How to declutter your home

how to declutter

How to declutter your home: It’s amazing how much clutter we accumulate in our lives.

It’s often not until we move house that we realise just how much stuff we have! But do we really need all of this clutter in our lives? Probably not!

Moving house is a great opportunity to have a good clear out and declutter your life. Even before you put your house up for sale, you can start thinking about what you want to take with you and what you want to get rid off.

However, you don’t need to wait for a house move in order to declutter your home. Whether you’re planning to put your property on the market, or would just like to live in a more streamlined, organised, clutter-free home, a good clear out is good for the soul!

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, the kind folks here at Quick Move Now have out together the ultimate guide on ‘how to declutter your home’, which is full of top tips that will leave you with a stress-free, clutter-free house!

How to declutter your home

Knowing where to start when decluttering your home can be the hardest part of the process! Getting rid of clutter in your home is not always as easy as it sounds.

We can all be found guilty of getting emotionally attached to our possessions, even items that have only been used once or twice. But with a bit of will power and practical thinking, it is possible to turn your cluttered home into a streamlined living area.

4 box declutter method:

One of the easiest ways to deal with decluttering a house is to adopt the 4 box declutter method.  Put simple; this just involves labeling up four big boxes with:

Box one: Throw away
Box two: Charity / Sell
Box three: Storage
Box four: Put away

1. Throw away box

Its amazing how much we accumulate over the years. It’s not uncommon for households to have drawers full of old paperwork or units filled with old newspapers and magazines etc. Most of time, homeowners don’t even realise they’re collecting, what is essentially, rubbish!

Your ‘throw away’ box should include any items that you no longer want or need and has no real monetary value. This should include any broken items. If you can no longer use the item, fix it, sell it or give it away; it really needs to go in the bin!

2. Give away/sell

Donating unwanted items and clothing to a charity shop can be a very rewarding way to declutter a house. Your unwanted items get cherished once again, the buyer gets a bargain and money goes to charity! Its a win-win-win!

Depending on your generosity, you may choose to sell some of your unwanted items over a charitable donation. For example unwanted small electrical items sell really easily on sites like eBay. And lets face it, if we can line our pockets at the same time we declutter our home, we’re winning!

Alternatively, you could try selling your ‘clutter’ at a car boot sale or garage sale. You might not get a lot of money for your items, but you will get some financial benefit.

3. Put in storage

Unused items that have a sentimental attachment can be stored away in lofts and garages, instantly creating valuable living space. The same can be said for seasonal cloths and ornaments. But larger items such as ‘the family furniture’ may be more difficult to get through the loft hatch.

Storage containers are a great way of freeing up some space in your home. A storage container could be the perfect solution if you have a large piece of furniture you can’t bare to part with. By storing it away, you gain the space in your home and get to keep the furniture. Storage containers do cost money though; so you need weigh up the positives and negatives before making a decision to go down this route.

4. Put away

If you have managed a successful house declutter, this should be your smallest box of possessions! Within your ‘puck away’ box, you should be left with any items that you need or use on a regular basis.  Find a suitable ‘put away’ place for each item. If the items in this box will not fit into your home without cluttering an area up again, try to reassess if you really need them.

Decluttering tips for your home

Take it one room at a time

The idea of decluttering an entire home can be a daunting one, so take it in bite-sized chunks and approach the decluttering exercise one room at a time. This will not only minimise disruption to the rest of the house, it will also reduce the pressure on you to complete is all in one sitting.

Picture your perfect property

A great exercise to begin the process can be to take photographs of each room as if you were trying to sell your property (without cheating and hiding all of the clutter out of shot!). Take a look at each photograph as objectively as possible and ask yourself what doesn’t need to be in the picture…either find a home for those items or clear them out.

Streamline your paperwork

Many of us keep bills and bank statements (and numerous other bits of paperwork!) far longer than we need to. With the rise of online billing and even now emailed receipts for purchases from some larger stores, it’s time to have a serious declutter of that filing.

General consensus is that bills and bank statements need only be kept for around 2 years, and with most banks offering online access to statements you may not even need to keep them for that long. If you’re going to be clearing out your filing make sure you do it safely by shredding anything that contains personal information or bank details.

Try the clothes hanger experiment

If you’re struggling to clear out your wardrobe, try the clothes hanger challenge. Hang all your clothes hangers facing the wrong way in your wardrobe. As your wear an item and return it to your wardrobe, turn the hanger the right way round.

After a period of time look at the items on the hangers that are still facing the wrong way and question whether it’s time to give the items away.

Get your linen cupboard organised

Fed up of struggling to find matching sheets and the ever-illusive matching pillowcase? Consider installing pull-out shelves in your linen cupboard so you can see what’s in there, and store complete bed linen sets, including pillowcases and sheets, inside one of the corresponding pillowcases.

This will not only make your linen cupboard far neater, it will save considerable time!

Take it in stages if you need to

If you’re a natural hoarder, and the idea of getting rid of items is bringing you out in cold sweats, you can take the process in stages. Box up anything that you’re considering clearing out and store it in your loft, garage, or any other storage facility you have available.

If you’ve not reclaimed an item in 12 months, you’ve not missed it and it’s time for it to go!

Everything should have a home

Ultimately, everything should have a home, and everyone should be clear on where that home is. If you can’t find a home for an item it’s likely you don’t really need it…

Bonus tips for homes with children

1. It’s important to get kids involved and taking responsibility for their things, even at a young age. Try making a bit of a game of the decluttering by playing ‘recycle, donate or keep’. Each person is given 3 boxes or bags and needs to try and find the same number of items to recycle, donate and keep.

The recycle pile can include things like broken or incomplete toys, clothes they’ve grown out of or colouring books and comics that have been completed.

2. Get your children engaged with donating items by visiting some worthy causes with them. If that’s not possible, spend some time on the computer with them researching local causes that they might like to donate items to, such as a local children’s hospital, a refuge or a local charity.
3. Once you’ve decided which toys to keep, labelling is key for continued success! Boxes for different toys are a great idea, but you can take it one step further and use zip bags to separate toys and games within the boxes, ensuring all the pieces stay together.

4. Have a ‘funny fashion show’ to declutter any clothes they’ve grown out of. The children can take it in turns to put on a ‘silly’ mismatched outfit and an award can be given for the funniest ensemble. This will let you have a clearout of any clothes they’ve outgrown without it feeling like a chore.

5. Tired of picking coats up off the floor and tripping over school bags? Fed up of the endless battle to find a lost shoe whilst trying to get out of the house in the morning? Try individual, personalised boxes for shoes and bags – 1 per person – and a personalised coat hook . The kids can have fun decorating their boxes, and they can either have a different coloured coat hook or draw a self-portrait to hang above their coat hook. This will help to declutter and also help them to take responsibility for their own items.

Read our full article on controlling children’s clutter in your home

This content was written by Quick Move Now
Published on 11th July 2016
Last updated on 31st May 2019


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