Hey everyone! I’m currently on another declutter journey, as we’re trying to consolidate all of our belongings so that they’re not strewn all across the home! Stuff happens, and it’s a nightmare at times! Because this isn’t my first (or second) rodeo, I have accumulated a few tips and tricks from my own experiences, and that of fellow content creators.
If you want a hugely family-based decluttering opinion, I suggest Laura from How To Get Your Shit Together. I’ve been following her since I started my first declutter journey, and she’s very accessible in terms of replies and communication – I’m still in awe that she liked an Instagram post of mine where I posted a sunset balcony view. This was back in July and I’m still awestruck. I will still try to give advice on decluttering children’s stuff!
Tip: Get the shredder out!
Shredders are super-useful for when you need to dispose of important documents such as bills and personal information, and bank cards. Shredders are relatively inexpensive, you can get one for £15 from Wilko! I bought mine years ago for this purpose, and it’s so useful for that, as I got rid of a lot of clutter that I didn’t feel safe disposing of without shredding it first.
Paperwork is never-ending, so just pick a day for Shredder Day once a week and go ham!
Tip: Start in stages
The worst thing about decluttering is that the space looks far worse once you’ve started. It’s why I always recommend either the KonMari method, or going from room to room. This is useful for me as I struggle with a lot of pain and I can only manage a little at a time. This is why sometimes, something as simple as taking the rubbish out to the chute is enough for one day, while there are other days when I can do so much more around the house.
Tip: Digital clutter exists!
Remember those times when you’d record videos of fireworks that you think you’d watch over but you never do? Yes, get rid of them! I always make sure to par down my digital clutter on a regular basis, and that includes images, files, videos and apps and games. I have a lot to work with now considering I’m doing multiple projects at once.
I also go through my bookmarks once in a while, to see if they fit in with what I want to focus on going forward. For example, I could have a whole folder containing items I’d like to buy for cosplay, but those items aren’t there anymore, so it no longer has a purpose for me.
I also like to back up my photos on to Google Drive, and then get rid of the images from my phone. It clears out a lot of room! Oh, and I’m one of those people that likes to keep an empty inbox! Nothing stresses me out more than seeing someone’s notification number above zero.
Tip: Declutter your schedule
This is about your unecessary points in your diary – I’m not saying that you should clear your job from your schedule – but it frees up your time for other priorities or projects. There are times that you just have to say “fuck off” to other obligations for a while to get things done! I mean, I’ve recently had to do this just so that we could get things cleaned up and organised. We got the most in-need things done at least, so we’re making great progress!
Tip: Get family involved
Of course, you don’t want to be decluttering your partner’s or kids’ stuff without them having a say in it. It’s important to involve them and maybe even give them a nudge in the right direction. Connor always tries to stop me from being so ruthless about clutter, while he’s there always debating about clutter.
It’s where communication is key – it’s handy to have another opinion, especially if you’re decluttering someone else’s stuff!
Tip: It’s not just about it sparking joy
The big issue with the KonMari method is the idea of it sparking joy in all avenues, and I think this is touched upon in different scenarios anyway. To a hoarder, all of their clutter sparks joy to them, even if they’ve not seen the item itself in about five years. There are other times when an item own’t spark joy but is necessary, or if it sparks joy but doesn’t have any use for your home. For example, bills and business receipts don’t spark joy, but you gotta keep them, right?
However this isn’t to discredit the ‘sparking joy’ method, as it’s very handy to galvanise the vast majority of your belongings.
Tip: People will tell you what to keep
My mum is a culprit of this – she’ll tell me that I’d better not get rid of certain items, only due to nostalgia or they’re collector’s items. This is especially if they don’t fit in your life, but then the person that tells you not to declutter it ends up refusing to take it off your hands.
On that side, it’s really hard to get rid of gifts, because of that feeling that you don’t want to dishonour the fact that someone thought of you and bought it. It’s okay to let go of gifts – still kinda butthurt that an old friend wanted to give away a present I got for her literally three months after I gave her it, and right in front of me too. Nearly 15 years ago now, still kinda salty.
Tip: Pretend you’re moving
I like this tip a lot. It encourages you to par down your belongings as if you’re moving. Just think that if you need to pack everything up, pay some poor moving van guy to take it from your old home to your new home, and then unpack it and put it in its new home. Go through your items and just see if you want to go through the effort to keep it or not. If you don’t want to go through the effort, get rid.
I always do this when I’m decluttering, becaues there are just some things that I regret taking to my current home even after decluttering a few months before.
Tip: Try a challenge with it!
I’ve seen challenges where someone declutters 100 items – I wouldn’t include any rubbish like sweet wrappers or bottles – this is purely regular items. It’s a good, quick way of decluttering some items when you may not have the time to do a full purge on the day. All it takes is just to go around your home and pick out 100 things to get rid of.
Tip: Purge before you splurge
I love this phrase – there’s no point buying baskets or bins before you declutter, because you’ll end up wanting to organise stuff that you don’t need, or don’t want but keep anyway to fill that storage container.
On the flip-side, I like the idea of buying a container, and then decluttering what doesn’t fit in the container.
There is a lot, I realised! Well hopefully I’ll have decluttered my flat soon!