DECLUTTER. As undaunting a task as it would be to bring down a mountain! At least mentally as taxing as that, and which compels a houseowner to delay /procrastinate the declutter process. However, one can start by putting blinkers on and only look at one designated spot at a time, that is to be tidied. Spend a few minutes visualising a room that would appear uncluttered. Once figured out what is essential, its easy then to recycle, donate or discard the rest. .
JThe best way to tackle this is in stages—focus on one spot and forget the rest, and the task would appear less exhausting. Don’t set time frames. One success will lead to another. Take 5 minutes the first day and don’t do more. Then take another five tomorrow and so on so forth. Before long, an entire house will be done. Keep music going for easy listening on. Make it a fun activity. This will also build confidence as success is experienced
It is about 5 small useful steps …
Put Away/Recycle/Fix or Mend/Trash/Donate
Keep handy five baskets or bins labelled thus: You can use bins, baskets, or even just cardboard boxes for this task.
Put Away: is for items that are out of their original places are scattered about as per use. These are items that will go back in their designated spots. With medicine / bathroom cabinets do a quick evaluation of what is to be retained and put them back, with the items frequently used most often in the top drawers. Same with furniture pieces like nightstands, desk, dresser or vanity table in a Bedroom and remove anything on them that doesn’t belong there and place them in the Put Away bin. Items like books already read, broken eyeglasses, pens and paper, and mail – of course clothing that is strewn about. Those that need folding or hanging may be stowed in the into the Put Away bin. Fold and store are the verbs in use. In cupboard and closets, fold or hang and store any clothing in use.
JA place in most homes matter how small it is, is a foyer or entrance way. Decluttering regularly, makes this place more functional and as a result more convenient for homeowners. A console, or side table can be used to place keys, mail, parcels delivered etc, in a way that is visible and easily accessible. Shoe shelves or closets need to be cleared up frequently as these areas get cluttered quite easily- with shoes, boots, jackets and other paraphernalia.
Keeping your kitchen clutter-free can be a challenge since it has many different types of items stored in it. Start the decluttering process category wise – glassware/cutting boards and knives/utensils/cutlery and so on. Same with bottles of ketchup, sauces or condiments that are past their expiry date. Keep away and keep in sight items that are used most often and are likely too anytime. Emptying a shelf or a drawer or counter tops is the best place to start. Followed by one more shelf or drawer the next day. Putting back items where they belong, and neatly is what it would take to declutter. Once a counter top looks free of clutter, this is the look that would be comforting and soothing and then this would become an important incentive to declutter. Importantly, zeroing in on a permanent storage spaces for remote controls, magazines, books, letters and parcels
For the living room, declutter this space regularly since it is most used space with a variety of items in it. Take care especially of bookcases, console, and side tables. Clear the coffee table and entertainment centre and all that is strewn around it. Set up permanent storage spaces for frequent-use items like remote controls, magazines, and books.Put Away these commonly used items to their proper places. Remove electronic items that are not connected to your television or home theatre system. If not is use, like chargers, gadgets, and gaming equipment store and take only to use. Drop them in the Put Away box.
Toys may be assessed for wear and tear, and then Put Away before proper storage.
Finally examine the Put Away bin and return the contents to their respective places in each of the rooms.
Therefore, in a nutshell, the activities would be:
Put Away: This container is for items that are in use and as required have moved from their original storage spaces. This could mean a coffee cup in the bathroom or a sweatshirt in the kitchen. Or newspapers and mail on the dining table. These are items that will go back in their designated spots.
Recycle: This bin is for items that need to be recycled, such as paper, plastic, or glass. Recycle anything that you no longer use, such as empty tissue boxes, pens that have gone dry, or chargers that no longer work. Toys may be assessed for wear and tear, and then Recycle.
Fix/Mend: Use this container for items that need further tinkering, such as a pair of shoes that you love but which need to be cleaned. Anything that needs to be repaired should go to the tailor or dry cleaner.
Trash: Designate one basket for items that are simply trash. Discard outdated medications, makeup, and skincare products. Outdated and over used items from the shower/tub areas. Pull everything out from below the bathroom sink and declutter the items around there. Toss any garbage or anything you haven’t used in more than six months. Start with your nightstands. Throw out anything that you no longer use, such as empty tissue boxes, pens that have gone dry, or chargers that no longer work. From the Living Room entertainment centre, any electronic item not functional like extra, old wires, connecting audio/video jacks, earphones etc may be discarded and put into the box labelled Trash, without much ado. (However, there is a system of safe disposal of electronic items that prevent any damage to the environment and life. The manufacturer of any of the electronic items will have some information on this on their website for sure.)
Donate: 1. Designate one bin for items that you can donate to a favourite charity or another person to who these items may be useful. Pull out anything that is no longer worn or does not fit, and drop it in the Donation box. Same with old books, toys, school bags etc., that are not used or the kids have outgrown. A good idea to aim these at the Donate box.
Some additional tips that may help in the declutter activity:
• Create a “maybe” box. This is for items one might want it or need it someday. This can be reviewed once a month for its usefulness
• A simple filing system, used and sorted regularly. Either trash when not relevant or keep filed. Keep one section of the filing system as an “action” file, for immediate actioning and decluttering if required.
Basically, to simplify is essential. Above everything else, an uncluttered home is the result of a shared philosophy of simplicity and harmony of all those at home.