Time for a spring clean? Our top tips for clearing clutter
If you find yourself surrounded by seemingly endless piles of stuff, it might be time for a spring clean to help you create some space. The benefits of owning fewer possessions include having less to clean, less to organise, less stress and more money - and more energy for hobbies and passions. Learning to de-clutter effectively doesn’t always mean you have to make big changes, it’s more about getting more time and freedom into your life.
According to psychology experts, messy homes and work spaces can leave us feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Clutter creates excessive visual stimuli, signalling to our brains that work is never complete, making it hard to relax. Clutter also inhibits productivity by invading the open spaces that allow us to clearly problem solve and brainstorm.
Although keeping a tidy house does take time and commitment, it doesn’t have to be strenuous. We’ve put together our top ten tips for de-cluttering your home and your mind, for those who may find it difficult to know where to start.
1. If you find it hard to get rid of things, try the 10-10-10 method. Choose a room and find 10 things to throw away, 10 things to donate and 10 things to tidy up by returning them to their designated space. Repeat the process in each room that needs clearing up.
2. If there are items you use rarely, store them in a box somewhere out of the way (such as the garage or a high shelf) to leave easy access for things you use more often. Put a date on the box, and (with rare exceptions) if you haven’t opened the box in a year, the items inside are probably not things that you need.
3. Organise the items you use regularly into designated spaces so that you can easily find what you’re looking for when you need it. Try putting these items in closed spaces like drawers and cabinets, because storing things on open shelves can add to that overload of visual stimuli and cause stress.
4. Get the whole family involved in de-cluttering by starting with a room everyone uses, then make each person responsible for a section. If you’re on your own, start and finish one area at a time before moving on to another. This will encourage a sense of accomplishment as you see your successes little by little, and it could help make a somewhat overwhelming task feel more manageable.
5. Boost efficiency in the kitchen by hanging pots and pans on hooks, freeing up cabinet space for any benchtop appliances you use less frequently.
6. Bedside tables are key culprits when it comes to accumulating clutter. Invest in one with a drawer for bits and pieces. Better yet, create compartments inside to keep it tidy and with the right set up there’ll be a place for your glasses, phone and cosmetics. That will leave the top free for a reading lamp and peace of mind.
7. When it comes to wardrobe organisation, around a third more t-shirts can fit in a drawer with the fold and roll technique. This method keeps logos, labels and patterns displayed, making it easy to locate items without messing up an entire drawer.
8. When you take something out of its space to use it, put it back immediately after you’re finished. This sounds simple, but it will help you to keep things tidy.
9. Clutter doesn’t only apply to our physical environment. Mental clutter can be just as stressful. There are various practices for clearing the mind, but a simple tip is to focus solely on one project at a time without interruptions such as cellphones, emails and other electronic gadgets. You’ll be surprised at how much more you can accomplish without allowing distractions to get in the way.
10. If your mind is feeling muddled, try writing a to-do list. It might help to compartmentalise your mental clutter, allowing you to gain some clear space and prioritise what needs to be done first.
If you have any other tried and tested suggestions for cutting down on clutter and keeping organised, do leave us a comment below.