Do you ever look around and notice items are starting to clutter up space? Have you not used an item for months or even years? Do you feel cluttered in yourself? Then maybe it is time for a decluttering session. This may seem a daunting task, but hopefully some methods I have come across may be of help to get you started…..
The benefits of having an uncluttered life is to also have your head uncluttered. I have been studying minimalism and various decluttering methods and have found these so inspiring. Decluttering increases motivation and doing this in my own home has meant I have more head space, I simply do not feel as cluttered in my home life. This is from even starting the smallest of tasks from sorting our wardrobe to a larger project of weekly tip and charity shop runs for emptying the garage.
I have also found since decluttering, I have become more money conscious. I have always been careful not to overspend, but since this challenge of living a simplified life, I have questioned ‘do I really need another book, as I have 5 unread books on my shelf’ and found myself really thinking more before making any purchases. Decluttering has not only meant everything is starting to look aesthetically pleasing, but I am more aware of my items and surroundings plus one huge benefit….there is less to clean. If you are having to move the 20 bottles of skincare ointments and creams you have (even though you realistically only probably use a couple of them) this will take you more time to clean. Being ruthless will mean you have less standing there and in return, less to move for cleaning.
Try and be mindful of the items you declutter, we only take what we can’t recycle, donate or sell to the recycling centre. Last month we made over £100 for random decluttering from the garage, and the garage has so much space now. We are planning an internal semi office conversion in the garage and the space was always an issue. There was so much junk out there and we have tried a few times clearing out, but it never looked any different. Now there is so much empty floor space.
So here are my favourite decluttering methods and ways to help you start decluttering and live a simpler life……
I recently read ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up*‘ by Marie Kondo, which no lie was totally motivating. By page 16 I had 3 bags of clothes for the clothing bank, I had decluttering my wardrobe and now all of our clothes are folded in the KonMari format, which you must check out. The space you save is amazing, once you start doing this method you will wonder why you hadn’t thought of this before.
Marie Kondo helps you to declutter by category. The main thing to remember when applying this method is ‘Spark of Joy’ does the item you are holding gives you that joy, if not then discard the item. I loved the book and applied some of the methods, not all of them. I found the stroking your clothes and being thankful a little too far, but never less the book got me starting the decluttering task.
The KonMari method of decluttering, will mean this will take time. This method is for those who are serious or need that push to complete the task ahead. This is not for those who have a spare 10 minutes. For example when sorting your wardrobe, you need to empty ALL of the contents on the floor and go through each item. This may be time consuming, but the sense of achievement is immense at completing a mammoth task.
This is a new method I have come across which was completely by accident. You know how it is when you come across a new favourite feed….you find yourself scrolling through every highlight and photo for the fantastic content. One I found recently was @EveryDayAmazingYou on Instagram, Jessica is extremely motivational and has designed a super fun decluttering challenge, for example:
- Day 1 | Make Up
- Day 10 | Keepsakes
- Day 22 | Books
Instagram challenges are extremely fun as you can see everyone’s progress, for Jessica’s challenge check out #WantLoveNeedChallenge. I hope there will be more as I definitely will be taking part in future ones. I may even try and catch the end of this challenge. Either way, it is a fantastic way again to get you started and can be broken down into small steps.
This method is simple and yet effective. Motivation exceeds that moment you cross of a task on a list, either by pen and paper or digitally which I love using Wunderlist, so extend this feeling of triumph for starting to declutter. Take a step back and break down areas in your home, for example I want to sort the airing cupboard. There are towels and bedding that we don’t use but keep for incase we may go through 4 sets in one night (which has never happened) so this will be added to my list.
Also you can simplify into sub-categories. An example is childrens toys, you can break down by toy category or storage space. You can sub category the kitchen for example sort your pan draw, spice rack, the kitchen draw that is for anything and everything…we all have that draw somewhere in the house. Make it as simple of long winded as you want, the main thing is as you start ticking off tasks you will soon be getting in the full swing of decluttering.
I love watching Matt D’Avella on YouTube, his editing style is awesome and Matt is who actually got me interested into Minimalism. I watched The Minimalists documentary on Netflix which was directed by Matt D’Avella and this widened my interests more into this way of living. The Minimalists are Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn and they have hundreds of people joining each month in their #minsgame on social media. The format of the method is simple, on the first day of the month you declutter 1 item, on the second day of the month you declutter 2 items and so on. By the end of a 31 day month you will have decluttered 496 items (yes this took me a whole coffee frappuchino to work this out).
This method is effective for the amount of decluttering, and the purpose of building up the amount as the moth passes is to build your momentum decluttering, this helps you build confidence in your decisions for letting go of items. I love this idea, for starting out and seeing where you go with this.
Closet Hanger Method
Another new method I have come across which was originally brought to light by Oprah Winfrey is the Closet Hanger Method. Do apply this method hang all of your clothes on hangers and face all of the hangers one way. As you wear clothes you turn the hanger round the opposite way, soon after 6 months (to allow for seasons) you will see items you are not wearing and then donate, sell or take to a clothing bank the unworn garments.
I was thinking this is just a clothes way of decluttering. But I reckon you could do a list or add labels for other items, for example the kitchen cupboards or toys. See what toys your kids are not playing with or grown out of, and make way for Santa bringing exciting new toys. I have taken this approach whilst decluttering the garage, if we haven’t used it in the past year then do we really need it?