As the majority of Melbournians are at home until September 14, we have had plenty of time to be in our home spaces and notice we are surrounded by clutter. As we are in our homes now sometimes 24/7 for weeks on end, many of us are becoming more conscious of our clutter and are starting to feel “crowded” by our possessions. With more time up our sleeves than ever before, now is a perfect time to get decluttering.
Whilst most local tips are not open at this time, many local councils still have their hard rubbish collections which can be utilised. Similarly many charities are not operating at the moment, however charity bins at your local supermarket may still be available (however please don’t dump your charity donations if the bins are full).
- Do not go out buy storage bins (or order them online!). These will not do you any good if you don’t have anywhere to effectively store them. They will just add to your clutter. You can buy packing boxes, or see if you can pick up some wine boxes from your local bottle store for free. Use your large packing boxes to pack for items to go to storage and smaller wine boxes to be used to donate items to charity (make sure they are not too heavy!). Use coloured garbage bags to donate soft items such as clothes and black garbage bags for ALL rubbish items. This way you don’t get confused as to what items are rubbish/chairty/keep.
- Don’t let perfection get in the way. Spend majority/all of your time getting rid of or donating things and then come back later to tidy/pretty things up.
- Donate/dispose of unwanted items straight away (use your local council hard rubbish waste or local charity bin during this time). If you have things in your boot to take to charity or have a room/space piled with rubbish you are often tempted to go back through it and pull things back out. Try and get out what you can and once lockdown is over get those items to the tip and charity ASAP!
- Declutter the easy obvious things first. If you’re struggling deciding on an item then leave it, just move to the items you know you definitely don’t need/want anymore and focus on these first. Then tackle your storage areas next. So that way when you begin sorting other rooms, you will have places to put these possessions that should have been in storage (but originally you didn’t have room for). Next pick an area of the house that is bothering you most. It’s usually an area that you are frequenting a lot. The kitchen or bathroom is a great place to start.
- Decide to remove things you are keeping out of guilt or obligation.
- Do not be afraid to let go. The urge to hold onto items you think you might need later can next be removed by a simple process of being realistic about the use. Just because an item might be useful, that doesn’t mean it is a necessary object to keep. Seek to understand the difference between usefulness and its actual functionality in the home.
- Don’t get overwhelmed or panic! Take the task one step at a time and work room by room.
- Set up 4 designated work stations: one for rubbish, charity, things to keep/go to storage, and items to sell.
- Return things to their “home” once the item has bee used. This will stop things being left all over the place, and keep things in a ordered and neat fashion.
- Don’t leave clothes in your closet until they are out of date, they take up storage space that could be used for other items.
Clearing out clutter can make us feel lighter and clearer, particularly when there are strong feelings of heaviness and overwhelm at the moment. As we are spending a lot of time at home it can get a great idea to make our home space enjoyable.
See a before and after decluttering video below.