The saying “out with the old, in with the new” could do with a update.
“In with the new, clutter up the house with the old” is perhaps more apt - with studies showing us Brits to never again use 80 per cent of the things we store away.
If that little revelation has motivated you to declutter, here are some more gems:
Come out of the closet
We only wear 20 per cent of our clothes, 80 per cent of the time. So where better to start than the wardrobe?
First remove items that have no business in your closet e.g. carrier bags from shopping trips, old bank statements, cosmetics, tennis rackets and luggage. Then take out all of your clothes and place them on the bed. Pile similar items of clothing together, while removing any damaged clothes (which could be recycled or thrown away).
Donate what you don't need to charity, and box up and store away seasonal clothing. When you have finished, start refilling your wardrobe in order (e.g. shoes in one place, sweaters in another, and so on). It sounds obvious, but by organising your clothes into compatible groups, you will maximise your wardrobe space and make choosing what to wear a lot easier.
Once you have successfully decluttered your bedroom wardrobe, why not tackle an entire room? Of course, it makes sense to start with the room you use most. 50 per cent of homeowners rate their garage as the most disorganised, yet most used room in the house. It may be a lot bigger than your wardrobe, but you can use exactly the same techniques to declutter it.
Start by moving everything out and onto the lawn or driveway. Group similar items together - such as gardening equipment, DIY tools and sports gear – then put them back in the garage in their new groupings. By breaking the big job down into manageable chunks, you will be less likely to abandon it halfway through. You will also be able to locate items a lot easier in the future.
To maximise space, invest in bike racks, wall mounts and shelving for bulkier items such as ladders, garden strimmers and tins of paint. Old jam jars and plant pots are perfect for storing nuts, bolts or screwdrivers. And if you have any open roof beams, board them over so you can store rarely used items overhead.
Making paper work Newspapers, bills, mail and magazines can account for a lot of our clutter - abandoned in different spots around the house. Create an inbox tray in a designated spot in the home. Got mail? Put it in the inbox. Got receipts, warranties, or interesting flyers? Put them in the inbox. Consider putting a magazine rack in your living room for newspapers and magazines. And create a simple folder with labels for your major bills, or important paperwork you need to keep. Once you’ve created your simple filing systems, designate a little time on a day each month to sit down, review them and clear them out.
Short on time? Decluttering does not have to be a crash diet or a mad frenzy that disrupts your entire household.
Try clearing out 465 items in just one month with our 30-day Twitter challenge #30daydeclutter.
All you have to do is identify one thing to clear out on day one, two things on day two, three on day three, and so on, and so on. If you need the whole month, you’ll have cleared out 465 items of clutter! If you take up the #30daydeclutter challenge, let us know how you get on by tweeting us @Storagebase123.
Declutter to be a stress-free entrepreneur Still need motivation to declutter? Psychologists like Sherrie Bourg Carter believe decluttering helps to reduces stress. Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson Ph. says reduced stress levels make you more likely to retain information, learn new traits, be creative and solve problems – all improving your chances of becoming an entrepreneur. So get decluttering, to get rich!
If you have any of your own top tips on how to declutter, we’d love to hear them!