Tidy Home, Tidy Mind
Successful decluttering is all about being relaxed yet organised. If you feel in control and chilled about all the jobs you have to do, the task will not only be much easier, but also more enjoyable. Here are some tips and hints on how to have a tidy house … and mind:
- MAKE YOUR BED FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
It’s a small accomplishment, but it will set the tone for the rest of the day. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary and a made bed will make it look put together and tidy. This will help you declutter your space and, in turn, your mind.
- PLAN THE WEEK AHEAD EVERY SUNDAY
When you have a plan, you’ll start each day with focus. Planning can reduce stress and will make you more productive. You’ll feel more in control because you won’t have to worry about what is happening tomorrow or the next day.
- DO AN INVENTORY OF EVERY ROOM
You should know what you have in your home. While you’re decluttering, make a list of everything important that is left in each room; that way you’ll know when something isn’t where it’s supposed to be.
- CHECK YOUR CUPBOARDS AND DRAWERS
It’s so easy to stuff things into a cupboard or drawer and forget about them, but that is how clutter starts to build up. Carve out some time on a regular basis to get rid of anything old, expired or unnecessary and you won’t feel as nervous when you open up that junk drawer.
- IF SOMETHING DOESN’T MAKE YOU SMILE, THEN SAY FAREWELL
Surround yourself with things that make you happy. That dress that is two sizes too small and makes you feel bad every time you see it? Not worth keeping.
- IF YOU NO LONGER HAVE A USE FOR SOMETHING, DISCARD IT
Raise your hand if you have chargers in your house for items you got rid of years ago … Don’t hoard things that you don’t use regularly or even at all – they just take up space.
- PUT EVERYTHING AWAY NEATLY AND TIDILY
Don’t rush. Even though the mess may be overwhelming, you’ll be glad in the long term if you give yourself time and work in an orderly manner.
- PLAY SOME RELAXING MUSIC OR A PODCAST
If you dread a task, it helps to incorporate some fun into it, so that it feels less daunting. Dance around the room and act silly while you’re tidying up and it will be over in no time.
- REMEMBER THAT ONE TICK ON YOUR TO-DO LIST IS BETTER THAN NONE
Break up your list into easily achievable tasks. There is a great sense of accomplishment when you cross things off, so make sure that you finish at least one thing each day, even if it’s just making your bed.
- PLAN YOUR REWARDS AND GIVE YOURSELF SOME ‘ME’ TIME
You can’t take care of other people if you don’t take care of yourself. Make sure you give yourself time to do things that make you happy and incentivise you. For example, reward yourself with a bubble bath after you’ve organised your kitchen.
How to Declutter: Room by Room
Your overall objective is to create a calm and happy space that you feel good about coming home to – one that works for you, so you live happily ever after. Make the most of each room and it will make you smile every time you walk into it. Good things really do come from a tidy, decluttered home. By getting rid of the things and clutter you don’t want and need, you can embrace the belongings that bring you joy.
- REMOVE EVERYTHING
Lay out all of your items, so everything is visible. This is a vital step in the process because you’ll see how much stuff you have and where you can start decluttering.
- SORT IT OUT
Place the items in four piles: keep; donate; bin; sell. This will make it easier when it comes to reviewing the items.
- BE RUTHLESS
Review your piles and let go of all the broken, old things and the stuff you don’t use. It’s taking up space in your home and you don’t need it. You can use that space for things that make you smile.
- CLEAN EVERYWHERE
Remove all traces of dirt and dust from the area (see the next chapter for more on this).
- STORE THINGS WELL
The best storage solutions are those that work for you and your routine.
spend time thinking about how you would like to access your items and what is most important in your house. What works for me might not work for you.
- KEEP EVERYTHING ORGANISED
Once you’ve decided on your storage solutions, put everything away so that it is easy for you to find things. While colour-coordinated DVDs might look beautiful on a shelf, is that sustainable for you or will you spend hours looking for one DVD because you can’t remember if it was blue or red?
- USE AN INVENTORY
I like having an inventory for every room in my house. That way, I know what I own and where it is. This stops me from buying stuff that I already have.
- DON’T FORGET ABOUT IT!
Once you’ve done your big declutter, make sure you keep on top of things. Taking 15 minutes once a month to organise your Tupperware, for example, will be much more sustainable than doing a giant kitchen clear-out once a year. Make lists, so that you know what to focus on when you go back to review.
- REWARD YOURSELF
Make sure that once you’ve finished the job, you reward yourself. Thinking about enjoying a nice bubble bath in your clean and tidy bathroom will make it easier to keep going when you feel overwhelmed.
You don’t have to be perfect. Life gets in the way and sometimes even my sheets go on my bed unironed. Don’t sweat the small stuff and just do the best that you can
Upcycling and Donating
No matter how small they may seem, all our individual contributions do add up and have a positive impact. They show that we care and we’re all stakeholders in the future of our planet and mankind. So, if you think you can’t make a difference, think again.
We are all guilty of throwing away perfectly good things that can be upcycled and repurposed. Let’s turn over a new leaf and make a special effort to think about how an item can be reused before we chuck it in the bin. Here are some ideas to inspire you:
- TRADE IN YOUR ITEMS
This can be a good way to make cash from unused things, while ensuring they are properly recycled. Do your research, as lots of companies will allow you to exchange containers or old items for something else.
- DONATE RATHER THAN BIN
Always try to donate things where possible. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure; someone might benefit from things you don’t use any more.
There are so many great ways to upcycle your common household items and give them a new lease of life. And you don’t have to be the crafty type to do this.
- DON’T THROW AWAY OLD SHIRTS
Use these as cleaning cloths. Or, if you’re crafty, turn pretty, patterned ones into cushion covers or make a patchwork quilt.
- DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR OLD WELLIES
You can use them as planters in your garden. Use different colours and sizes and turn them into a feature.
- REUSE CARDBOARD TOILET ROLLS
These are great for storing wires and cables. Stand the toilet rolls upright in a shoebox, then use each one to house a cable, keeping them neat and separate.
- REUSE CANDLE JARS
Once you’ve got rid of any remaining wax, these make great storage containers for your bathroom necessities or make-up brushes. You can even use them as mini vases on your bedside table.
- REUSE MASON JARS
These are great for packed lunches. Make layered salads or keep fruit in them. You could also use them for breakfast parfaits.
- DON’T THROW AWAY EGG CARTONS
Use these to grow your own herb garden.
- KEEP OLD LIGHTBULBS
These can be turned into Christmas ornaments; painting and decorating them can also be a fun family activity.