How to make decluttering your home less daunting

There are lots of good reasons to declutter your home: clutter takes up valuable space, it makes it harder to keep your home clean and it makes your home less presentable to guests. 

While most of us understand the importance of decluttering, finding the motivation to do this task can be hard. Sorting through all of our possessions can be very time-consuming. It can also be an emotionally challenging task as certain items may be of sentimental value. As a result, decluttering is a task that many of us keep delaying.

Of course, the more you put it off, the more clutter you’re likely to accumulate, which can make the task even more daunting the longer you leave it. It’s best to bite the bullet and get it done before it evolves into a serious issue. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can make decluttering less of a chore in order to make it easier. Below are just a few ways to make decluttering less daunting. 

Schedule a date

Many of us keep telling ourselves that we’ll get round to decluttering next week or next month, but it never happens. It’s best to schedule a date, so that you’re more likely to actually do it. Make sure that you have no other plans on this date. Ideally, it should be a day when you’re not working so that you can dedicate the whole day to decluttering. This does mean sacrificing a day of leisure, however it allows you to get the task out of the way. January and February are typically some of the best months to declutter as you can get rid of all the clutter accumulated over Christmas. 

Alternatively, start decluttering daily

If you’re not able to dedicate an entire day to decluttering, another option could be to get into a habit of decluttering. This could involve challenging yourself to throw away a few items every day, or you could vow to dedicate 10 to 20 minutes per day to decluttering. Providing that you don’t keep buying new stuff, you’ll eventually chip away at your clutter until all your unwanted possessions are gone. 

Take one room at a time

Another way to motivate yourself into decluttering is to tackle your home one room at a time. You could plan to take on a separate room every week, dedicating a few hours on one of your regular days off. Start by tackling the biggest clutter hotspots such as your loft or bedroom and slowly work your way to the least cluttered room such as the bathroom and hallway. This is the best option if you’ve got a larger home and lots of clutter, which you’ll physically be unable to take on in one day. 

Hire a skip

Many people put off decluttering because they don’t know where to dispose of all their unwanted items. Having to take bags of stuff to a recycling centre can be a hassle. A more convenient option is to hire a skip - you can dump all of your unwanted stuff here and it can be taken away to a recycling plant for you. There are many companies that offer skip hire services such as Sheridan Skips. Aim to try and fill the skip to get your money’s worth. 

Sell/donate in bulk

What if you’ve got lots of stuff you want to sell or donate? Selling and donating lots of items individually can be a chore. Many of us put off decluttering so that we don’t have to deal with this task. Others will put items like clothes and toys into bags, but never actually get around to doing anything with these bags. The best solution in this case is to find ways of selling or donating items in bulk. For example, if you have a lot of baby clothes to sell, instead of trying to sell each item individually, consider advertising a bag of baby clothes for sale. Alternatively, find stores or charities that accept large quantities of items at once. This post at Wired lists a few places to sell and donate your stuff. 

Digitise what you can

Photo albums and large printed photos can take up a lot of room. However, many of us find it hard to get rid of them due to their sentimental value. Consider whether you can save digital copies of these photos - this can allow you to keep onto these photos, without having to keep physical copies. Things like books, CDs and old home videos can also be digitised. This could allow you to free up clutter, while still keeping onto your treasured belongings in digital form. 

Get a friend to help

Many hands make light work, or so the saying goes. If you’ve got lots of clutter to sort through, consider asking a friend or family member to help you. You could reward them afterwards by preparing them a meal. Having someone else to help you declutter won’t just allow you to get through more stuff more quickly - it could also motivate you to get rid of things you may otherwise keep. Friends and family members won’t have the same sentimental attachment to your items, and therefore may be able to help you to be more brutal when deciding what to keep and what to throw away. 

Get your pets and kids out of the house

Some of us put off decluttering because we’ve got young kids or needy pets. We may worry that they’ll get under our feet or that we won’t be able to keep an eye on them. If this is a concern, arrange to get your pets and kids out of the house while you declutter. With kids, you may be able to wait until they are at nursery or school. Alternatively, you may have to ask a family member or friend to look after them for a few hours. 

Play some music

Many of us are more motivated to carry out physical tasks when listening to music. Consider lining up some of your favourite upbeat tunes to play while you declutter. You could find that the time passes by much more quickly. 

Take before and after photos

Another great way to motivate yourself to declutter is to take before and after photos of each space in your home. This allows you to truly visualise the progress you’re making. You can also look back at these photos of your clutter to discourage yourself from getting back into the same situation.

Liz xx

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