Whether it’s to get your home ready for the market, or just to create a fresh sense of space, a declutter always makes a difference.
While most of us balk at the work involved in decluttering our homes, we usually enjoy the results. Getting there however, is often more of a chore than we expected. Here’s a seven day plan to speed things up.
Day 1: Wardrobes
Get each family member to do this – younger children will probably need some help. The general rule for clothes is that if you have not worn something in the last year, bin it. There are exceptions such as the suit you wear for black tie functions and that special pair of shoes. If it doesn't fit, throw it out too, and likewise for clothes you have never really worn because they don’t look good. Go through your wardrobes and consign every article into one of these groups.
• Keep clothes that fit, look good, you will wear within the next year as well as special clothes. • Pass down clothes that can – and will - be used by a younger sibling.
• Create a box/packet for clothes that can be donated or sold.
• Create a box/packet for clothes to be thrown away.
Day 2: Kitchen
While there may be kitchen clutter hiding in the cupboards, there is likely to be some on the countertops too.
• Start with the cupboards and drawers.
• Throw out any chipped crockery, non-matching glassware or odd bits and pieces that you don’t really use.
• Match all tops to bottoms of plastic storage containers, throw out any extras and any stained containers. (Get your kids to do this job.)
• Keep everyday utensils in a divider. Store sharp knives separately.
• Go through the rest of your kitchen tools to see if anything needs to go.
Once you have made some room, you will probably be able to store small appliances in cabinets instead of on the counter-tops. The only things that should be on your counters are items you use every day, like the coffee maker or kettle. If you don’t use the toaster or juicer every day, then store them out of sight.
Whether on display or behind cupboard doors, store all foods you can such as rice, flour, pasta, sugar, salt and cereals neatly canisters.
Day 3: Bathrooms
Your bathroom probably has clutter in the cupboards and on the countertops. Like in the kitchen start with cupboards and drawers.
• Go through your medicines and sunscreens and throw out all expired products.
• Go through make up, hair care and personal care products and throw out all products that have gone off or that you won’t use.
• Use containers to store like products together – such as hair care, body creams or sun screens.
• Look at your bathroom countertops and consider keeping makeup, toothbrush, deodorant and shaving accessories out of eyesight in cabinets.
Day 4: Books, magazines and toys
• Toys: Go through all the toys with your children, and sort them into three piles: keep, donate, bin.
• Magazines and books: Keep only the ones you really need. Make a pile to donate to schools/libraries/charity and a pile to send to paper recycling.
• Miscellaneous: Go through all your collections, ornaments and décor items and decide what to keep, what to store and what to bin.
Day 5: Bedrooms
• Look at the tops of your bedside tables and dressing tables – keep out only a few special items and things you need daily access to that can’t be stored inside your bedside cabinets.
• If you have a bed on legs, try to make sure nothing is stored underneath it, so its always easy to clean.
• Get an attractive laundry basket either in your bedroom or bathroom to store dirty clothes.
Day 6: Linen cupboard, and other storage rooms
• Throw out any stained, torn or unused linen or towels.
• Store luggage, sports stuff, cooler boxes and camp chairs in a consolidated area, out of eyesight.
• Store things such as festive decorations in large plastic bins.
• Throw away or fix any broken furniture/sports gear/appliances.
Day 7: Garden shed and garage
• Throw out any old rusty tools, paint tins, chipped plant pots and items that no longer serve.
• Use peg boards, hooks and shelves to help get your garage and garden shed storage friendly.
• Hang spades, rakes and other garden equipment on a wall.
• Use large hooks to hang up bikes or other large items.
• Use small bottles or plastic containers to store nails, screws, drill bits, paint brushes and the like.