Decluttering, minimising what you own and generally living a simpler life with less possessions, was all the rage in 2019 but it's possibly even more relevant in 2020 as we hunker down to wait out COVID-19.
The recent lockdown has been unsettling, with many of us working from home, keeping housebound children occupied or trying to fill our days in other ways. Feeling anxious, disoriented or downright grumpy is to be expected, but one way to calm your mind is to bring order to your surroundings. Now is the ideal time to organise your home and you can even get the kids involved to keep them off their devices for awhile.
While many of us don't like the idea of throwing away treasured possessions accumulated over a lifetime, we may appreciate the benefits of living in a well organised, less chaotic space over the coming weeks. Decluttering doesn't need to be painful; in fact, it can be fun, so here are seven creative ways to declutter your home.
1. Start Small.
If you don't let yourself get overwhelmed early into your decluttering journey, then before you know it, you will have removed a week's worth and then a month's worth of items - and not miss them.
2. Fill one bin bag.
One of the most talked about decluttering techniques is to grab a large bin bag and see how quickly you can fill it. While much of what is collected may well be rubbish, there is also a chance that it contains items of value that can be donated to charity in the future. Clean and store the items worth giving away.
3. Make a list.
Create a list of the areas in your home to declutter, starting with the easiest - this might be the large collection of pens near the phone or fridge where you write notes. Do you really need all those pens? Do they even all work? Start at the top of the list and work down from there.
4. Take the 10-10-10 Challenge.
Here's one for the kids. Give them the simple task of locating 10 items to throw away, 10 items to donate, and 10 items to be returned to their proper home. This can be a fun way of quickly organising 30 things in your house and getting the clutter in their bedrooms under control.
5. Experiment with clothing.
Some of us will be wearing our pyjamas for the next month but when we get past this, here is a tip for sorting your wardrobe. Choose some key items of clothing and challenge yourself to only wear those pieces of clothing for a whole month. Challenging yourself in this way will enable you to change your perspective on how easy it is to live with less clothing. Once you've nailed this, it can flow on to other parts of your life and home.
6. Think back to front.
Another way of sorting your clothing post COVID-19 is to hang all the clothes in your wardrobe with the hangers in one direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the opposite direction. In six months, you'll have a clear picture of which clothes you have worn and which you haven't, making it easier to cull the unnecessary items in your wardrobe that you've been holding on to.
7. Question its worth.
It's good to ask yourself what an item is worth to you before you throw it away. Although the now famous declutterer, Marie Kondo, poses the question 'does it spark joy?', you may have your own way of deciding an item's value to you. Asking yourself whether you need it or not when buying new things is a great way of avoiding unnecessary purchases future clutter in your life!
No matter which way you choose to get started, the goal is to get the process of decluttering underway and make it part of your routine. There is a beautiful world of freedom and a fresh way of living hiding behind that clutter. How you remove it is up to you!
This article is featured in Harcourts' Property Focus Newsletter Issue 2, 2020