During lockdown your home is definitely your focus at the moment, whether it’s your new workspace, where your spending time with your family or housemates or just enjoying the solitude.
Now is the perfect time to think about decluttering your living space. Not only will it make you feel better, but it’s likely to give you more space too.
It doesn’t matter how tidy you are, we all have that one drawer, cupboard or even room where the clutter piles up. From mail and magazines to books, clothes, toys and things you’ve even forgotten you owned. Whether you want to completely declutter your home or just tidy up that one cupboard here are some tips to help you.
Start gradually - Ease yourself into the process of decluttering. Look for quick and easy things that you can sort out, and you’ll soon feel as though you’re actually achieving something. Do you have too many old magazines lying around that can go into the recycling bin? Have you got tins of food or spices lurking at the back of the kitchen cupboards that are out of date? Once you’ve completed the smaller tasked, you’ll feel ready to tackle the bigger ones.
Set realistic goals - Don’t tell yourself you need to do the entire house in a day. The process will probably take a bit of time, so give yourself plenty of time and start with one area or room. That way, you aren’t creating more mess in every part of your home, and you’ll feel much better when you can tick a room off the list.
Get sorted – As you begin to declutter, put a system in place that you can apply every time. Try to keep to three simple rules – keep it, bin it or give it to charity. Make yourself put every item into one of these piles then at the end you can throw one away, you have one for charity when lockdown lifts and the pile for keeping can be put away neatly.
Out with the duplicates - Throwing away your duplicates is a quick and easy way to make you feel like you’re making progress on your lockdown decluttering journey. Do you really need three spatulas? Is it time to throw away that extra beach towel? It’s doubtful that you’ll find yourself needing more than one of anything if what you have is good and reliable. Repeat this process whenever you have two or more of any one thing.
Toys – If you have children, it's likely that they have lots of toys that they’ve outgrown out or don’t play with anymore. If they haven’t played with it for more than three months, its unlikely they’ll miss it. Why not donate unwanted toys to your local charity shop? If they’re in good working order and in reasonable condition, the charity will be delighted to accept them after lockdown.
Does it work? – If you’ve got anything electrical that no longer works, there’s no point in keeping it. That goes for old phone chargers too! If it can’t be fixed it can’t be used so it can be thrown away.
Question yourself - One of the best practices for when you’re deciding what throw away, is to ask yourself if you can remember the last time that you used the item in question. The rule of thumb is that if you can’t remember, at least not quickly, out with it!
Organise – Once you declutter a space or room put everything back that you want to keep. Now is the time for you to organise it properly. Store similar items together so you know where everything is. All of your cleaning equipment should be kept together, the same goes for all of your gym kit/ yoga gear.
Upcycle/recycle - If you’re not ready to part with certain items just yet, perhaps you could give them a new lease of life with a coat of paint or turn them into something completely new. Is that old ladder is destined to become a bookshelf? Could those old bottles could be new vases?
Finally…sleep on it. Before making that final trip to the bin, give it a few hours or a night to make sure everything you want to throw away is definitely going out with the rubbish. It’s easier to pull it out of a bin bag in the morning than it is to chase after the refuse collector because you’ve changed your mind!
No matter how big or small your decluttering project is during lockdown you’ll definitely feel better at the end of it.