Queen of clutter-clearing Marie Kondo taught us that if things don’t ‘spark joy’, we don’t need ‘em. To tell you the truth, though, it’s actually more serious than that – clutter is seriously bad for our health. Our brains are wired to like order, and piles of clutter (visual reminders of disorganisation) drain our cognitive resources, making us less able to focus and more distracted by the minutiae.
Clutter makes us stressed, anxious and even depressed – so, if you have a cluttered home, it’s time to get it seriously under control! Here are some simple tips to help you (finally!) clear out the clutter in your home.
#1: Start small
Decluttering can seem an overwhelming task, especially if you’ve allowed things to build up over an extended period of time. Take things one step at a time by starting with one small area – perhaps there’s a kitchen cupboard that’s been bugging you for ages, or a spare drawer filled with takeaway menus and junk mail. Commit yourself to chucking out anything you don’t need, and the satisfaction you’ll gain will spur you onto clearing the next area.
#2: Set a timer
When you’re on a clearing-out mission, it’s so easy to get distracted by old belongings that spark nostalgia. Before you know it, you’ve spent two hours looking through a photo album from 1992. To stop yourself straying, set timers – perhaps one area needs ten minutes designated, another one twenty. When the timer rings, you’re free to have a break and feel no guilt.
#3: Keep a ‘maybe’ box
It’s usually quite easy to declutter when you know exactly what you want to keep and what you want to chuck. However, what about the stuff you don’t really use, but think you might need or want someday? We suggest creating a ‘maybe’ box, where you put stuff in that you’re not sure about. Keep the box hidden and set a reminder for yourself in a year’s time. If you haven’t used an item in the ‘maybe’ box by then, chances are you’re probably never going to.
#4: Decide which clothes you actually wear
The ‘maybe’ principle applies to clothes, too – we’re all terrified to get rid of something in case one day we end up missing it. A simple way to track which clothes you wear is to tie bands or attach index tabs to your clothes hangers. If you wear something, you remove this item from the hanger. In a year’s time, when all of the seasons have been and gone, give to charity any clothes that haven’t been touched.
#5: Loft boarding
If it’s more storage space you need, ever considered loft boarding? Loft boarding, like the award winning loft boarding service from Instaloft, can transform your existing loft into a safe and accessible storage space – perfect for storing those things you do need to keep. Those items will be out of the way when you don’t need them but easy to find and remove from storage when you do need those items.