In January, many of us realise just how much extra clutter crept into our homes over the holidays. We take the decorations down… and the place still looks cluttered and chaotic. If you’re feeling dangerously close to featuring on a reality show about hoarding, it’s time to tackle the clutter. Here’s how to do it without losing your mind.
- Don’t try to do it all in one day. Make a schedule, a realistic schedule for your life. Maybe that’s one hour a day, or maybe it is three or four hours every Saturday. If you try to do it all at once, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
- Tackle one area at a time. An area might be a whole room that isn’t too cluttered, or it might be just your junk drawer. Consider how much time the area will take, not how large it is.
- Take a seasonal approach. As you pack away the Christmas things, ask yourself if you want each particular thing or if it is clutter. Look around for winter gear that has not been used. Why hasn’t it been used? Is there something different about this year, or is it no longer useful to you? Before you try to stash another thing in the cupboard of unloved Christmas gifts, consider why you aren’t just giving it away. You are not obliged to keep everything anyone gives you.
- The junk drawer isn’t the only high-density clutter black spot. What about the medicine cabinet? For starters, get rid of any medication past its date. They’re dangerous. If you can’t remember the last time you used that eye shadow or aftershave, say goodbye to it.
- In the kitchen, be ruthless with gadgets. Weed out duplicates. Toss-chipped mugs. Some experts speculate that bacteria can grow in cracks in Delph, but regardless of that, chipped dishes are a downer. If they are surplus, why hold onto them?
We all have items that we rarely use but do need. Sometimes it’s small things such as a pair of shoes. But often, it is larger things, such as a fold-up bed for guests. You might only have overnight guests for one or two weeks a year, but when they come you really need that fold-up bed. Ditto for camping gear.
You might only use it once a year, but those camping trips are among the best moments of your life. For larger items that you seldom use but really do need, self-storage is the answer. You can book a small storage unit and have those items available when you need them without them cluttering up your home.