Research shows that many people experience feelings of stress, anxiety, and guilt when their home is cluttered or unorganised. Indeed, clutter-free space is highly enjoyable, but no one loves to spend their precious time dealing with dirt or sifting through trash when they could be doing other enjoyable things. Here are some tips to declutter your home and reduce the amount of junk you have to deal with.
- Limit Your Unusable Items
Every item that later turns into junk is carried into your home by one of your family members, unless you’re constantly receiving gifts. So, you may want to consider accepting less promotional freebies like coffee mugs, key rings, pens, and branded tote bags. Also, determine the number of grocery bags you typically use and return the rest to the grocery store.
- Plan Purchases
As with promotional items, buying things that you don’t really need only increases the amount of junk in your house. Avoid making impulse purchases by preparing a shopping list every time you go out and stick to it.
- Reduce Your Direct-mail Subscriptions
It has been estimated that more than 100 million trees are cut down annually to create paper. Reduce the amount of paper you consume by asking for your name to be removed from mailing lists and opting for paperless statements from utility companies, credit card companies, banks, and financial investments.
- Rent or Borrow – Don’t Buy
Consider borrowing or renting those items that you only need occasionally, or use for a short period of time, like books and videos. You can also switch to digital formats, like eBooks or online streaming for entertainment.
- Apply the One-in, One-out Rule
One way to prevent clutter from accumulating in your home is by getting rid of old stuff as soon as you get a replacement for it. Think about where you will keep the new item, and then donate or sell what you don’t need anymore.
- Declutter a little each day
If you have a tight schedule, consider setting aside about 20 minutes a day to deal with clothes, toys, mail, and other common clutter. Performing small cleaning and organizing tasks each day will help you avoid spending hours cleaning up messes and organising your home in the future. Create a daily routine, and if this is not possible, plan a weekly declutter sweep, though this will take more than 20 minutes.
To get started with removing junk in your home, sort your items using the three box method:
- Keep – Items you wish to hold on to (store them neatly in a labelled container or drawer)
- Get Rid Of – Items you want to sell, donate, or give away (can be temporarily stored in the garage awaiting disposal)
- Storage – valuable things you have no immediate need for (put them neatly in storage area)
After decluttering, follow the tips above to prevent the junk from accumulating again.