6 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Home and Free Up Space
How do you feel when your home is cluttered? If your answer is somewhere along the lines of “not good”, you aren’t alone. The more scientists study the association between how we feel and the state of our home, the more evidence they find supporting the idea that clutter isn’t just unsightly…it can also be detrimental to our health.
One study found increased levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone, in women who considered their homes cluttered, and another study confirmed that clutter influences our perception of our home…and not in a good way.
Perhaps this explains the popularity of Marie Kondo and her shows dedicated to tidying up homes. When it comes to her idea that decluttering can “spark joy”, Marie might be onto something.
That’s why we decided to share 6 easy ways you can start the decluttering process in your own home. You’ll be surprised how tidying up your space can make things look…and feel…better.
1. Add the Task to Your Calendar
We all know decluttering takes time (which is why so many of us avoid it). Set yourself up for success by adding the task to your calendar just as you would a lunch date or a doctor’s appointment.
It’s up to you how much you do at one time. If you can devote an entire day to the task, great! Or, if you do better taking smaller “bites” at a time, that’s ok, too. Block out an hour or two and do what you can. Perhaps your goal is to fill one box with items that can be donated or one trash bag with things that no longer work. Whatever you can get done in the time allotted is one less thing you have to do the next time.
2. Create a Top Five List of Clutter Zones
Don’t feel like you must tackle your entire house at one time. Take a walk through your home as if you were a guest. Look at your spaces with the eyes of someone who has never been in your house. Which areas stand out as particularly cluttered? It could be the entryway where kids dump jackets, backpacks, and shoes after school. Or it might be your garage with unopened boxes still stacked from when you moved in…five years ago. Or it could be your bedroom with piles of unfolded laundry.
Choose the five most cluttered spots in your home and start with those. Once you’ve cleaned those areas, choose the next five and continue until you’ve tackled the whole house.
3. Consider Ditching Unused Items
Why do we feel the need to hang on to items we never use? Perhaps it is the fear that we will need it at some unknown point in the future, so we just keep it. But it becomes problematic when we don’t have space for the things we do use because we’re hoarding things we never use.
As you go through your five declutter zones, take a long hard look at things you haven’t used or worn in the last year. Ask yourself if you really need them. Odds are, you’ll find many things that can be sold or donated, and you’ll free up much-needed space for the items you actually use.
4. Try the 12-12-12 Method
Perhaps you are one of those people who get completely overwhelmed at the idea of decluttering a section of your home, thinking where in the world do I start?
If this sounds familiar, you may benefit from the 12-12-12 method of decluttering, created by author Joshua Becker. When you enter one of your declutter zones, challenge yourself to find 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items that are out of place in the area and need to be returned to their proper homes. This is an ingenious way to make a real dent in your decluttering efforts!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
This one can be hard for a variety of reasons—we don’t want others to see our mess, we’re reluctant to appear needy to those we care about, or we don’t want someone else pressuring us to get rid of things we’d rather keep.
But having another person with you can really help by offering a fresh perspective. They don’t know your collection of vintage soda bottles is antique…they just see a strange menagerie of dusty glass taking up space. And don’t discount the value of having an extra pair of hands to help box up items for donation or to reorganise a section of closet space. Having a little help can make the decluttering process infinitely easier.
6. Simplify Life with a Storage Unit
One of the hardest parts of decluttering happens when you come across items taking up space…but that still hold some sentimental value. It may be a box of toys your children have outgrown, artwork taking up space in a closet because you don’t currently have a place to hang it, or family heirlooms you’ve inherited but aren’t sure where to display.
Renting a storage unit is an easy and affordable way to safely store items that are contributing to household clutter, and Holloway Storage is happy to help. Contact us today for a custom quote.
We hope our tips help you take control of your stuff and enjoy the feeling of control that comes with decluttering. And remember…don’t get overwhelmed. Tackle one zone at a time and you’ll have a delightfully decluttered space in no time!