Making Decluttering Manageable.

Decluttering can be a life-affirming process if you don’t let the procedure become a burden. We’ve all heard the saying ‘less is more’, and this is certainly true when it comes to creating harmony at home or showing items off to their best effect.

Take it in stages

Trying to declutter the house in one fell swoop is a sure way of making the process tiresome, overwhelming and totally unmanageable. But when muddles face you on all sides, it’s hard to find a starting place.

Decluttering by category can help. Pick a category at random. You could choose kids’ toys, kitchen paraphernalia, books and magazines, video games or anything else that’s threatening to overrun your life. If the items are small enough, arm yourself with a large bin bag and collect everything in that category from all over the house. No, you’re not going to throw it all away, the idea is to get everything in one place without having to make multiple trips.

Next, dump everything on the floor and start going through it all, making three piles: one for keepers, another for donations and a third for storage. Keepers will stay at home and storage items are those you want to keep but don’t have space for. Storage items uncover the real magic behind successful decluttering. Putting items into self-storage saves agonising over whether you really need something or not. You can keep it all without the difficulty of finding storage space at home.

Apply the same category principle throughout the house. Areas of the home can be categories too, such as wardrobes, the garage, that dumping ground under the stairs or the kitchen cupboards. Go slowly. It’s perfectly okay to take several days to completely blitz any one category. Decluttering is a process, and as such it’s something that needs constant small effort rather than being a once and done task.

Open up the floor

Once you start to see some progress, it’s easier to maintain momentum if you get the house arranged so that it encourages tidy organisation.

Opening up the floor area gives an illusion of space in a room because there are fewer shadows and the floor seems to stretch further. Ways to achieve a more open floor include:

● Sofas and chairs on legs so you can see beneath them.
● Floating shelves or hanging shelving units rather than bookcases or floor-
standing cabinets.
● A wall-mounted TV instead of a cabinet.
● Cabinets or shelves built into alcoves so they don’t encroach into or block
natural walkways.

When you’re looking for spaces to fit shelves, look for little-used areas. Installing them around door frames creates a recessed doorway effect and is an ideal way to display books or ornaments.

Make the most of storage furniture

We all have a stack of small items that quickly turn into clutter if they’re not controlled. From makeup and accessories in the bedroom to kids’ toys and games, or TV remotes and chargers in the living room. A couple of well-chosen pieces of storage furniture can go a long way towards keeping those things handy but out of sight when they’re not being used. You can also customise existing furnishings to create more storage:

● In living rooms, go for end tables or coffee tables with built-in storage or
● In bedrooms, choose beds with storage beneath or raised beds with
wardrobe and desk space for children’s rooms. You can also make the
most of wardrobe space by installing extra rails behind doors to hold belts
or scarves.
● In the kitchen, a narrow shelf on the end of a cabinet run offers
somewhere to store and display spice jars or cook books.

Plan ahead before you start and decide how you’ll keep things decluttered after the main sort out. Buying new furniture or planning a fresh décor is another way to stay motivated and make decluttering more manageable.

Seasonal decluttering

By sorting possessions according to season and using a self storage unit as a kind of home extension, off-season items stay fresh and clean. Seasonal storage could include sports equipment, summer garden furniture or gardening equipment and machines. Even seasonal clothing if you have an extensive wardrobe. Self storage facilities are conveniently located, so swapping out what you keep there is a simple job.

For many people, the hardest thing about decluttering is making a start. If you have a hard time parting with possessions, even those you haven’t used for years, knowing you can declutter the house and still keep your treasures can be a positive way forward.

Making decluttering manageable folding and tidying