We all know the feeling of looking around our homes after the New Year festivities and realising that it’s time to tackle that pile of junk mail, take down old decorations and just generally tidy up. The New Year is the best time to reorganise your home and life, and finally, get rid of clutter that’s accumulated over the last 12 months.
Although it might seem like a simple task, a quick scan around will prove otherwise. To help you wrap up the year once and for all, we’ve created a step-by-step guide that’ll make letting go of clutter super simple. Roll up your sleeves, gather a few empty boxes and let’s get started!
Step 1: Schedule a decluttering session
Let’s face it, unless you’re a clean freak no one really wants to spend the day decluttering their home. Nonetheless, the tedious task is essential at the start of a new year. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, try to schedule an hour or two a day to sort through each room and get rid of unnecessary items. From there, you can tackle one box after another until tasks are completed.
Step 2: Use the 1-year rule
It can be hard to let go of certain things. Sentimental items become a part of our lives, symbolising a special moment or memory. But if too many of these mementoes pile up, your home can turn into an episode of ‘Ultimate Hoarders’. The 1-year rule is an easy way to let go of items you don’t need. Ask yourself if you’ve used it in the last year and if the answer is “No”, then it might be best to donate the item or give it to someone who will have a use for it.
Step 3: Start with the biggest room
If you have a big house, decluttering can get a bit out of hand and make your home look messier than when you started. To create some organisation, start with the biggest room that receives the most foot traffic and work your way through your house, tackling one room at a time.
Step 4: Clean as you go
With clutter comes lots and lots of dust. If you’ve accumulated a lot of junk over the year, chances are some areas haven’t had a good wipe down in a while. Mop, dust, vacuum and wipe down every surface for a full transformation.
Step 5: Keep, donate, or trash
With so many items to sort through it can become a bit confusing to remember what goes where and which items are going to the dump or into storage. To reduce confusion and the likelihood of lost or damaged goods, categorise all your items into boxes you will keep, donate or trash. With this system in place, you’ll not only save energy but time.
Step 6: Designate a spot for each item
When decluttering, it’s a good idea to decide where you’ll be placing certain items to ensure clutter doesn’t start accumulating again. Make sure everything has a place, and if there is no space for it, consider giving it away or storing it in a secure storage unit nearby.
Step 7: Be smart with your storage
As mentioned above, storing your items is a very important part of the decluttering process. You need to decide where everything will be placed, and if there is a shortage of space, you’ll need to think of a plan B. Whether buying multi-purpose furniture, utilising wall space or renting a self storage unit, there’s a number of ways you can free up space for essential items without getting rid of them.
Step 8: Label everything
Once you’ve reached mid-way, you’ll most likely have stacks of boxes in your living room. To make sure you don’t mistake a box of family heirlooms for junk, make sure you label everything and make a list of the items on the top of the box. The same rule applies to storage containers which can be used to pack away seasonal items and clothes.
Step 9: Draw up a system
While you might have finished decluttering your home, your work is not yet done. To ensure clutter doesn’t start to reappear a few weeks later, create a system in your household that all members can easily follow. Stick it on the fridge and reward the kids for following it with a fun day out once a month or a delicious dessert after dinner.
Step 10: Be consistent
Now that each and every room is clean and organised and you’ve got a plan going forward, you need to be consistent. Follow each of your rules and remember to put everything back in its place. Stick to your system and your home will be clutter-free all year round.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to cut back clutter, Pink Hippo Self Storage is the perfect extension of your home or office. Ideally located in Reading and Leatherhead, we offer secure and low-cost self storage with a wide range of unit sizes that can be personalised to your needs. Give us a call or complete our quick online contact form.