Quick and easy ways to declutter your home

Private Property South Africa
The Roosting Venus

Get your home show house ready, with a clutter-free sense of space.

Starting out on a home declutter can be daunting as well as dusty. And while there’s little besides a real clean that will help the dust, these tips and tricks can certainly make it less daunting.

The four-box method.

Keep four boxes in the area you are tidying. Label them Bin, Sell/Donate, Relocate and Deal With. This saves you getting distracted by dealing with items that don’t belong in the area you are decluttering. Keep your purge momentum going, and sort your discards for charity, separate them for recycling or take them to get fixed another time.

Take the gap.

Make a list of all the places in your home that need to be decluttered. When you have a gap, choose an area from the list and get going. When you have finished one area, STOP. This list can be as easy or difficult as you like – ranging from drawers or shelves to whole rooms. And can fit into any schedule.

Just in case.

Think about the items that you keep for this reason. Have any of those events come up when you actually needed them? If you can seriously think of times, store them away neatly, but if you can’t bin them quickly. Publications.

Mags, newspapers and books get old quickly, and the info contained in them often gets outdated quickly too. Much of what they contain is easily found on the web.

Go prepared.

Before you go shopping to buy new storage containers, measure the width, height, and depth of your closets and shelves. If the shelves are deep, create two rows with less frequently used items at the back. Ideally you should be able to reach a hand into the opening of the box without much effort.

Trim your wardrobe.

If you’re hanging on to those short shorts or bellbottom pants, ask yourself the three F’s: Does it fit, flatter, and make you feel fabulous? If the answer is no, give it charity.

Set up some folders.

Often papers pile up because we don’t have good places to put them. Create the files you need to deal with bills, paperwork, guarantees, contracts, manuals, school reports and like – and file away regularly. Better still scan and save what you can onto your hard drive. Go through these documents too, once a year, and discard what you no longer need.

Take a shortcut.

While you may love looking at your photos, arranging them in albums is time consuming to say the least. While you are decluttering, pop them all into a waterproof plastic box – use dividers, or envelopes inside that to separate pics by events or dates, and dedicate another time altogether to sorting them into albums.

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