Declutter your home

Private Property South Africa

Fed up with being surrounded by unused and unneeded items? Get great tips on how to declutter your home.

Much like that one sock that always goes missing, one room in the house inevitably ends up becoming a store room for all the odds and ends you’re not entirely sure what to do with. Typical items include your old playthings which you’re sure you’ll pass on to your own children one day but actually won’t, the bike you had every intention of riding the Argus with, old clothes, books, exercise equipment, hobby kits, tools, scuba diving equipment and rock climbing gear – none of which you’ll use again.

Although aware that the room is a cluttered mess, many tend to ignore it like they would an ugly cousin and simply shut the door on it. Leaving such rooms in this state creates a bad impression with visitors, is unsightly and potentially unhealthy if dust and mould is allowed to gather. It can also become a nesting ground for vermin and insects. What’s more is that if you need to accommodate a friend or family member in an emergency, it’s not going to be easy to make up that room quickly and give them the space they need.

Having a cluttered room also doesn’t convey the right message to potential house buyers. In my own experience, although I haven’t yet come across a house that could be featured on TLC’s ‘Hoarding: Buried Alive’ show, there have been some where I was immediately put off by rooms that have quite clearly become a dumping ground for unused goods. Cluttered rooms are an eyesore and prevent you from envisioning the property’s full potential which could cost you a sale.

De-cluttering takes effort but it’s ultimately worth it. According to, de-cluttering can actually be good for your body, your mind and the world in general. (It can also be good for your wallet but we’ll get to that bit).

· De-cluttering promotes relaxation: According to goodnet, research has revealed that stress levels at home are at their highest when dealing with belongings. In other words, the less time you spend dealing with your stuff, the more relaxed you will be.

· De-cluttering helps others: Before you simply chuck something out, consider whether or not someone in need might be able to get some use out of it. Books, clothes, blankets, baby car seats and musical instruments are always high on the wish list of charities.

· De-cluttering brings out your creative side: Minimising excess clutter has been found to stimulate creativity. You never know, you could be the next Picasso!

· De-cluttering purifies your air: As already mentioned, where there’s clutter, generally there’s dust. Excess dust is particularly bad for those who suffer from allergies.

· De-cluttering sharpens your mind: According to goodnet, Princeton University conducted research which showed that de-cluttering helps your brain focus. Evidently the stuff around us tends to distract us somewhat. The same could be said of our cell phones but that’s another story entirely.

There’s also money to be made from de-cluttering. I can personally vouch for this. After finally coming to terms with the fact that my horse riding days are over, I decided to sell my unused riding equipment which had been lying around gathering dust in one of our cupboards. I made a surprisingly large amount of money from it.

You can put the money derived from the sale of your unwanted items towards a holiday, a family outing or (perish the thought) more stuff which will probably sit around gathering dust once the novelty has worn off. You can sell your excess items easily online on sites such as OLX, Junk Mail and Gumtree or simply take it to second hand shops such as Cash Converters or Cash Crusaders.

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