Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Simple Steps to Declutter Your Home

There is nothing more unpleasant in the home than clutter, mess and disorganisation. It can make you feel sick, confused, overwhelmed, depressed, ashamed, and even angry because you can't find what you need

I have always felt uncomfortable if a guest decided to drop by without warning and the house was in utter chaos.

If you feel overwhelmed with the clutter in your home this article may be for you. It could be the right time to
Clear your space, free your mind and open up your heart to enjoy the value of your home.
We will share our approach to clearing out clutter and give you some simple tips to make the whole process easier.

Before you start head over and grab our green cleaning guide to help you clean chemical free!
Let's begin!

Step 1.Having a solid reason

If you have a solid reason, your why, it can make you more determined to get the task done. Here are some reason we have come up with.
  • Reduce disease
  • Clear out pest problems
  • Clear your mind
  • Have more space to enjoy with family and friends
  • Being able to invite guests over without feeling ashamed
  • Being able to locate what you need
  • Reduce home accidents   

Step 2. Letting go of negative thoughts about your clutter

Self criticism, guilt and overwhelm can put you off even starting the task of decluttering your home, here are some ways to release them so you can.

Focus on the end result 
  • How would you like your home to feel? 
  • How would you feel if your home was clean and clear? 
  • What benefits would it bring by having a clean and clear home? (your reason) 
Release negative thoughts 
  • Forgive yourself for letting your home get cluttered
  • Make a solid decision to declutter your home
  • Acknowledge places in your home that are clutter free, how do you feel about them? 
  • Commit to stay on the path of decluttering your home
Repeat this to yourself - I love my home and need my space, I will make my home function for me! 

You may like declutter your mind 


Step 3.Grab a pen and paper

  • Make a list of every room in your home
  • Go to each room and assess how much clutter each one has
  • What purpose does each room have (or supposed to have)
  • Put rooms in order of importance. For example the kitchen, it's where you prepare your food everyday so having this room clear can keep you free from disease


Step 4. Ask for help 

If you have a family is vital that you get them involved or you could be running around cleaning up after them. It's key to give them their own responsibility of cleaning up their mess, children included!

It can be helpful to get them to list their own reasons for decluttering the home

If you live on your own and feel overwhelmed even after you have gone through the first three steps, reach out and ask your friends or relatives for assistance. We understand that this can be hard especially if you are ashamed or embarrassed. 
Short story
When we were doing garden care we had a lovely, quick witted and intelligent client aged 82 (at the time). She would often bring us drinks and snaks while we were maintaining her garden but never asked us in. After some time she asked if I could come into her home to clean her lounge room as she was suffering from back problems and lived on her own. 

When I walked in I discovered that everyroom in her home was cluttered but I did not say a word, just focused on clearing out the room she used the most. I got a chance to understand why she had let it get this way- her family lived far away and she had been to ashamed to get a cleaner to do it. I let her know that I was not judging her but it was important she made some space in her home due to her health issues.  I actually cared if she was to have a fall.

Slowly but surely she let me clean her kitchen, her laundry, her bedroom, the spare room but she would not let me clean her bathroom. She was feeling much better about her surroundings and could find things she needed, I made sure to put her goodies in easy to reach places. We even planned to help her run a garage sale to make money for her grandchildren and get rid of excess stuff.

Just before we stopped doing garden care we found out she had a fall in her shower and had to go to hospital. It was so sevier that she could no longer live on her own and had to go into a aged care home, somewhere she had refused to go as she was extremely independent. She had planned to pass away in her own home with her best friend beside her, her dog.

The way I see it is she could have had a fall sooner if I had not come in to help her and by not letting me clear her bathroom she was unable to have her dying wish. Her dog was not allowed at the aged care home and that broke her heart.

Her family come back to support her after this and we took that as a sign to step out of her life. I think about her often and feel privilege that she let me in to help.  
Asking for help can be hard at first but once you do you can have your home just the way you want it a whole lot faster.

If you don't have anyone to assist you hire some help, they will not judge as it's their job to do it and most want to help you reach your goals.

Step 5. Getting started 

Get yourself 6 large boxes, bags or large sheets for each room and label them
  • Keep
  • Donate/give away
  • Sell
  • Rubbish
  • Sentimental
  • Washing 

Step 6. Action plan

Start off in the first room of importance. Put your items in the appropriate section (Get your children to work on their own room) Play your favorite music while you do this task.

You can focus on one room at a time and even set a time limit, say 15 minutes three times a day, twice a day or once a day. Stay focused on this one room until you have achieved your desire result (everything in the appropriate section).

TIP- When sorting "If in doubt throw it out" and if you have not used an item in the past year and it's still useful place in the donation section. Ask yourself what would I take with me if I moved tomorrow? think of expense and time to pack and unpack.

By having less in your home you will have less to clean, less to organise, less stress, more space to enjoy and more free time. 

Next you STOP! Yes that's right, STOP! You deserve a little reward and so do your children. Go play in the park, get an ice cream, go for a walk, watch a movie or go out for dinner. It's important to reward yourself so you have two things to look forward to, your end result for your home and a treat!
After a couple of days (or when it's done) 
  • Take the donation section to a local charity
  • Organise to get rid of your rubbish (recycle what you can)
  • Sell your goods by putting them up in various places like ebay or gumtree, or have a garage sale.
  • Make a home for each item in your keep section 
  • With your sentimental section use a vacuum sealed bag to keep them in good condition. If you have a large amount of items in this section ask yourself if you are living in the past and if it's time to let go. You can take a photo of these items so you have reminders. You are not throwing out a person or a event, you will always have them in your heart and mind

I have had a hard time getting letting go of my childrens art work throughout the years, some I have used as gift wrap and my favorites sit in a suitcase in my wardrobe.   

Step 7. Big reward 

You have reached the end and your goals are achieved. Time to reward yourself by throwing a party, invite people over and enjoy your new space and clean home!

You may be thinking "no way it will create a mess just after I've cleaned it" yes this can occur but you will be able to feel proud of what you have done and somewhat show off your lovely home. Just make sure you clean up after or the very next day!
TIP- Do not go out and buy more stuff to reward yourself as it can create the need to go through this process all over again.

Step 8. Keep on top of clutter

After you have done all that work it's best to keep on top of it so you will not have to go through this again. Here are our top tips 
  • Try the 12-12-12 approach, even children can get involved with this one. Locate 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate or give away and 12 items to be returned to their place. 
  • Act as if you are having a guest/s over everyday. Ask yourself- Would I be embarrassed if a guest dropped in to visit today?  

Chronic disorganisation/Hoarding

This is where some have tried to declutter and get organised but it just never eventuates or gets worse. TV shows such as hoarders or buried alive shine a light into what chronic disorganisation and hoarding is and how it can affect people lives. 

If you think that you may be like this seek professional help and support from relatives and friends to take the first step.
That wraps up our steps to decluttering your home, we hope this assists you and inspires you to get some work done. Leave us a comment to let us know how you go or if you have any helpful tips of your own.

You may be interested in taking a few more steps
8 Keys to Creating a Healthy Home
Detox Your Home 

Thank You For Reading


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