I began a declutter at the weekend to gain the ultimate clutter-free home for the first time since moving in.
But why do we see clutter as bad? Personally, I just hate mess and untidiness. But some people prefer a lived-in look.
Apart from the obvious, that it doesn’t look very good, clutter can also be bad for your mental health. Clutter results in less efficient thinking, less efficient visual processing, poorer mental health, unhealthier eating, and low-subjective well being.
This has been proven by a number of studies across the world. This is why it’s really important to take the steps to a clutter-free home, and to make sure you maintain them. Read on to discover how to stay clutter-free for good.
Start with a huge clear-out
Before you can adapt the habits needed for a clutter-free home, you first need to have a huge clear-out. In most cases, this means investing in skip hire, and dedicating a full weekend to getting rid of all the stuff you don’t need. Yes, this may sound a bit dramatic, but if you have stuff all over the house, it’s necessary. You will never deal with your clutter if you go about it halfheartedly.
This weekend, I didn’t quite go to the extreme of getting a skip, but we had received quite a few charity bags through those door. Those were filled and set outside my house ready for picking up.
One of the most effective methods for reducing clutter is to go paper-free. I know, this is easier said than done.
Scanning all of your documents may seem like a lengthy and daunting task, but it will be well worth it in the end. There are plenty of apps that make it easy for you to scan documents and store them efficiently. It’s a good idea to backup your files for added security.
And please, always recycle your paper and cardboard. Unless it has sensitive information on it, in which case shred it first.
Live within your means
Let the size of your home dictate the number of things you have. If you have a huge number of clothes, this does not mean you need to invest in a wardrobe that is too big for the scale of your bedroom. Why not get rid of some of your clothes instead?
I found this tough when I moved into my house. I had a double wardrobe to myself, as well as two large chest of drawers. When I moved in with Jay, I had half a wardrobe and one chest of drawers to contend with. I’ve now put my summer stuff into storage, and will do a swap over next year as the weather warms up again.
Have a place for everything
Everything inside of your home should have a place. I live by this as though it’s a mantra.
Do you find that you have a number of items that are in limbo, i.e. on the floor or on top of tables because you’re struggling to find a place for them? If this is the case, you should invest in a filing cabinet or a plastic storage box for such items.
I have small, narrow baskets inside drawers everywhere in my house. It means items like pens sit in them without rolling around the drawer, or getting lost.
Make sure you have a junk drawer
Anything with the word ‘junk’ in it doesn’t sound very proactive when it comes to clutter. Nonetheless, having a junk drawer is so important. No matter how organised your home is, there are going to be those pesky items that we use a lot, yet they don’t really have a logical place to go. This includes the likes of tape, pens, and batteries. These items should go in your junk drawer.
Our junk drawer has become our sideboard in our lounge. It has an assortment or candles, lighters, pens, sellotape, and cleaning cloths.
Become a habitual putter-awayer
This is something that may take a while to get used to if you are the type of person that leaves things on the sofa or the floor. However, it is important to get into the habit of always putting things away, be it a book or a bottle opener. This will ensure that clutter does not build and that your home always looks good.
I’m the worst for this. When I get undressed in the evening, I leave my pairs of jeans on the floor. I so need to get in the habit of actually putting them in their drawer.
I love a good sort out. It makes me feel better when I can throw things that I don’t use or need. I try to donate to charity which also makes me feel better, knowing someone else can benefit from my things. Do you love a clutter sort out, or do you dread it? Have you achieved a clutter-free home?