For many Australians 2020 has been a year to forget. As we get ready to embrace (a hopefully much better) 2021, now is the perfect time to clear the slate by decluttering and organising the home.
Getting organised has a huge number of benefits. Not only does it make life a little easier, but studies show that looking at an organised, clean space brings a sense of calm and clarity.
And with the weather warming up ahead of Christmas, it’s the perfect time to open up the home and clear out unwanted items that have been building up.
Seven steps to decluttering
Step into 2021 with a fresh outlook. Here are seven steps to help make that happen.
1. Start small
Start by picking just one area of the home to concentrate on. Think about which areas are going to be used most often in the next few weeks. It might be the living room or the kitchen – but it also might be an outdoor area used for entertaining and relaxing with family and guests over the festive period.
2. Stay focused on one project at a time
Too many times, a good decluttering and organising job goes off the rails because people get started on too many projects all at the same time. To avoid this, limit the scope of the organising job. For instance, if the space being cleaned up is the kitchen, focus on one particular aspect of the space. What parts of the kitchen are most likely to be used during the holidays? It could be the serving platters, baking supplies, tableware or even cleaning out the pantry.
Focusing on one area at a time is key to a successful decluttering job. Picture: Getty
3. If it’s not used then discard
After choosing an area to focus on, gather every single item that belongs in that category and spread them out. Pick out anything that is ready to be thrown away such as damaged, soiled or broken items as well as anything that is no longer in style or is not loved anymore. Put those items in a box for the local op shop or gift or dispose of them in some other manner.
4. Store loved and used items
Locate items that are well-loved and used regularly. Be disciplined here and make sure these items are actually well loved and handy today. This limited group of treasures are the ones that will be stored within easy reach.
5. Set limits for things used infrequently
The last category is sometimes the hardest to deal with. It includes items that are perfectly fine but are not used regularly or particularly loved. Be a bit ruthless and decide exactly how much storage space is available for this entire category. If there is room for it then keep it – but there’s nothing wrong with leaving some extra room for future growth.
Be ruthless with items that are not well loved or used regularly. Picture: Getty
6. Clear, dust and clean before reloading spaces
Give the area a deep clean before putting anything back. Dirt, dust and even mould can collect in almost all storage areas. