One of the most common threats to peace of mind is the gradual accumulation of stuff, stuff and more stuff. The more years that pass, the more stuffed do attics, trunks, closets and cellars become. Boxes get filled and put away without labels. Filing gets out of control. And still more stuff arrives. Unwanted presents, old clothes, unsorted photographs, bits of tech with wires and cords that you think may be obsolete but can’t be sure. On and on it goes, out of control, leading to a common condition whereby your mind mirrors the disorder of your home and you feel out of sorts and pulled in dozens of different directions. Decluttering seems the obvious and easy answer but you can’t bring yourself to start. The undertaking seems too huge. You think that once you begin, horror will overwhelm you. You’ll feel compelled to go on to the bitter end, days, weeks and months of sorting, taking over your entire existence.
Take a deep breath. Loosen your shoulders. There’s another way. Just commit to ten minutes (five, if that seems too much). Here are some tips. It’ll only take seconds if you just read one of them and then carry out the according action. That’s all you have to do. Just one act of decluttering counts. And you’ll feel spurred on by your success and try another one the following day perhaps.
- Give away one item. Nothing more or less.
- Fill one black bin liner with rubbish and throw it out.
- Open one of your wardrobes containing clothes on hangers. From now on, every time you wear a piece, return it to the cupboard facing the opposite direction. As the months go by, you’ll begin to notice the items you never wear.
- Make a list. That’s all you need to do. It could be a decluttering timeline, working out which rooms you want to tackle and in what order.
- Research local storage options to get an idea of one that most suits you. You can find out all about our storage service here.
- Set up three cardboard boxes and label them ‘charity shop’, ‘bin’, ‘relocate within home’. As you go about your day, you can always take a moment to put something in one of them and, hey presto, you’ve begun to declutter.