Whether you are deciding to sell or downsize your home or just fancy a spring clean, decluttering can be a useful way to organise your belongings and regain some all-important space.
In this guide, we give you some practical tips to help make the mammoth task of decluttering your home an easily achievable job.
Save the Ikea trip until after you’ve sorted things out
Once you get the urge to tidy it can be tempting to go out and buy storage to help you deal with it all. Whilst this may be necessary, it can just end up being an act of procrastination that leaves the worst part until last. In our experience, buying storage first simply means having somewhere tidier to store your junk.
When you decide to declutter, begin by sorting your belongings out This way, you only have to buy storage for what you are keeping instead of just moving unwanted items around.
Clear one room and separate everything into discrete piles
Having a clear space to work in will help you to stay focused; standing in a room full of junk can be a daunting task and can quickly get on top of you. To keep the momentum, it’s important to be organised. We’d recommend keeping things simple and having just three piles to sort into:
- Things to keep
- Things to bin
- Things to recycle/donate to charity
You may well find that you have another few piles depending on what your aims are but these could include:
- Things to store
- Things to fix
- Things to sell
If you stick to the first three categories to start with then you will find a ‘second pass’ easier when you have more time.
It’s easier for us to say this than it is to act upon when faced with a room full of memories. Nobody is suggesting that you bin family treasures whether its an antique heirloom or your daughter’s first shoes. What we are saying is to be honest and, if you haven’t worn something in five years then it’s unlikely you’ll wear it again. Is your loft a dumping ground for broken PC’s and furniture? If you moved a picture frame into a cupboard because you didn’t like it then why are you keeping it? Being sentimental about objects is natural but hanging onto some things when you don’t have the space can be detrimental. Just remember, if you’ve enjoyed something but it no longer fits in your life, donating to charity or using Freecycle is an excellent way of giving it a new lease of life.
Set achievable goals and focus on one area at a time
Don’t set out to completely de-clutter your home in one day; you will end up with all of your rooms being in a mess and, what seems to be, an insurmountable task the following day. Recognise that you have a limited time window, whether that’s a day, a morning or a whole weekend, and choose one space at a time to work on; the garage, the loft, the spare bedroom.
Get a sense of completion
When you’ve finished one room it may be tempting to leave that pile destined for the charity shop until you have attempted another room; maybe you want to save your run to the tip until the car is full. Don’t. When you finish a room, finish the job and clear everything you intend to get rid of. Not only will you get a sense of satisfaction that the job is finished but you also won’t be tempted to ‘rescue’ something from one of your piles.
Clean lines, clean living
If you are decluttering in order to sell your home, then one of your aims will be to present your home in its best light. A declutter helps to enhance the space available and to make it easier to tidy quickly when you have a last-minute viewing. A declutter will also help when you come to moving day and, as importantly, when you unpack in your new home. To get the best out of the job and to really maximise space, keep surfaces clear of clutter. You don’t have to put all your ornaments away but less is more to making the space look bigger and tidier.
NOW, you can add the storage
Once you know what you are keeping you will have a better idea about what kind and amount of storage you need. Unless you are storing decorative or functional items like books then choose a storage solution that hides away the clutter; cupboards, drawers or fabric coverings will all help conceal assorted odds and ends.
If you are decluttering for a downsize or to maximise the impact of your home ready for sale, then we’d love to be part of your property hunt. Property Assistant are specialist agents in the Thames Valley offering a unique service for homebuyers and sellers. Call us today on 0118 912 2370 to find out just what makes us so different.