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Declutter your life

There are many great reasons to declutter our lives and homes. They range from cutting down on housework – if you own less stuff there are fewer things to clean and maintain – to the simple desire for a calmer life. One with more time and space for the people and the things that bring you the greatest joy.

During 2014, after feeling continually busy, I decided to move towards a simpler life. To do this I donated over half of my possessions to charity, stopped buying unnecessary stuff and simplified everything that remained. It was a lot of work and even a few tears, but on reflection, it was worth every minute of my time and energy. As a result, my life feels lighter with more space, time and freedom.

My decluttering tips

Today I’m sharing my decluttering tips should you need a little help or motivation. When you’re decluttering, you could work on one room at a time, or you could address your possessions by type, for example, clothes, books and so on. Each area can be done in stages and approached as gently or as drastically as you wish. As with everything in life, it’s wise to go at your own pace to find out what works best for you.

My Decluttering Tips | photo of a calm and tidy living room | natashadenness.co.uk

How to declutter your home..

1. Getting started

Getting started is tough especially when there are so many ways to procrastinate! To ease yourself in, why not set yourself a few small goals – like addressing a cupboard or drawer. When you see and feel the benefits, I’m sure you’ll be motivated to continue.

2. What to remove

The hardest part for me was knowing what to let go of, so came up with two questions: do I use it? and do I love it? With these questions in mind, the decision making was simple, and it helped me to let go of the things I was saving because I thought I might need them one day. You may wish to create your own decluttering rules, ones that align with your lifestyle.

3. Duplicate items

When it came to duplicates I had an abundance of them; two tin openers, three bottle openers, literally hundreds of mugs, unused towels, bedding and so on. I recommend taking a moment to think about what you use and what you can comfortably live without. I decided to consider how many things I use at any given time, and I let go of the excess. The process liberated my cupboards and made everything that remained easier to locate.

4. Out-of-date items

I decided to remove all my out-of-date food and toiletries. This generated more space and it was liberating to let go of the toiletries and make-up I wasn’t using.

5. Unsure items

There were a few things I was unsure about letting go of so I did a little research for reassurance. After Googling ‘decluttering tips’ I found an article that suggested boxing them up to see if you miss them. So, I put the items in a box and six months later I donated them all to charity!

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6. Sentimental items

I scaled down my keepsakes and created one large box for sentimental items. I wouldn’t recommend letting go of your sentimental items, but if they’re taking up too much space and getting in the way, perhaps store them away in boxes.

7. Time

I’d been collecting for most of my life and so the decluttering process took a long time. I also found decluttering quite an emotional task. There was a lot of guilt wrapped up in the things I’d spent money on and never used, and it took a lot of time to physically sort through everything. At times I felt completely overwhelmed by all my stuff – the process has certainly made me think twice before I buy anything new!

8. What to do with it all

Your unloved and unused items can be sold or donated to charity. I sold a few of my collectable items on eBay and Gumtree and I took the remainder to local charity shops. I wanted the clutter out of my life and I didn’t want to spend the next few months or even years listing things on eBay, not to mention queuing at the post office.

9. Have fun

Decluttering shouldn’t be a bore because the results are so positive. To make the task more enjoyable I cranked up the music and took plenty of tea breaks. I also pulled out drawers and boxes and sorted through them while watching films. If you have a lot of stuff, you could even ask your family and friends to help you.

10. The onward journey

What I use now probably won’t be the same in six month’s time and so I’m always evaluating what I have. Getting into the habit of purging my belongings keeps the process simple. I probably take a few items to charity each month and it’s easy to keep on top of things because there’s less to manage.

If you’re about to embark on a declutter I wish you the very best of luck!

Further reading

How to simplify your life
Ten things I gained when I decluttered my home
How to organise your schedule, surroundings and digital life
Ten ways I simplified my life

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a gorgeous day.