Something that a lot of people suck at is decluttering. Yes, the simple act of getting rid of things seems to be difficult for a lot of people because we’re often afraid. Afraid that we’ll need those takeaway menus cluttering up your drawers – despite the fact you always use Deliveroo to order food.

Yes, throwing away things can be difficult and often overwhelming, but the alternative is tripping over old trainers and struggling to find somewhere to store the things you actually need.

Stop hoarding and start taking control over your space with these tips.

Start small

Decluttering your home is a marathon, not a sprint. Take it slow and do small manageable bits. Overloading yourself with the bottom half of your home in an hour isn’t going to inspire you to keep going. 

Instead, create a list of every area you want to declutter and work through it hour by hour, day by day, week by week, whatever suits. Something like this:

Bedroom: wardrobe, under-the-bed, bedside table

Living room: TV cabinet, bookshelf, coffee table

Kitchen: pantry, cupboards, drawers

If you try to multi-task, you’ll only miss things and stress yourself out with it. Keep it simple and focus on one section at a time and you shouldn’t find it as overwhelming.

Create piles

I would always suggest creating four piles (use baskets or boxes to keep everything together) whenever you’re tackling an area of your house.

  1. Keep
  2. Recycle
  3. Throw away
  4. Donate

Once you’ve finished, you can then dispose of the boxes as necessary and avoid wasting time running back and forth to the recycling bin or faffing around with bin liners. These boxes will also keep you focused and make the task quicker.

Go paperless

A really quick and easy way to declutter your home is to go paperless as much as you can.

You should find a paperless option for common letter heavy businesses such as banks, utility suppliers and insurance companies. Not only is this good for the environment, but it’s also good for your home.

You can finally say goodbye to monthly bank statements, unnecessary takeaway menus and payslips clogging up your precious drawer space.

Leave the past in the past 

It’s time to tackle that memory box (or three) that you’ve been storing away. We’re all guilty of holding onto train tickets, festival wristbands and old love letters from our exes, but at some point, we need to take a step back and declutter.

Get rid of things that have faded, duplicates and anything you’ve forgotten about and then condense your things into one, reasonably sized box. There’s nothing wrong with keeping some things, but you don’t need every bus ticket you’ve ever bought or something so faded you don’t even know where it’s from.

If you live with someone else who also has a memory, buy matching boxes, preferably stackable ones so you can keep your things organised in a neat and tidy manner.

Be realistic

If you live in a huge home, then you can probably take the burden of extra clutter. However, if you live in a one bedroom flat and you live with someone else, you probably can’t.

So, while you may hope to live the #fitspo life and make smoothies every day, but if you haven’t used your blender in three years, it might be time to throw it away.

While it can be tempting to keep everything ‘just in case’, you need to be realistic and know when it’s time to say goodbye. Remember, you can always borrow or buy things at a later date.

Donate, donate, donate

An easy way to sort through your books, clothes, CDs and DVDs quickly is to donate them. Knowing that the time and effort you’re putting into this project is contributing to a good cause might make it easier to part with your Sex And The City box set.

Do you declutter regularly? Leave your tips down below or tweet me @amyjmcdonnell

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