenge for yourself. A bit like going the gym, you don’t start with the heaviest weights first; you build up instead.
9. Store your items according to regularity of use
Mrs Hinch, the famous cleaning tips influencer, also believes in the art of organisation. She recommends storing items in baskets depending on how often you use them, with prime positioning being given to those you use most days. That makes sense because they’re easy to tidy away within easy reach and don’t clutter up the surfaces.
What are your favourite tips for organising your possessions? Let us know on Twitter.
We can help you store the items you’re not using, including your children’s toys so you can enjoy your clutter-free home. Request an instant quote.