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An untidy environment can increase stress for most people. In one study, women who described their homes with positive language had a lower level of the stress hormone cortisol than women who described their homes as cluttered or unfinished. Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control. A tidier space can make for a more relaxed mind.
Focus on one room at a time

When you’re having a clear-out, the idea of doing the entire house can be a bit daunting. The simplest way to make it a more manageable task is to break it down, so you only focus on one room a time. Start with your smallest or easiest space- it’s the best way to create your own momentum. Once you get over the first hurdle and get that first one done, you can look upon your newly decluttered room with a sense of pride and use it to motivate you. Work your way up in size, take it room-by-room and before you know it, you’ll have completely decluttered your home.

Remove non-essential items

A tidy space equals a tidy mind, and one of the most effective ways to cut back on clutter is to remove non-essential items. It’s the most meaningful and effective way to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. If you’re not sure how to recognise whether an item is essential or not, ask yourself the following questions: Do I use it regularly? If no, does it bring me joy? If both of these are a no, then you can be sure that it’s not essential. It’s important that you don’t fall into the trap of keeping something because you think you might use it in the future. Waste bags are really handy when you’re having a big clear-out.

Tidy visible areas first

Start with the things you can see before you tackle things like drawers and cupboards, which are often absolutely full of stuff that needs sorting. Begin with shelves, desks and any other surface that’s home to an assortment of objects. By hitting the visible areas first, you can see clear signs of your progress as you go and feel good about making a recognisable difference. Try sorting them with dividers that let you split things up into helpful categories- daily essentials, important but not daily use, and junk. A huge cause of household clutter is paperwork- bills, letters, forms and more. A pinboard is a great way to keep them organised and off of surfaces.

Give yourself a clean slate

If you’re struggling to whittle down your clutter, try hitting the reset button. A complete overhaul of your space can be really helpful and mentally refreshing. Start by removing everything from the room or space you’re decluttering. Seeing your progress and the clarity of your clean slate makes it easier to sort through the items you just removed and get rid of non-essentials. If you really can’t bring yourself to chuck things away, pop them into storage boxes and stash them somewhere out of the way. Now you have the exciting opportunity to start again, whether you want to mix things up slightly with the stuff you’ve kept hold of or completely rearrange the space to try something new. When reorganising, give everything purpose and place when finding a home for it.

Minimise waste

Obviously there’s going to be some stuff that has to be chucked away, but try to avoid things going to waste where possible. A sorting system can help you group items together as you go, so try breaking it down into things you want to keep, items that need repairing, items that can be reused, sold or given away, and items that can be recycled. If you’ve got items that are in good condition, why not sell them on? Especially kitchen appliances like coffee machines and stand mixers that are just sat gathering dust. Clothes can either be donated or recycled if they’re worn out.

Other help with decluttering

Check out our tech tidy up and organising your kitchen pages for all sorts of advice and handy solutions for decluttering and making your home more presentable. If you’re looking to sort out your garage, shed or workshop, our great wall of storage has plenty of ideas that can be easily personalised and adapted to suit your spaces. If you’re struggling for space to put things, we even have steps on how to prepare your loft for storage as well as advice on home and garden storage.

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