How to Declutter Your Home

09/04/2018

Environmental clutter does not only make it harder for you to find your keys or important documents when you are in a rush, but it could also be detrimental to your wellbeing and your mental health. In the aesthetic of wellbeing, using a hybrid mattress can improve it, and the extra anxiety induced by clutter can be mitigated. According to a study, having a cluttered home will make you more anxious and can bring you down because it works like a constant reminder that you have to clean. Our reward system works on dopamine. After we accomplish a task, we get a little bit of the feel-good hormone.

A cluttered home, for many reasons, induces a lot of stress. For one, not having enough time to clean your home is a constant reminder that you haven’t done what you are supposed to do. Not to mention that if someone drops by, the whole encounter makes you feel embarrassed after. The lack of focus is another. Because of all the junk and clutter around you, your attention tends to drift away from what matters, thus making you less productive and focused. This, in turn, causes a lot of frustration and stress for any person. 

Fortunately, there is a solution for busy people like you who don’t have enough time to constantly organise things around the house or getting rid of all the junk and clutter. You may even consider the services of pest control experts for unruly guests that have taken residence over time. 

Organising does not equal simplifying or giving your place a makeover. Why spend so much time putting everything back in the cupboards or lifting every sofa as you vacuum when you could own fewer items and make more time for things that actually matter? This will help you with your budget as well.

Of course, if you are moving home, then you will need to declutter, anyways!

Below, I’ve made a guide and outlined the changes you can make to simplify your life, declutter your home, spend less time in cleaning and organising, and free up more time for yourself.

The Bedroom

declutter bedroom

No chairs for clothing

Many of us end up pilling clothes on our chairs when we are in a rush every morning or when we are too tired to bother when we get home. If you have a habit of doing this, simply remove the chairs from your bedroom. This will force you to go to the closet each time you need to hang up a piece of clothing, or straight to the laundry basket when something needs to be washed. With that being said, also get rid of other furnishings that may double as a clothes hanger. 

Less cluttered walls

Most bedrooms walls are cluttered by family portraits, photos from trips, and random memorabilia that you’ve accumulated throughout the years. Opt for a maximum of 3 photos on your walls, or get a small corkboard wherein you can hang as much stuff as you can in a small, designated area. If you want to remove your photos completely but still don’t want that blank space, and prefer having your walls to stand out, go for a colourful wallpaper instead.

Use drawer dividers

If you find yourself throwing everything ranging from documents, chargers, and even jewellery in your sidetable drawers, think about the last item you’ve lost. Chances are they’re all piled up in one of those drawers. You may want to consider drawer dividers which will not only help you stay organised but also help you determine which things need to be kept and which can be disposed of.

Keep your bed clean and tidy

Avoid eating or drinking in bed to prevent the mattress from getting stained. Also, consider removing the extra pillows and blankets on your bed. This does not only mean less clutter but also less work for you when you make your bed. 

The Living Room

decluttered living room

The living room is the face of your home. It’s where you grab a coffee with friends, display your books, show off your personality, and invest the most when it comes to furniture and home decor. For most people, it is also where they fight off stress and do their much-coveted relaxation period. 

Crowded flat surfaces and piles of books and magazines do not help. Instead, go for a minimalistic look that focuses on functionality and making cleaning easier.

Cushions

Keep only one cushion per seat and make sure it matches the look of the rest of your decor. More than one cushion per seat contributes to a cluttered look. Focus on functionality. It doesn’t help in any way to have more cushions. You are only adding more pillowcases to wash and giving yourself additional stress when your kids start playing with all those cushions. 

Entertainment systems

Huge flat screen TVs are in now, but they are quite expensive. Why not buy a PC with a high quality screen that can be used for both work and entertainment? This way, you can ensure productivity by only using the screen for either work or entertainment. Additionally, you’ll be able to save money and space. If that isn’t ideal, consider a getting a Smart TV that will not require you to have much of anything else like multiple remote control units and additional consoles like DVD players and CDs lying around. 

Sofas

Most people purchase both a sofa and in a single sitter. This step is optional, and it depends on how often and how many people you have over. If everyone uses the couch and nobody uses the chairs or the single sitter, you may want to store the items you don’t use someplace else. 

Flowers and other plants

A strategically placed flower pot can add an air of sophistication to your living room. But, too many flowers and plants can ruin the aesthetic and make it look like you’ve stepped into an unkempt garden.

A tip: Make sure you choose or get a flower that is difficult to maintain and look after. Don’t get one that sheds its petals too often, as you wouldn’t want to be cleaning up after it every single day. 

Highlight your walls instead of buying more furniture

A clean look is always more desirable, but many of us fall into the trap of wanting to decorate all the empty space in all the rooms in our homes. Keeping the flat surfaces as clean as possible makes the living room look bigger. You may opt for photos or pieces of art on the walls rather than buying another sofa, which is not only a lot more expensive but also contributes to the cluttered look. 

Souvenirs

Ideally, you should pick a theme for your home when it comes to home decor. Souvenirs are hard to store in boxes simply because we want to remind ourselves of our vacations, so we end up putting Indian souvenirs near French ones, which isn’t a good look at all.

