Bring more space into your home, mind and life
Check out these practical ways that can help in decluttering
Do you feel like you always have to clean and organise your house or do you feel embarrassed to invite anyone over to your home? If the answers are yes, chances are you have a clutter problem.
How clutter happens?
A survey organized by www.justmop.com showed that the average person has 90 different types of clothing pieces, but 75 per cent are never worn. The same can be seen when it comes to jewellery, decorative items and other objects, which found room in the home. Living in a world where consumerism is encouraged leads to having a lot of possessions. Some cannot be let go of due to sentimental attachments, others are collected to be used later or are kept because they cost too much and the loss aversion is too strong.
Science has proven that having too many things around can influence your brain. Princeton University found that physical clutter on a desk competes for attention and can result in decreased performance and increased stress for the worker. UCLA researchers observed 32 Los Angeles families and discovered that the level of stress hormones for mothers reached a high level when they spent time dealing with their belongings.
Steps to declutter your home
Decluttering your home can be at first overwhelming and it can feel too daunting to even attempt. There is scientific proof that letting go of an object can be painful.
The beginning is always the hardest. In the same survey, customers shared some of the reasons why they aren't able to declutter. Lack of time was chosen the main cause by 32 per cent of the respondents.
Here are a few practical ways, which can help those who want to declutter and have a more organised home and life:
Decluttering your home should be approached as a project. The first step is to set goals, as specific as possible. Specificity of the goal has an impact on motivation. The bigger and more vague the objective is, the higher the level of demotivation, which will lead to giving up on the project. For example, if you want to start with decluttering the wardrobe, a very specific objective can be to keep only five T-shirts and donate the rest. Or to keep only the items that have been worn at least five times in the past month.
Start with the space that bothers you the most
The survey revealed that 91 per cent of respondents think that the quality of their life would improve if they had a more organised living space. Whether it's the bedroom, kitchen or closet, the place that causes you the highest level of stress should be the priority. Another good choice is the place that is used the most during a day, such as the desk. The approach will allow for the effects of decluttering to be felt immediately and will result in motivation to continue the process.
Visualise the room decluttered before you begin
Every room and the way it is organised have an impact on our emotions and it can influence our mood. It is important to know how you want the room to look at the end. This step helps identifying the objects that need to be removed or which simply do not belong in that space.
What feeling does this vision create? How does the room feel at the current moment? Understanding the emotional gap will increase motivation and will allow for creating a plan and a process to declutter.
Gather all the materials you need before starting
This is the step where you have to identify your resources. You will probably need boxes, trash bags, baskets and stickers for labelling. Be mindful about opportunities to donate clothes, technology and furniture, there are a variety of outlets which can come and pick up the items being let go of and donating them to people and outlets which need them. Items in very good condition can also be sold on a variety of websites.
Involve every family member and make it a challenge
You should not be alone in this process. Involving all family members makes things easier. Gamifying the process - keeping track of who gathers the highest number of unused items or who collects most trash bags - will ensure that the process is fun and engaging.
Ask yourself the right questions
Asking the right questions you find out what are the items you really don't need in your home. "Do you use it regularly?" "Do you love it?"or "It does it improve in some way your life?"
If the answer to those questions is "no", then you have to consider to let that item go.
Transform sentimental stuff into stories
The hardest items to let go of are the ones with sentimental value. It is important to remember at this point that things are less important than the great moments, beloved people or the places visited. You can take pictures of the items; write a story about each of them, describing their importance and significance. By creating this journal, you will still keep the stories and your physical and mental space.
Decluttering is an ongoing process. Once you've organised the space, the job is still going to continue. Keep in mind that is a new system, more efficient than the previous, that you are in charge of.
Different decluttering methods
The four box method: Once you've decided what is the area you want to declutter you can use four boxes for four different purposes: keep, trash, donate or relocate.
Use the 12-12-12 challenge: Another thing you can do is to choose 12 different items to donate, 12 items you want to keep it and another 12 items that should be relocated in the proper place. Remember to set specific goals before starting to declutter.