How To Declutter Like a Pro

There comes a time when you know you need a blitz on the amount of clutter at home. It’s not just you – everyone suffers from the effects of clutter at some point and needs to do something about it. For lots of us, it’s not the will that’s lacking, it’s the time needed.

We’ve rounded up a few ideas for how to get through decluttering in almost no time, or at least a lot quicker than you might have thought.

Focus on speed, not perfection

The instinct is to take your time and do a proper job. Thing is, it doesn’t necessarily take longer to do a proper job. You can often get a good a result by whipping round as fast as you can. Try these tips if you struggle to get some momentum going.

● Set a timer: Give yourself a short timeframe (e.g., 15 minutes) to tackle a specific area. Aim for speed, not sorting every item perfectly. The trick here is to make sure you have everything you need before you set the time, for instance a bag for rubbish and maybe a box for items you want to move to a different location.

● The “touch it once” rule: Pick up an item, make a decision (keep, store, discard) immediately, and move on. Don’t get bogged down in sentimentality or indecision. Yes, there are going to be a few items that give you pause, but for the majority you know in your heart whether they’re worth hanging onto or not. It’s worth considering self storageoptions for anything you love but don’t use or have room for.

● Blitz in batches: Choose a type of item (e.g., clothes, books, toys, crafts) and declutter all items in that category at once. This creates momentum and prevents you getting sidetracked by other categories.

Divide and Conquer with Containers

When you’re tackling a specific area or category of item, it can be helpful and make the task quicker if you have several boxes to sort things into. Once you’ve finished going through the area, be it a whole room or just your dressing table, you’ll have separate stacks of stuff you can immediately deal with. Here are some ways to set up your boxes, depending on your needs or style. One might suit you better than others:

● Grab-and-go discard piles: Have several labelled boxes or bags for “store,” “rubbish,” and “recycle.” Quickly toss items in their designated container without overthinking.

● Relocation box: Have a box for items that belong elsewhere in the house. Deal with them later, not during your decluttering blitz.

● Seasonal station: Set up a dedicated box or area to gather items that are out of season. You can include all sorts of possessions, such as clothing, sports equipment and kit, hobby items you’re not interested in right now, bulky kitchen appliances you don’t often use, DIY tools that are hard to find room for… the list is practically endless. A local self storage unit is ideal for these items. Get them out of the house and into somewhere secure and handy. 

Extra Pro tips for Efficiency

● Start small: Begin with a manageable area like a drawer or shelf. Success builds confidence and helps you motivate yourself to tackle bigger projects.

● Play upbeat music: Create a fun and energetic atmosphere to keep you moving and prevent boredom. You could create a decluttering playlist that lasts a certain length of time, say a quarter or half an hour, and promise yourself you’ll finish when it finishes.

● Reward yourself: Celebrate your decluttering achievements with a small treat or activity you enjoy.

● Get the family involved: Unless you live alone, there’s no reason other people shouldn’t share in decluttering. Even if you’re the catalyst to get things started, at least try and encourage everyone to help keep the clutter down in the future.

And finally, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task – take it one room, one drawer, one item at a time! Even a short burst of decluttering makes a difference. One final tip that might help is to take photos of items you’re really not sure about so you can look at them later, away from the job, when your head is clearer.

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