Decluttering your Home: Where to Start
Guest article by Ruth Kelly, Marketing Manager, Clever Closet
Decluttering your home can be very rewarding and leave you with a calm, welcoming space to enjoy with family, guests, or on your own. Depending on how cluttered your home is, it can be hard to know where to start, and if you feel overwhelmed and unable to tackle a messy room, the problem can quickly get worse.
Here, the storage experts at Clever Closet will offer a step-by-step approach and ideas for how you can start decluttering your home. These will apply if you simply need a thorough tidy up, or if you want to go a step further and create a truly minimalist living space. If you don’t have lots of time to devote to this task, or you don’t think that all of the advice applies, start with the things that you think will make the biggest difference, and you will quickly notice an improvement.
- What is causing the clutter?
The first step is to identify the causes of clutter in your home. This doesn’t just mean looking at the items that are cluttering your space, but the behaviours that lead to this untidiness. Sometimes, there are practical reasons – for example, it may be that you don’t have enough storage space to organise and put away everything you own. In other cases, you may find that bad habits lead to clutter – leaving items out to remind you to finish certain tasks, or not following a system of organisation.
In many cases, clutter is caused by a combination of factors. If you want your home to stay tidy in the long term, you may need to implement more than one solution or explore different strategies that will help you to address these causes, rein in messy behaviours and keep things organised. Even if you are simply aiming to tidy up a cluttered space, some of the ideas below can make the process easier.
- Assign space for your belongings
One of the most important aspects of decluttering is ensuring that you have enough space to store everything you own. While it may seem like a simple matter, many people never take the time to consider whether they have enough storage space for the things they own, or for new purchases.
If you don’t have the space to put things away, they will only ever end up as clutter in one form or another. When decluttering, you should think about every item before you put it away: ask yourself first whether you need to keep it, then decide where it should be stored.
It is important to sort through items individually, because otherwise it can be much too easy to choose a cupboard or drawer and pile things inside. Even if this makes the room look tidier, it won’t help you to decide whether you have enough storage space. Beyond this, assigning a place for everything makes it much easier to tidy things away after you have used them and avoid the buildup of clutter.
- Decide what you can throw away
When tidying, it is easiest to start with things that you aren’t going to keep. Whether that means rubbish that hasn’t been thrown away, or simply possessions that you no longer need, piling things into a bin liner and taking them out is usually the best way to start decluttering. It will reduce any hygiene risks you might encounter and will give you a much better sense of the scale of the mess.
If you do not have enough storage space, you can either invest in more – and there are many creative ways to turn unused space in your home into storage solutions – or carefully decide how many of your possessions you really need. It may be that you decide to keep everything that is currently cluttering your home. If so, think about the things you store in cupboards and drawers, which may be used far less frequently and could free up space if they were thrown away.
Once you have discarded everything you don’t need, whatever is left needs to be put away somewhere. The more storage space you have available, the more you can keep, so it is worth considering your storage options if you are particularly attached to your possessions.
- Work with your storage space – or create more
If you don’t have enough storage space, but you don’t want to throw things away, the only solution is to find more. In some cases, this may be as simple as installing a new piece of furniture – a cupboard, wardrobe, set of drawers, or any other item that will help to keep your belongings organised.
If your home is too small for more furniture, your options may be more limited. One option is to rent a storage locker, but this is only really suitable for seasonal items or things that will be in storage for the long term, as it can be inconvenient to access regularly.
Another excellent option that can make more storage space without taking up any extra room in your home is an under stairs storage solution like those from Clever Closet. These are quick to install and convert the unused area beneath your stairs into an organised storage space.
The concept of hideaway storage can make a big difference when decluttering, and it can be applied in a variety of ways. Look into creative storage products and approaches to see what you can successfully apply to your own home, based on which rooms accumulate clutter the quickest or how much you intend to store in each space.
By taking a thoughtful and practical approach to decluttering, you can not only tidy up your home, but ensure that it remains tidy in the future by developing better habits and staying organised.