Living in untidiness keeps our minds active and it visually reminds us, all of the time, that we have things to do. In studies it shows that the home owners of cluttered houses have higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Clear, cleansed spaces however allow our minds to relax and switch off and therefore create a far more harmonious home and living space. Here are a few tips of how to start the process of cleansing your home.
1. START NOW Procrastination is the enemy of clearing spaces – so don’t put it off. Start now! Break down rooms into sections and start with one cupboard, dresser, drawer at a time. Looking at the whole space can be overwhelming, so start small and work your way through in bite sizes.
2. ONE STEP AT A TIME The best way to declutter your home is to take one small step at a time so it is far less daunting and more manageable. Combined, small steps will lead to big improvements. Approach the task methodically. If you only have an hour, don’t empty your whole wardrobe. Instead, choose a section in the wardrobe that you think you’ll be able to complete. Another manageable task would be a chest of drawers or a single kitchen cupboard.
3. ENJOY IT Decluttering can actually be quite therapeutic once you get started. Think about how satisfying and rewarding your newly organised living areas will become. The satisfaction of opening a kitchen cupboard or a wardrobe and being able to find everything you need without hunting through all of your disregarded clothes and unwanted or out of date food. Decluttering is incredibly liberating and will make you feel lighter and less stressed. Put on some of your favourite music while you’re decluttering and help make it feel less of a chore. Have a think about how useful some of your unwanted possessions may benefit someone else.
4. CREATE THREE PILES AND HAVE 3 BOXES Allocate your belongings to three categories: keep, donate, and throw away. If you haven’t used or worn something for more than a year – do you really need it, or are you just keeping it for the sake of it? Is it a treasured item? If you absolutely love the item, keep it and put it back in your space once you have decluttered. If not get rid of it or donate it.
5. QUICK START A straightforward way to start is with items that don’t have any sentimental or practical value, such as old socks, make-up, toiletries and medicines that have passed their use-by dates.
6. HAVE A CHECKLIST If you’re dithering over whether or not to keep something, ask yourself a few key questions: Do I use it (or have I used it in the past year)? Do I like the way it looks and fits in with my decor? Does it work? Is it the only one I have? Would it be impossible or expensive to replace? Does it have huge sentimental value? If the answer to all those questions is ‘no’, you can probably do without it.
7. DISCARDING OLD FURNITURE When decluttering, it’s also a good time to think about clearing the decks of any worn or rarely used pieces of furniture. Consider whether keeping the item will positively impact your life. If it won’t, it’s time to let it go, whether you want to sell it or donate it. When we declutter, inevitably, we won’t need so much space to store belongings.
8. TACKLE SURFACES Flat surfaces like coffee tables, kitchen counter tops, desks and dining tables can be magnets for piling up your STUFF. Think of how you can organise all these everyday items so they’re not scattered around the house. Key racks, file boxes, rustic storage baskets, or ottomans are all useful for items that need to be kept to hand but are out of sight.
9. KEEP ON TOP OF IT Clutter builds up. Even with our best intentions, it’s hard to keep on top of it all the time. If you can commit to regular mini de-clutterings and clean-ups it will be far easier than having to cope with a bulk operation in future.
10. CLARITY AND CALM When our spaces are clutter free and cleansed it enables us to switch off more easily, sleep better and generally soothes our health.
Charlie Smith offers a CLEANSING YOUR HOME SERVICE. Please see her website for all the style bundles.