How to declutter your home and re-organise your life
Having moved house seven times in the last seven years and 21 times throughout my whole life (three moves international) I feel like I know what I am doing and am just hoping this last move, the 21st, will be to a home that I do not move out of for a very long time.
One thing I have learnt is that you need to view the move, not as a stress but as something more than that, quite frankly moving gives you the opportunity to declutter your life and can be so rewarding, of course you don’t need to move house to learn how to declutter, you can do this anytime you like. Let’s dive in.
How decluttering improves your life
When I wrote my course and book on 7 Steps to a Healthier Happier YOU the first chapter and lesson was called CLEAN. It is about the power of decluttering and how it can change your life. It stems back to your ENVIRONMENT which is a key dimension in the WELLNESS WHEEL.
Your environment should feel calm, make you happy, and something I have written about before and most importantly, your home should feel like a safe sanctuary.
If you have a house that is untidy, maybe not as clean as it could be and cluttered with baggage that you have been hauling around for years it does not feel good. It can have the opposite effect. It’s almost like having a ball and chain attached to your ankle.
You know the feeling when you have just tidied, cleaned the whole house, have done all the washing and have fresh bed sheets.
Picture and feel that moment when you peel back the fresh crisp sheets and get a waft of your fabric softener, you feel all cosy in your laundered pj’s and slide into the sheets with your newly washed hair. You can just take a deep breath and melt into heaven.
Having a decluttered home makes life more efficient. Why? You find things quicker; you are not mentally stimulated or distracted by things that don’t matter. Your shoulders feel lighter, and you feel more alive.
On the other hand, you can keep your old bobbly bed sheets from 20 years ago and CD’s that you no longer play and of course that jump suit you love but haven’t worn for 25 years because it doesn’t fit…. I mean you can keep them stored cluttering your cupboards, cluttering the mind every time you open the wardrobe and take out the jumpsuit and then get disappointed as you know it won’t slide over your hips anymore.
So, you slide it back into the cupboard for ‘when you lose the weight, and it will fit again’. The tea set that is kept for best, but you never use, the messy box of photo’s that you keep meaning to organise but instead just drag about.
Ask yourself what items have you got lying around that you have not used in a while. What stuff have you accumulated and can get rid of? No matter if you see yourself as organised or not, there’s always room for improvement.
Your concept on how to declutter your space will rest on how well you approach this task and think about really what you do and don’t need.
A messy home is a messy mind.
How to start decluttering your home
Lucky for you I have created a document that you can download, a checklist if you like, this is a great way of running through each room of the house.
The key is to start one room at a time and ask yourself the following questions:
Do I like it?
Do I use it?
Is it repairable ?
Is it necessary?
Does it serve me in my life right now?
Have I used it in the last year? (ok two years, I’ll be generous)
Does it represent who I am now?
Am I keeping it because I want to or because I think I have to for someone else?
Do I have something similar or the same that is of better quality?
Can I organise this and make it better? (eg photos in to albums that you can actually look at )
It’s all well and good doing the above but what do you do with the clutter? The answer is that you need to make some piles:
Sell; only do this if the payment is worth the time it takes to organise. For example, do you want to spend 10 hours bargaining with people on Facebook marketplace for $20 when you could be earning way more that in your work.
Donate; this can be to friends, family or charity. The good thing is that if you have large indoor furniture items charities will collect for you otherwise you can drop off to your local shops.
Rubbish; Only for anything unrepairable or unusable. You might be surprised at the items you can recycle or provide a second home to.
Keep: I’ve kept this to last on purpose. Really think about whether you need the item and where it brings you joy or not.
How to declutter and recycle
Here are my top tips to find a second life for key items in your home.
1. https://www.salvosstores.com.au I have used the Salvos before but bare in mind they can only sell clean items and they shouldn’t be too worn. If you wouldn’t give to a friend then it may not be good enough to donate. Also, when it comes to furniture they don’t take everything. For example, they couldn’t take my outdoor concrete bar table as it was not something for inside the house.
2. People often have garage sales, or you can find a local Facebook group and share what you to have donate and someone might be able to use.
3. You can sell to secondhand shops.
4. https://www.charitablerecycling.org.au is a great site to visit – they believe in a circular economy so that we can build a more sustainable environment. You can see some great ideas here of where you could donate.
5. Good old gumtree is a place you can also find a buyer. I have successfully sold many an item here. https://www.gumtree.com.au
6. Facebook Marketplace
7. If something is un useable its best to take to your local recycling centre as they sort efficiently into electrical items, soft plastics, hard plastic etc. Don’t be tempted to just thrown in your own garbage bin!
8. Your local council can remove any white goods like fridges and washing machines.
9. This is a great site to fins your local recycling businesses’ https://www.visy.com.au/recycling/household
10. Another reference site is this https://recyclingnearyou.com.au/materials/ It shows you a list of all the different types of things you may want to recycle and what to do with them.
When you have decluttered your home, it is a huge achievement, and you almost feel like a new person ready to face the world and any challenges ahead.
You have more energy, the chi in your home flows better and inside of you. Your shoulders feel lighter, you have a bounce in your step, and you allow room for more of the good energy and things you love to enter into your life.
‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results’ Einstein