Flitting between rooms makes de-cluttering a much bigger task, one almost impossible to complete, and one that you will soon tire of as your house turns into a bombsite!
The answer is to set aside a day to do one room and commit yourself to finishing it. Stack everything that lives elsewhere into cardboard boxes to be dealt with later and separate the items you don´t want into 3 piles; PACK, DONATE and CHUCK.
Make a Mess!
Don´t be afraid of making a mess; the best de-cluttering method is to pull every single item from your shelves, drawers and cupboards and lay it all out so you can see exactly what everything is. And if you have stuck to the one room at a time rule, then the mess shouldn’t impact the rest of your house.
This tactic works especially well for clearing out your wardrobe; as well as identifying all those clothes you haven´t worn for years, you’ll ‘re-find’ clothes you’d forgotten about and even discover new outfits as you view your entire wardrobe in one glance !
When it comes to reordering your house, there are two basic rules. First, store like with like: all light bulbs should live in one place, so when you need a new one, you know exactly where to find it.
Second, keep belongings in the room where they are used because, when things migrate around the house, your home becomes a black hole and you’ll never find anything.
As an extension to this second rule, store things as close to the place you use them as possible: we all store washing powder next to the washing machine, tea in the cupboard above the kettle and it seems common sense but when this simple rule is extended elsewhere is the house, you´ll soon realize how illogical some of your storing has been.
“A place for everything, and everything in its place” is the key to maintaining an uncluttered house.
The lack of storage space in Spanish villas is a common moan amongst us Ex-Pats. Often with no garage, garden shed or attic space, simply finding a place to store everything can be an effort. However, look to your walls and you will find unused space that just cries out to be utilised in a creative way.
The number of smart horizontal storage units now available on the market is huge, ideal when floor space is at a premium, and an ideal way to transform blank walls whilst creating functional storage space.
Using baskets and pretty boxes means that clutter is stored out of sight but the unit is still visually appealing…ideal for the spare bedroom or bathroom.
Not all Clutter is Junk
Clearing out your home needn’t turn you into a robot. We’ve all got treasured mementoes that might not look much to other people yet they mean the world to us: cinema ticket stubs from your first date, your first Mother’s Day card, a lock of baby hair.
My top tip? Buy yourself a pretty storage box to pack away your keepsakes rather than leave them scattered all over the house. Then you have a special box full of mementos that you can take out now and again and enjoy.
It’s tempting to splash out on pretty storage boxes before you’ve started de-cluttering. In my house this is called “delaying the moment”!!
One word: don’t. You’re better off sorting your trash from your treasure and then assessing what storage solutions you actually need. You´ll save money in the long run and are less likely to upset your husband!!
Most people find it hard to throw away stuff, but you can’t attach sentimental value to everything you own.
Ask yourself these questions;
Do I have an emotional attachment to this item?
Have I used it in the last year?
Do I REALLY need it?
Will I benefit from keeping it?
If the answer is no to any of these questions then seriously consider if you should keep the item; when in doubt throw it out!
Get Rid and Feel Good!
For the sake of your mental health, don’t add up the cost of the money you may have wasted on any of these items; instead, focus on how de-cluttering makes you feel good: donate items in good condition to your local charity shop and consider selling larger unwanted items and treating yourself as a reward for all your hard work !
Without clutter clogging up your home, you’ll find it is twice as easy to relax. It’s even a pleasure to clean and decorate because you’re not staring mess in the face every day.
Hopefully these tips will encourage you to declutter your home ready for a new start; perhaps a touch of decorating, rearranging the furniture to give your home a new look and even renewing your curtains and soft furnishings! And we are here to inspire and help you along the way giving your home a new lease of life!