How to Declutter: A Simple, 5-Step Guide

Autumn is not typically a time for decluttering. If anything, you’ve probably started digging out jumpers and scarves! However, for many people, such as students, it can mean the beginning of a new term. If you’re finding yourself busy all of a sudden, then you might also be thinking that it’s time to declutter. Stacey recently wrote a post on organisation, and this is a follow-up: what are the basic rules to follow when decluttering something? We’re not getting too specific because you can apply these five rules to anything! You could use them to declutter a single drawer, your digital desktop, an entire kitchen… we’re keeping it simple. Decluttering is stressful enough without having a whole bunch of complicated rules to follow. Here are 5 simple steps to decluttering, and making sure your newly organised space stays that way!

1- Divide and Conquer
It can be very easy to run out of steam when decluttering, so rather than diving straight in, make a little plan first. List all the things/places you would like to declutter, and label them 1-3 in terms of how much work they are going to be. This all might seem like a faff but it really will help to keep you motivated and organised with your decluttering mission.

2- Set Aside Time
Now that you’ve listed everything you want to tackle, it’s time to give yourself the time to actually do it. If tasks rated 1 are easy, then maybe you’ll only need 20 minutes. However, don’t even think about starting a category 3-rated declutter job unless you have a good few hours to do it! That way, you will never find yourself rushing through your tidying. There is nothing worse than having to leave halfway through pulling everything out of your wardrobe. Been there, done that, agonised over whether or not to throw away the t-shirt.

3- Prepare, First
You’ve got a task, you’ve got time to do it, and now all you need to do, before you get started, is lay out what you’ll need. If we’re talking real-life cluttering, then you’ll need some binbags and boxes to help you separate into things to throw and keep. If it’s a digital detox, make the relevant folders to sort your information into. This will help you to decide what is really important to keep once you get started. It’s much more efficient to anticipate what you want to keep and try and stick to it. It will also prevent you from keeping more than you initially intended.

4- Get Stuck In
Once you’ve done all this prep, you’ll find that the actual decluttering should be fairly breezy! Be methodical and practical, and make sure you finish what you start. It will be far more motivating to tackle a small task and get it finished, than to take on something too big and have to leave mess overnight.

5- Everything In Its Place (Or It Goes!)
Your decluttering isn’t complete until you have repacked the space with the remaining items, and every single one has a spot. If you still have too much, then reflect on it. Do you really need everything you thought you wanted to keep? Can you find a space for it elsewhere? Bear in mind that you are decluttering, not simply moving things around. The less things you have, the less distracted you will be, and the easier it will be to stay organised. We hope this post has been helpful and it inspires you to get decluttering! What are your best tips for keeping things tidy and organised?

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This guest post was brought to you by Storage Vault, a Glasgow-based self storage provider. Check out our blog for more top tips on organising and storing your things.