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Now that the Christmas tree has come down, the relatives have all disappeared back to their homes and peace has descended upon your house once again, it is one of the best times to start the de-cluttering.
We all do it, clutter seems to just appear from out of nowhere, like a smell that just will not go away. The random Christmas presents from Great Aunt Greta that you’ll never use, the bath salts that make your skin itch and the 2 kettles that are stored under the sink just in case your new one breaks (of which you know you’ll go out and buy a brand new one regardless). The average British resident hoards over £500 worth of clutter each, this amounts to a huge £32.7 billion collectively, which actually stands at a total of 32 items each person. So if these facts are making you feel a little guilty about the 12 Now That’s What I Call Music CD’s that you haven’t played since 1993 (there are actually nearly 90 of these now), then follow our 10 de-cluttering tips to a healthier, happier and clutter free life.
1. Ask yourself do you actually really need it? Have you used it in the last 3 years? Are you likely to use in the next 6 months? If not send it to a charity shop or put it to one side to sell at a car boot. There will be somebody else out there that would use it and would benefit from a bargain. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
2. Itemise things and put them away where they belong. Pens belong where you need them, not randomly in a pot in every room. The same for hairbrushes, put them in the bathroom or bedroom, not the living room or kitchen.
3. Go through the house room by room, methodically. Go through drawers one at a time and sort through items as you go. Question do you want it, do you need it, do you love it?
4. Create a home for everything and put everything in its place. It will mean less time hunting for the sticky tape next time you need to wrap a present and you’ll know instantly where to find everything.
5.Don’t buy any more storage boxes until you have finished de-cluttering. Additional storage solutions will trick your brain into thinking you have more room than you have and may tempt you into keeping things you wouldn’t have done.
6. Once you have finished de-cluttering, get it out of the house as soon as possible. Don’t put it in the garage or the shed, unless you are storing for a car boot. Take it away, be it to the tip or a charity shop before you change your mind.
7. Try not to be too ruthless and regret a decision. There are some things that you will want to keep, especially items of sentimental value, don’t dispose of them for the sake of it.
8. On the other hand, try not to be too sentimental either. Just because somebody gave you something as a gift, it does not mean you need to keep it, if you won’t get use out of it, why keep it?
9. Designate a place for incoming papers. Paperwork accounts for the vast majority of our clutter. Bills end up everywhere and important papers usually end up in the most random of places and then go missing. Designate a special place for them and empty regularly to keep on top of them.
10. Enjoy your newly de-cluttered house. A clutter free house is cleaner, tidier and happier. It will harbour less dust and the stream-lined look will not go unnoticed.