8 Ways To De-Clutter Your Home For A Better 2019
Are you tired of the messy rooms and floor? Do you think you need to start de-cluttering but not sure how or where to begin? Well, we have something just right for you. Read on to know more.
By Siddiqha Naseem
“Neelam, my three-year-old, has too many toys, playthings and knick-knacks strewn all around the house. At times, I can’t even see the floor. She doesn’t even play with most of them any more; they aren’t her favourite. So, last Sunday, Neelam and I took action and donated her toys to an orphanage close by. I must say, this not only made my little girl happy but also cleared up a lot of space in my house,” says her pleased mother Gitanjali.
We all have a little junk around the house. Alright! Maybe more than a little.
And sometimes this ‘little’ junk can get to you. Did you know that messy homes can make you feel overwhelmed, irritated and anxious? A cluttered space is one of the main reasons for your stress.
This New Year let us welcome new ideas to keep our homes de-cluttered from the start.
Here are some smart and creative ways to go about it:
1. Set timelines and goals
- First things first. Make a list of all the cluttered areas that need clearing, in order of priority. Start with the room or area that needs the least effort and work your way up. With each area covered, you will feel better and more motivated to step up. For instance, if you start with the kitchen, get to work on each of the kitchen cabinets one by one.
- Set the tentative duration required to de-clutter specific rooms and areas. While the bedroom may take hours together, the laundry area may take just a few minutes. So, it is necessary that you set time limits for each area you are de-cluttering. For instance, you could assign two hours to clean out your wardrobe and maybe 30 minutes for your table drawer.
- Mark the dates when you are geared to take on the de-cluttering project. Depending on the set duration for each task, you can manage your time. On weekdays, you can do the tasks that need around an hour, while on weekends or days you are alone, you can take on more – however best it suits you.
2. Think and pick what stays
Among all that hoard of things you or your child possess, there will be those that you simply can’t do without. Pick the items that you will use regularly and keep them safe. These things can be retained and stored neatly in their new spaces – drawers, shelves or containers.
3. Donate cheerfully
Sometimes your children have excess toys, clothes and other accessories that are not used much. Either they have outgrown them, or they have lost interest and moved on to other things. And, to be honest, even our closets are overflowing every day with things we don’t use or need.
But did you know there are lesser-privileged people who would be delighted to have them? Sit down with your child and ask him about those possessions that he no longer plays with or uses. You can then take him along to donate the collected items to an orphanage or a domestic help you know.
This habit will inspire your child to inculcate the habit of giving away. Do the same with the stuff you own and are willing to donate.
4. Give it a makeover
Unwanted things or unwanted possessions accumulate more space than we think they do. We neither use these items because they are of no use to us, nor do we throw them because they are too good to go in the trash.
Sometimes things lying around the house are mostly not used because they need to be repaired or have become old. How about giving them all a makeover?
In such cases, you can upcycle these items and give them a whole new purpose. Things like broken toys can be fixed, plastic bottles can be used to grow plants, copper tins to store trinkets and old t-shirts can be made into bags. Look for more ideas and DIYs online.
5. Remember, sometimes means never
We all have a set of things which we feel we may use ‘sometime’ in the future, and that future never comes. We agree, that to throw out things is a hard decision to make, but it is extremely important to clear out the clutter that you never use. So, throw away all those things that neither you nor anyone else uses.
6. Get creative and manage your clutter
While de-cluttering is an overwhelming process, you can add a little fun to these practices with some creative DIYs. Here is how…
- Jewellery frame:
Upcycle your old photo frame to make a cute jewellery hanger. Remove the glass cover and run horizontal twines across the frame. You and your daughter can hook earrings and other accessories to hang on the twine.
- Big boxes:
Instead of buying storage baskets and boxes, take big old cardboard boxes and repurpose them by sticking sequins and coloured bits of paper all over them, or simply colour and paint them to your heart’s desire. Think ‘out of the box’, decorate them however you please and use them for storage purposes. Label them colourfully to store things like board games, stuffed toys and storybooks. Your kids will enjoy making their very own toy bin!
- Smartphone storage:
Have you noticed that the majority of the clutter you have at home is usually paper-based such as bills, reminders and planners? All these can be easily managed on your phone. With easy-to-use applications on smartphones, the use of paper can be reduced, subsequently decreasing the clutter.
For more creative clutter-free ideas, scour the Internet.
7. Re-gift gifts
Everyone loves receiving gifts. But do you like or use them all? Honestly, with all the crockery you have bought for your new home, what will you do with the dinner sets you received for your house-warming ceremony? So instead of allowing them to pile up in a dusty corner of your house, try re-gifting. If you have an unused gift that is brand new and in good condition, wrap it up prettily and gift it to someone. What you may not like, someone else might, right?
8. Do a little every day
A simple and effective way to keep your house clutter-free is to set aside a little time each day to clean it up. Don’t wait for it to get messier with each passing day and keep piling it up for the weekend. A little bit a day goes a long way in keeping things in order. Clear up the common clutter like toys, letters, newspapers and clothes every single day. Around 20 minutes set aside for this, can save you days of work.
Tips to prevent clutter in the first place
- New in, old out rule:
When you buy new things for your home, make sure you donate something you don’t require to someone who may need it. You can also dispose of things that are not in good condition.
- Rent or borrow:
If you are using something once in a blue moon, you can consider renting it rather than owning a new one. Storybooks and fancy-dress costumes for kids or music video CDs for yourself can be rented rather than bought. This is a great way to save space too!
- Question yourself before a purchase:
A practical idea to save you from buying unnecessary things is asking some very simple questions to yourself.
- Do I really need this?
- Where will I keep it?
If you cannot find answers for these two questions, don’t take it home.
So, go ahead and bookmark this article, because we are pretty sure you will revisit this page every time your home gets messy. And enjoy the feeling of fulfilment and accomplishment, when you see so much of free space with everything in its place.
Nothing quite like a home that is neat and tidy with just the things you need. It uplifts your spirit instantly. So, what are you waiting for? Welcome this New Year with a clutter-free home!
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