Your Ultimate Decluttering Guide
What better way to spend the first day of the year than to declutter! The holidays have been a whirlwind of pop-up shops and Christmas parties for me that our guestroom turned product storage was such a mess. I was also inspired by the blog article that I just finished writing where I am sharing a guide to decrease the physical and virtual mess you see around you.
Stop for a moment and look around your living space. Are you seeing piles of bills, documents and paper bags on your kitchen counter? Are socks, towels, and shirts all over your bedroom floor? Is your workspace full of pens and supplies scattered on the table? Are your closets and drawers vomiting your clothes out? If your living space has never been in any of these messy states, you are indeed a #neatqueen. But most often than not, some of our personal spaces have been messy at one point or another.
It’s the new year and a clean, decluttered space is a must to feel fresh and start anew! Here are the top three things to remember when you start decluttering your homes:
- With great clutter, comes great accountability
It all starts with the realization. You’ve finally noticed that you’re more stressed and anxious whenever you go inside your home. According to a 2009 study by UCLA, a disorganized living space is a significant factor that causes stress. Another study, recently published in 2017 by Indiana University, showed that disorganized living affects physical activity– the more messy the space is, the less motivation to move and exercise. In a general sense, it seems like studies have shown that neat and organized spaces affect one’s internal mindset and being. Fixing your mess takes ample effort, determination and courage. Fixing your mess can also mean leading your mindset into a better direction. Hence, there is no excuse to decluttering! Your mess is your responsibility.
- It costs $0.00 to organize and declutter
Decluttering does not mean buying new things! Time management, control and discipline are the only requirements needed for you to start and finish such task. It may take zero money for you to start organizing but it takes willpower and discipline to be able to complete it. Like many of the things you do for work, start scheduling when to declutter. A simple “Declutter bedroom, 8 am” note on your Saturday tab can make all the difference. Check out Dress My Desk’s wide array of stationery for your scheduling and notetaking needs!
- Bins and boxes are your best friends
According to the ever-trustworthy Cambridge dictionary, it defines declutter as “to remove things you do not need from a place, in order to make it more pleasant and more useful”. This particular definition is exactly what you need to remember! So, how do you to start and not overwhelm yourself? Prepare bins and pick a room. As mentioned by Elizabeth Larkin from the Spruce, there are 5 purposeful bins, baskets or even cardboard boxes to choose from namely Put Away, Recycle, Fix/Mend, Trash and Donate to categorize your clutter. From this, you can start tossing while cleaning. Trust me, you will find this decluttering exercise so soothing and relaxing. I think it’s a common thing for humans to keep things they don’t need. In other words, we all have tendencies to hoard! When tossing something out, ask yourself these questions:
- Did I use it this year? If not, will I need it for future use?
- Is it still working? If not, is it fixable?
- Why do I own this?
- Will my daily routine function poorly without it?
- Is it one of a kind (e.g. sentimental, from a faraway country)?
These questions will definitely help you to organize your clutter as you toss them. To help you out a bit more, check out 50 Things to Toss Now checklist downloadable below! It contains a detailed list on what to prioritize while decluttering each room. Organizers such as paper trays, bookstands and storage baskets are always a good idea when decluttering your home.
- Don’t forget to also declutter online
As I have mentioned in my previous post, a lot of our lives now are online. And guess what? Our online lives also need some dusting! Technology has been part of everyone’s daily routine. We now live in a world wherein we can save so many documents, photos and other media into one phone, iPad or laptop. Take a look at your mobile phones, laptops and iPads. If it’s overflowing with so many tabs, apps and files with no folders, virtual organizers or whatnot, fix it.
Save a day for decluttering your virtual documents and applications on your desktops, touchscreens and even TV! Just like the tangible, material things, toss photos and documents to the online trash bin to free up storage space and remove eyesore. Create new folders, label them and transfer files to track them easier and more efficiently. Finally, clean your desktop. Try retaining only folders and applications that are of utmost importance (hence, needs to be easily access)- keep your desktops and home screens in the exclusive area of your computers and phones respectively.
You may know by now that clutter is not exclusively about clearing out material things. It aids one’s internal being. A clean, organized space with everyday stress and anxiety. The look and cleanliness of your living space can complement over-all performance. Daily mindset is shaped by our environment, and our bedroom, which is an integral part of our homes, is the first space we wake up to. It is better to see a neat nightstand than a messy one. It can turn on a switch of motivation to start your day right. Decluttering does not necessarily mean transforming your space into a minimalist. It is relieving your space of mess that are not useful anymore, but maintaining those that boost your life and how you live it.
Let us conclude with a quote from writer Avina Celeste, “Reduce the clutter in your life. Get rid of the things that no longer serve you: past regrets, leftover anger, old plans. Clutter doesn’t just occupy the house in which you live, it occupies your mind. Learn to maintain your mind. Learn to do a daily clean up. Get rid of those unwanted thoughts.” Happy New Year from Dress My Desk! Remember, your clutter is your responsibility. Do something about it, choose and work on a stress-free and neat home!
- Grace Greene