Thursday 2 August 2018

How to keep on top of clutter

Tips for keeping up with the decluttering

I try really hard to keep up with and reduce the clutter in our home. I've never done a really big Marie Kondo style declutter, instead I am constantly decluttering. Not necessarily because I didn't do it right the first time, as Marie Kondo would allege, but because being a family with young children means that many new things are constantly coming into the house and many other things are being grown out of or replaced. So I thought I'd share a few tips which help me to keep control of the number of things in our home.

I think that the most important thing is to have a place set aside in the home for things to pass on - whether that's to charity, to be sold (as long as you will actually get around to the selling part!), or to give to friends and family (once you've agreed that they want the items). I am very lucky that my gym has a collection point for charity donations, so I keep a donation bag on the go in the wardrobe, and drop it off when it's full.

Packing for a holiday is a great way to go through the clothes. Sort them by category - for example if you need seven t-shirts put all the t-shirts together and decide which ones you will take. Look carefully at the ones that you've rejected, and if there is a reason (too small, looking tattered, no longer like it) then get rid of it. It also helps you see what you've got too much of.

I love to regularly take part in decluttering challenges.  I really like playing the Minimalism Game where you get rid of the number of items that corresponds to the day of the month, and in fact I started it again yesterday. I don't always make it all the way through the month, especially if we are going to be away, but I definitely notice a difference when I've had a good go at it.

Notice the things in your house that you have too many of. This is different for everyone - personally I have a particular fancy for collecting hotel toiletries, cardboard boxes and candles. Make an effort to stop collecting, and see if you know anyone that could use some of the things that you have accumulated.

Make sure that everything has a home, and that it is returned to that home when finished with. Don't buy anything without knowing where it will go, whether that's something large like a new piece of furniture, or something small like a new pen.

Think about things that you are storing unused that could bring joy to someone else and consider passing them on. For example books that you have read or DVDs that you've watched. You'll always be able to find them again if you want to!

If you have a filing cabinet, every time you file a new bill or statement remove one or two older ones from the back. Whenever you close a bank account, sell a car, house or similar, go through the folder and keep only the very essential paperwork.

Get rid of things that have the potential to become sentimental as soon as you can. It's much easier to throw away birthday cards and the like a couple of weeks after the event than years down the line! I do keep sentimental things, but I think very carefully about adding to what I already have because I know that it will only become even more sentimental over time. I am to keep just the highlights rather than everything.

Bright uncluttered living room
Photo credit Sophia Baboolal via Unsplash
I hope that these tips were helpful! Do you have any to add? How do you keep on top of clutter in the home?

Top image photo credit Ina Soulis via Unsplash

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