Pick a theme for your home and use only souvenirs that fit that theme. This doesn’t mean you should never use your other souvenirs, but it means you don’t use all of them at once. For example, in the spring you can showcase your Russian dolls, and in the summer you bring out your Indian sculptures.

The Closet

tidy closet

One of the things that make our lives more complicated than it should be is not finding the clothes we need in the morning. That is because of all the unnecessary items in our closet. Think of all the clothes that you don’t really use anymore or the clothes that you’ve bought to wear when you’ve accomplished your weight-loss goal. At this exact moment, those clothes are only taking up valuable space. When disposing of them, you may either give them to a friend, sell it online or donate them to the needy. Whatever you decide, though, ask yourself what clothes you wear the most. What is your typical look? What colours and patterns do you dislike?

If disposing of the stuff you’re not using at the moment is not an option, you may want to consider keeping them in a self-storage unit. This way, you can hold on to your stuff without them getting in the way of your day-to-day. Self-storage also works for your other possessions you currently don’t have the need for. Consider keeping shoes, bags, and more seasonal items like winter wear and swimsuits in storage while you don’t need them.

You could also consider having a capsule wardrobe. Find out what your style is and what suits you best. Buy high-quality clothes that make you feel comfortable and are easy to mix and match as well. Essentially, instead of buying 10 shirts that are low-quality and hard to match with your pants or skirts, you will only need to invest in 3 high-quality ones.

The Bathroom

tidy bathroom

The bathroom is one of the first places to become cluttered. Half-empty bottles of shampoo you no longer use, old cosmetics, and old towels are just a few of the things that get in the way.

Skin Care Products

The mass media and beauty gurus have sophisticated, expensive skincare routines. But the truth is, they are just selling you products by promoting them. All you need is a cleanser, a cream treatment (if you suffer from a skin disease), sunscreen protection and moisturiser.

Expired and Unused Cosmetic Products

Also, check the expiration dates on your cosmetics. Many of us end up keeping lipsticks and powders that we haven’t used in two years. Get rid of those expired cosmetic products and opened bottles you no longer use. You’ll be surprised at how much junk you have in your bathroom. Also, we all have products that we don’t like but continue to hold onto because we paid for them. If you feel like someone else would benefit from them, donate them to a friend, or just get rid of them.

Cleaning Supplies

The cabinet under your bathroom sink is probably filled with empty bottles of cleaning agents, as well as old sponges and brushes that were once used to clean your bathroom. All you need is a couple of brushes, a rag, and one bottle of cleaning agent. Save all that valuable space by throwing out whatever it is you no longer need. 

Meanwhile, if that cabinet also contains toilet paper and spare toiletries, you may put them in one box or container instead of leaving them loose inside the cabinet.

Medicine Cabinets

Medicine cabinets are usually filled with expired ointments, unconsumed prescription pills, and sometimes, old dental floss. Get rid of everything you don’t need anymore, and you’ll realise just how much of an eyesore the inside of your medicine cabinet was. 

The Kitchen

declutter kitchen

Aside from being the place where all good things in life (read: Food) are made, kitchens are also home to spices we never use, chipped glasses, snacks we didn’t like enough to finish, and plates and cutleries that are enough to use when we invite the entire royal family over for dinner.

Organise Your Kitchen Tools and Appliances

Many of us end up buying things impulsively when we see that they are on sale. Over time, these things end up filling our kitchen drawers and cabinets. From pizza cutters to juicers, we all have tools that have only been used once or twice. 

You probably also have tools you use only in certain seasons (e.g., ice cream maker, grills. etc.) which can be stored in a self-storage facility when you don’t need them. It is very important that you look through the stuff in your kitchen and figure out which ones need to go. 

Clean Out Your Fridge

The fridge is one of the most cluttered spaces in a home. From leftovers, meat that has gone bad, stale snacks, and unopened bottles of condiments, there are just so many things you can’t or won’t eat anymore. Cleaning the fridge is a huge task on its own, so dedicate a day for this job alone. 

Go Through Your Pantry

Check out every cabinet, drawer, or shelf containing food in your home and dispose of anything that looks old, expired, or unappealing. For the latter classification, make sure no one else in your household wants it before giving it away. Do not throw out perfectly good food just because you don’t want it!

Also get rid of old containers and choose which bottles, jars, and shopping bags you can recycle. Clear out your drawers of outdated takeout menues, old batteries, and if you have whatever junk you have lying around. 

Lastly But Not Least…Toys

declutter toys

Toys

If you have children, combine your efforts and make them select the toys they hardly use. Involve them in the decision making on whether to toss, give away or store. This will eliminate any element of surprise, such as your child suddenly throwing a tantrum as they cannot locate their favourite toys. The remaining toys should be packed away neatly in one area. It also helps to teach children to learn how to keep their things organised from an early age.

In summary, if it has been out of use for more than three months, pack it away and keep it in your garage. However, you may be looking to declutter your garage too, in which case, store at a local storage facility if you feel you might need it in future. An uncluttered home has a fresher smell and will do wonders for your state of mind. For your storage convenience, find the nearest storage facility to keep all your valuables safe and well-maintained. For another thorough guide on removing clutter from your home, check out this decluttering guide without turning minimalist.

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