How to Declutter Your Home

old handbags

My old handbags

Last weekend, I was on a mission to declutter my apartment. So I went through my closet and discovered that I have been keeping my broken handbags for the past few years without noticing it! I clearly need to learn how to clear away unwanted stuff more often. Do you have trouble decluttering your home too? I must say that although I still struggle with parting from my belongings, I have improved a lot since I moved into my tiny apartment about 3 years ago.

If you would like to have an idea about getting rid of clutter, then look no further. I’ve come up with some general rules on how to declutter your home. You can use this as a guide when organising your home next time.

Tips for Decluttering Your Home

Decide on a specific area to clear

Look around your house to see if there are any particular areas that feel more cluttered than others. Break these areas down into mini-sections. It could be a particular cupboard that you want to clear, your kitchen countertop or closet. When you divide these areas into section, then it won’t be that scary trying to clear them.

Clear your counters

Identify obvious flat surfaces in your house – such as your coffee table, kitchen countertop, study table or dining table. Think about one or two essential things that you will need to have in these areas. Get rid of the rest or store them in perfect order.

Pick a shelf to declutter

After you’re done cleaning all your counter spaces, start looking at your shelves. The common areas that are prone to clutter are such as closets, kitchen cupboards and bookshelves. Do not be overwhelmed by the amount of shelves you need to tidy up. Just focus on one shelf at a time. Take the time to go through all the items in each shelf and throw away or donate any unwanted things to make it clutter-free.

Remove everything from a drawer

Take out your drawers one at a time. Remove everything from a drawer. Have a look at the items. Throw away anything that you feel is no longer essential. Arrange your belongings according to categories in each drawer so that it will be easier to find your things in the future.

Categorise your belongings into four categories

You can categorise your belongings into four categories – things to throw away, give away, keep or relocate. If you are not sure whether you need a particular item, you can put it into a ‘maybe’ box and store it somewhere hidden. If you do not use the item after six months from the day you have placed it there, this means that you do not need that item.

Recycle certain materials

It’s a good idea to recycle glass, plastics and paper that you wish to discard to do your part for the environment.

Donate to charity

Sometimes, it may be difficult to part away from your belongings that are still in perfect order, but have no use to you anymore. If you have items that are still in good condition, do not feel sad to donate them as you know that by doing so, you are blessing someone else. Remember, someone’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Organise a garage sale

If you have the time and would like to make some money from your unwanted belongings, you may consider organising a garage sale. There are always ways to advertise your garage sale online or at your local neighbourhood. Check with your local council for permission if you wish to put up signages in the neighbourhood to advertise your garage sale.

Get a Trash Bag

While trying to declutter your home, always have a trash bag in handy. When going through your stuff, see if they really work. If they do not work anymore and are no longer worth repairing, just put them in the trash bag. If you have electronic, electrical or computer items that you to discard, it’s worth checking with your local council if they have facilities to get rid of such items.

Understand the 80/20 Rule

There is a saying that when it comes to clothing, we normally only wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. The same rule goes for other things too, such as books, DVDs, video games, linens, computer parts and toys. To see if you use an item, everytime you use the item, put it back in such a way that it faces the opposite direction of everything else. So in about six months, you will know what you really need and what you don’t need. If you have clothes for different seasons, then store away clothes for other seasons in a safe location. Bring it out again when the season arrives.

Getting rid of clutter can be tough. I still struggle with it until today. But as I learn to make use of these tips, I can confidently say that I am slowly improving myself to keep minimum items to keep the house looking organised. I’d encourage you to try these tips on how to declutter your home too. Have you used any of these tips before and found them useful? Or do you have more tips to share?

Caroline Poh

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