Do you look around your house and feel like you don’t have a clue where to start? Do you often start to sort and tidy, then give up because it’s just too much?
This is the right place to be. The answer to your question “where do I start?” is easy… You start at the beginning!
It has probably taken you years to collect all the stuff that you have so even though I am the Domestic Guru, I am not a miracle worker. The process of having a home that you are happy to live in and that is neat, tidy and clutter-free, takes time.
First of all, you need to look at yourself!
- Are you a hoarder?
- Do you collect all sorts of useless things, that just take up space?
- Are you sentimental and do you collect every single painting your kids have ever painted for you? Do you have the entire collection of your kids teeth?
- Are you a “Justin” keeper, as in “Justin case”?
- Are you disorganised?
- Do you lose things constantly?
- Is your paperwork a shamozzle?
- Do pieces of furniture go missing under piles of “stuff”?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I am going to offer you some valuable lessons on decluttering, sorting, organisations and tidiness. These lessons will go against the grain of what you know and what you instinctively do. But any sort of life changing has to start with the problem.
Look around your home now. What would you like it to be like? Don’t dream of show home quality, because that isn’t achievable, unless you and your family all move out.
- Would you like to find things easily?
- Would you like to have tidiness?
- Would you like to have your Mother in law waltz in unannounced, and you not feel the embarrassment of a messy home?
Set some realistic goals. Write down what your dream home would be like. Now you have something to work towards.
Decluttering sounds like such an awful, time consuming and arduous task. But really it’s easy, and I can show you how.
To be successful in decluttering – these basic rules should be followed.
- NEVER pull out what you can’t put back in half an hour.
- NEVER start decluttering more than one place at one time.
- NEVER start decluttering when you are tired, unwell or having a bad day.
- NEVER declutter on your birthday.
So you have noticed that your house is bursting at the seams. It seems constantly messy and you would like to have a nice home minus the clutter. So where to start??
Do you look around your home and the thought of starting to sort out and decluttering just overwhelms you? This can happen and it deters people from making a start with decluttering. The trick is to not look at the clutter as a whole, but as separate areas.
For example, the Tupperware cupboard (mine never stays tidy, plastic ware breeds in my opinion!!) is not the entire house, it’s one small section of the house. Look at just the section you are working on and say to yourself: “This is achievable!”
To declutter successfully you need to work on one small section at a time.
I helped a good friend declutter her home. She had no idea where to start and the very thought of going through everything overwhelmed her. She was a hoarder. She kept everything. Her parents were hoarders as well, so when they passed away, this lady inherited the entire contents of her parents home. So she had 2 households of hoarded stuff.
I got her to start small. A small achievement will motivate you to keep going. So what I suggest is start with the medicine chest, or cupboard (whatever you have).
Take an empty cardboard box in there with you to put all the items that are to be thrown away into. Discard all those old medicines that are passed the use by date. Chuck those antibiotics that you didn’t finish, the cough syrup that is so old, it could be used as BBQ fuel. Put all the scattered bandaids into one plastic container. Wipe down the shelves. Replace everything back into the cabinet tidily. Put medicines together, put first aid things together, put herbal things together… you get the picture. Stand back and admire your work. You just decluttered your first section on the house.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
List your clutter on Freecycle
Find your town/city on the list and join up, list your stuff and people will come and take it off your hands. There is no money involved and it’s relatively inconvenient for you.
Donate old blankets and bedding to animal shelters
If you have an old blanket with a few holes in it, I’m sure the animal shelter would be glad to take it to keep one or two of their animals warm.
Donate all other unwanted goods to local second hand shops, charities etc There are many needy people out there that may be greatful for what you have to offer them.
If it’s too good to give away then sell it online
Sign up for an account and list away. Slightly inconvenient based on the fact that you have to work out postage costs and post the items.
Have a garage sale
Try and sell what you have – but whatever doesn’t sell needs to be gotten rid of, otherwise you will be no better off than what you were before and will still have a house full of clutter.
Check out Facebook for ways to sell
I know South Australia has numerous ways to sell their unwanted goods on Facebook, it’s worth checking out. You list your item with a photograph and sit back and wait for a buyer. No fees like Ebay has, and you usually get cash on delivery.
- Remember that most second hand places don’t take electrical items anymore for safety reasons.
- I don’t think underpriveledged kids will buy McDonald toys from the happy meals, those sorts of things should go in the bin.
- Check out in your yellow pages those big bins that are taken away for you, dump all your unwanted trash and clobber in there. But be quick, neighbours tend to dump THEIR unwanted stuff in there too.
- Can your rubbish be recycled? If so check out Recycling Near You and put your information in to find out what recycling facilities are near you. Try and remember to recycle what you can and do your part in saving our earth.