How to Declutter Your Home and Stop Hoarding
If you need practical tips on how to declutter, this post is going to walk you through the process, so you can love your home again and live stress-free.
I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten a high as exhilarating as the moment I’ve stepped back from a room that’s been cleared of clutter.
When it comes to how to declutter your home, though, it’s often easier said than done. I find that the process is often an emotional one, with a lot of sentimentality involved and many hard moments where letting go of memories can be tricky to say the least.
The benefits though, are endless. Many people don’t understand the emotional toll a cluttered home can take on you. A sense of entrapment, feeling weighed down and with a lack of hope are all very serious consequences of letting clutter in your home get out of control.
Here are the steps I take when I declutter my home and the home’s of others. So let’s get brave and tackle the areas of your abode that need a good going over. We can do this!
How to Declutter Your Home & Stop Hoarding
Pull Everything Out
Start by focusing on one room at a time, pulling all the items out of cupboards, drawers and boxes and laying them out on the floor. It’s important you pull everything out – even recent purchases – so you can examine the space as a whole. I’d advise starting early in the day and getting help from friends or family if possible. This is likely to be a large job, but you can split it up over a few days if required.
You might even need to utilise the front lawn or another room once you pull all your stuff out, because the best thing to do once you have everything out in front of you is to start creating piles – and you might not have enough space to do this in the room you’re tackling.
Dividing your items out into piles labelled ‘throw out’, ‘keep’ and ‘donate’ is a good place to start. You might, to begin with, have a fourth pile called ‘unsure’, which you can leave until the end of the process when you’ve become stronger regarding letting some of your items go.
What to keep and what to throw Away
Always keep in mind that the more unnecessary pieces you can let go of, the calmer your life is going to feel at the end. It’s definitely a process that gets harder before it gets easier, so work through the emotions you might be feeling and keep the end goal in mind as you sort through your possessions.
The ‘throw out’ and ‘donate’ piles are the easy part. For the pieces you’re unsure about throwing away, ask yourself why you’re holding onto them. And more importantly, when you last used them and why you really want them. If it’s been over six months since you’ve used the item – or even remembered you had it (and you can’t come up with a valid reason to keep it) it’s time to let it go. You might want to take a photo of the item so you can use it later on (more on this below).
Of course, sentimental items are different; drawings from your childhood, mementos that loved ones have passed onto you and other keepsakes from your kids should be kept. It’s just about finding a place to store them so that they don’t take over your space.
Examining your Furniture Pieces
The stuff you’re hiding away in your cupboards or under the bed is one thing, but you also need to take a look at the furniture you have in your home, how you use it and if it’s helping you live better or adding to the clutter.
Ask yourself which pieces of furniture you use and which are more for show or taking up space that could be better utilised. Often we buy armchairs that people never sit in or shelves that hold books that are never read. If you haven’t sat in it or used it in a few months, it’s a pretty safe assumption that it’s no longer required. This rule, of course, applies more to small spaces where every inch needs to be used wisely.
If you have a large home and an armchair looks amazing in a certain spot, I’m not suggesting you throw it out for the sake of it. It’s more about examining the room as a whole and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Shoot me an email if you need some help in this area.
Storing the Pieces you want to keep
I often find that it’s not necessarily that we have too much stuff, it’s that we’re not storing things properly that’s the issue. Or, we’re unsure of how to store them successfully, so they get dumped on tables and buffets or in bottom drawers. And this is often where the feeling of being overwhelmed by mess begins.
Now that unnecessary items and furniture pieces are out of the way, I recommend looking for storage solutions that work best for your home and your needs. Everyone is different in this respect, but consider cabinets that feature glass doors where you can display important keepsakes, and others that are full enclosed to hide more unsightly or everyday items.
Shelves with wicker baskets are a good idea for kids rooms or family spaces, while floating shelves look streamline and sublime with cardboard storage boxes on them (labelling these boxes is a great idea, too).
Creative Ways to Display Keepsakes
If you have a bunch of items you don’t want to throw away and they mean a lot to you, look for creative ways to display these in your home. Box frames are a great idea for 3D items like jewellery and other mementoes. You might even want to frame some photographs or paper items or have them printed onto canvas. A gallery wall in a hall or entryway would be an amazing place to display all your precious gems. You can even buy some stylish hooks and hang hats, scarves and other bulky pieces off of them. The options are endless!
I really hope these how to declutter ideas have helped you to tackle some areas in your home. I truly believe you’ll feel better once you make room in your space and mind for positive vibes to find their way in. Drop me a comment below if you have any suggestions to share with other readers on how to declutter – and Happy cleaning!