Can you never find what you need? Do you have trouble parting with anything; holding on to it ‘in case you use it someday’? Is clutter taking over your life? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s time to de-clutter your home and regain your life. It may seem overwhelming at first, but with a little help from de-cluttering expert Peter Walsh, you’ll regain your space, health and happiness.
A home filled with excessive ‘stuff’ that is being saved for ‘someday’ can do more than crowd out your personal space. Clutter can affect you physically (make you feel physically drained), emotionally (heighten your stress levels) and psychologically (decrease your mood). So a thorough tidy up will reinvigorate your entire being. And with the winter chill almost behind us, now is the perfect time for a spring clean.
According to renowned home organisation expert Peter Walsh, by following a few basic principles, even the messiest of homes can leave clutter in the dust.
#1 Be in the Moment
In cleaning, as in life, tasks become much more manageable if you concentrate on one room at a time. Before you even start cleaning your bedroom, kitchen, or whatever room it may be, create a vision for the space. Imagine how you would like it to look, create a step-by-step plan to get there, and visualise your ideal space while you are working. When you’re done, you’ll know there’s no better feeling than a plan being realised.
#2 Get the Kids Involved
While most kids hide when the subject of cleaning comes up, by getting them involved, it’ll be fun for both of you. There’s no better time to teach the old adage “a place for everything and everything in its place” than when your kids are young. By knowing where everything goes, they’ll have more control over their environment, and be set in good organisational habits for life.
#3 Practice the “in-out” rule
Instead of continually buying new items that will ultimately end up at the bottom of the wardrobe, practice the “in-out” rule. Whenever you buy something new, get rid of something old you haven’t used for some time. If it’s no longer in working order, bin it, but if it can be used, donate it to your local charity store. You’ll feel good about giving to others and free up some closet space at the same time.
#4 Make Your Rooms Multitask
According to Walsh, even in a small house, a room can serve more than one purpose. For instance, Walsh and his partner have a guest room/TV room/office. The couch – a pull out sofa that’s ideal for guests – faces a flatscreen TV. And to make the office environment cosier, Walsh removed the closet doors, installed a desk and venetian blinds which conveniently hide the workspace when guests arrive.
#5 De-junk Your Junk Drawer
Rather than haphazardly jammed in a kitchen drawer, place your household necessities (i.e. rubber bands, glue, sticky tape and pens in clear, labelled boxes. These clear containers show you exactly what you have and what needs replacing. In addition, the labels discourage storing miscellaneous items (the way you would with a regular junk drawer).
#6 Establish a Free-Money Box
Inspired by the value of items like unused gift cards and dockets he sees in others’ homes, Walsh corralled his various coupons, gift certificates and vouchers into a brightly coloured box. Storing them all in one place allows Walsh to rifle through the box for relevant money-savers whenever he goes shopping.
By practicing these rules, you’ll be amazed by the utter transformation not only your home, but you as a person, will go through. It’s great to have a space you are comfortable and relaxed in, as that mess becomes a thing of the past.