Dreaming of a clutter-free lifestyle and home really is a luxury problem, really.
Let’s be honest: we have too much stuff. Even the minimalists among us amass more and more things over time. Often we hang on to them until it is just ‘too much stuff’. But before you hire a professional organizer, here are a few things that you can do on your own.
Usually, the task of decluttering is overwhelming if it is tackled as one big project. If you break it down to smaller, more digestible projects, it makes more sense and it is more fun…well if you can let go, that is.
The best way to start living clutter-free and let go of things, items, products, stuff, in general, is to ask yourself honestly: do you really love this? If the answer is not an immediate ‘yes’ or ‘hell, yes’ off it should go.
Start with the multiple versions of the same thing. If you have three mixers, four hair dryers, multiple versions of the same colored sweater consider which ones you use and set the others aside to donate or discard. Similarly, look at gifts you have been given or things that you inherited. Do you use them? If not, off they go on a resell platform on the internet, to the homeless shelter down the street or to the recycling bin, or set them aside for gifting to someone else.
Old towels or linens regularly need to be replaced with new ones. There is no reason to hang on to the old blankets or beach towels. Animal shelters or veterinarian offices are usually very happy to receive them for their ‘clients’.
Books, DVDs, CDs and so on have a way of piling up. Are all of them just the greatest? If not, give them a friendly nod and set them free to libraries, donate them at book fairs or local thrift or second-hand stores. Or if they are of greater value, try selling on an online platform.
Moving on to the kitchen.
If you followed the trends this year, you have already started to declutter your kitchen and came across many unopened, unexpired products that take up a lot of space, but that have a good chance of never being used by you or other persons using the kitchen. However, there are lots of people out there who would love to have them, so be generous and donate to the local food bank, soup kitchen or shelter.
According to Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo, treat your departing things with respect, gratitude and thank them for the time they served you.
Ok, there are things that we need to keep and we don’t want or need to go all minimalist. In this case, serious organizing is in order. To keep horizontal surfaces such as coffee and kitchen tables clutter-free, think about vertical storage e.g. shelves that go all the way up to the ceiling.
Take advantage of hidden storage room such as ottomans in the living room with a removable lid or drawers under the bed, using the under sink space to install a small drawer. Some things are for display. As in the kitchen for convenience, glass-fronted cabinets in the living, bed or bathroom are a great way to show items. They are easily contained in the confines of the cabinet or drawer, stored away from dust, don’t look like they are randomly placed throughout the rooms. Ultimately it is also a good idea to give each item a specific place where it can live. That makes it easier to keep track of it. If all of this is not enough to declutter and organize the space you live in, maybe a professional organizer can help. Another way to shed some light on the problem and take first steps is to sign up for Mari Kondo’s online course.