Suffering from a clutter problem? You aren’t alone. Not only does clutter mean that you can never find what you are looking for or can’t use your home’s space to its full potential – it also means that you’re compromising your emotional and physical health. Clutter can accumulate dust and dirt and research shows that it can raise your cortisol (or stress hormone) levels.
Ready to take a stand? Here are a few tips.
Start by taking stock….
1. Ask the hard questions
Evaluating what you should keep or toss is tough. You need to be honest with yourself about how often the item is used. If it hasn’t been used in over a year, let it go. The same principle applies to items in need of repair. Either set a deadline to fix it that week or donate it/sell it to someone who will, so that they can get much more out of it. Another hard question worth asking is if something brings you joy – be it an item of clothing or an ornament. If it doesn’t, why are you hanging onto it?
2. Make it monthly
A sure-fire way to put off decluttering is to make it an annual affair. Take weekly and monthly audits of what you’re holding onto and what can be thrown away. This will help you keep on top of things without it spiralling out of control. If you really want to crack down on clutter, adopt the ‘one in, one out’ rule – for every new thing you bring into the house, something else needs to go.
The best thing you can do to prevent clutter in the home is to streamline your lifestyle. An easy way to do this is by investing in double duty items that do twice the amount of work in less space, and by seeking items with hidden storage or organisational space. This can include appliances (for example, double duty washer dryers or blenders that also act as juicers) as well as furniture (a dining table that can expand to seat more guests, ottoman seating that offers hidden storage).
Decluttering might seem like an unpleasant task, but it’s one that is its own reward. You’ll soon see why the feeling of a clean, streamlined and cutter free home just cannot be beaten.