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Decluttering – it’s not THAT bad. Here’s how.

by Kerrie Hawkins, Mar 2018

Imagine walking into your home – what’s your first impression? Are you over the moon to be home and enjoy peaceful relaxation or are you overwhelmed by the mountains of laundry, dishes piled high in the sink, stacks of newspapers and magazines in the corner, or just a LOT OF STUFF that you haven’t got around to sorting out yet?

Living in clutter can be stressful for everyone at home. It’s hard to find things, you can’t clean properly and dust, mould, and germs build up, and it’s so easy to be on edge, stressed, and even physically ill because of it. Feeling frustrated all the time is just not something anyone of us would want out of choice. But there are some simple steps you can take to make some headway if even you only have a little bit of time here and there.

So what does decluttering mean and how can you do it? Simply put, there are two steps (although it’s definitely not as easy as One Two and you’re done!

  1. Get rid of the current clutter you already have in your home
  2. Avoid letting additional clutter into your home.

Get rid of the current clutter you have in your home.

Firstly, remember to start small. Scaring yourself out of the process because you jumped right in won’t do you any good. One of my fav sayings is “how to do you eat an elephant?”, one bite at a time. No, I don’t condone elephant eating, but it illustrates the point perfectly. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed and discouraged, accept that it will take time, and with small bite-size projects, you may even enjoy it.

So start somewhere small and manageable:

  • A single dresser drawer
  • The bathroom cabinet
  • The kitchen bench
  • Under the bed
  • The spare room

If you can, ask family or a close friend to help. Crack open some bubbles or a jug of your favourite mocktail and make a little party of it.

So let’s get started:

  • You will need four boxes in the areas where you plan to start – Keep (this room), Toss, Donate/Give/Sell, and Keep (store elsewhere).
  • Each item should go immediately into one of the boxes – make a decision quickly. Do you still use it, does it work, have you seen it the last 6 months?
  • When you have one drawer, stack, corner or box cleaned out, take a break. You’ll be amazed at the happy feeling from decluttering just one area.
  • Get ready to do it again! Before you know it you will have achieved so much. Even if it’s many days, it’s getting done and you should be proud.

By now you will have four bins with stuff in them. Action each bin – throw out, donate, give away etc, and then you’re ready to start to store everything that’s left.

In theory, you should LOVE everything you have left! And the idea of storage isn’t so you can keep a zillion things, it’s so you know where everything is when you need it. Decide now what you have to store, where it is best placed, and what type of storage it needs. And THAT is a topic for a whole other blog!

Once you’ve got your home back into the state where you’re happy, comfortable, free to move around and feel at peace with your belongings, you will need to make sure you keep it this way.

Avoid letting additional clutter into your home.

Watch what you bring back in!

  • When you walk in the door and grab the mail immediately throw any junk mail in the recycle bin before it even gets inside.
  • Before you buy a new item make sure you don’t already have one!
  • Some people stick to the one in/one out rule – that’s a hard one. But if you can do it, every time you purchase a new item you must get rid of one item. Eek.

OK so there are whole books on this topic out there, but I just wanted to say a few words that you could action straight away to make a difference to your home and your life today. If you do nothing else after reading this, at least make a mental plan of where you might start IF you were to start somewhere. Baby steps.

If it’s all too much, our lovely Well Polished cleaners can help. We’re not just cleaners – we can help you in so many ways even if it’s just giving you an extra set of hands when you need it.