We all have too much stuff that we don’t need, like or use anymore. I had cupboards and drawers that wouldn’t close because they had too much forgotten clutter pushed into them – you probably have some of those too! Decluttering ou homes helps us in so many ways: creating a calmer environment; less searching for misplaced items; and a reduction in the amount of cleaning and dusting (which is always welcome!).
Many of us think that the solution to sorting out all our belongings is to buy more storage containers, whereas the answer is we simply have too much stuff!
Getting rid of junk, switching to paperless options for household admin and donating things we don’t need anymore all help us to become greener in our homes.
Set aside an amount of time – say 30 minutes – and set a timer on your phone. Take one room, cupboard or drawer and during that time get rid of the things you no longer use or want to keep. Divide these into groups – one pile of rubbish to be discarded, one pile to be donated to charity/given to friends or family and, if you want to sell some items, then a pile for those too. A good question to ask yourself as you go through your belongings is when was the last time I used this? If it’s more than a year ago, then let it go.
Donate any used, clean bedding and blankets to a local homeless shelter or animal rescue. Throw out single socks or items that have shrunk in the wash, or use them for cleaning rags. Donate clothes to the charity shop or thrift store or arrange a clothes swap party with friends.
Clear out any out-of-date medicines and return them to the pharmacy rather than flushing them down the toilet where they can enter the water supply. Many of us receive beauty gift packs at Christmas that we never use so donate them to charity.
Living Room decluttering
Clear out magazine and newspaper piles for recycling. Cancel subscriptions – most magazines have paperless online versions. Gather CDs and DVDs that you never watch anymore and either sell or donate them. Do the same with any books you won’t read again – many libraries accept donated books if they are in good condition, benefitting your community too. Either give any homewares that you no longer want or have use for to charity, or sell them at a car boot or yard sale. Board games or jigsaws can be donated to playgroups, after-school clubs, the children’s ward at the local hospital or a care home for the elderly.
Living Room decluttering
Clear out that kitchen drawer full of rubbish (everyone has one!). Recycle takeout menus and junk mail. Clear out out-of-date food packets and cleaning supplies that linger at the back of cupboards.
Kitchenware is always popular at car boot and yard sales, so take along pans, casserole dishes and storage containers and they will always be some of the first things to go. Look at how many mugs or plates you have – we are a small family of three, yet we had over twenty mugs! Donate or sell – either way you are passing them on to someone who needs them.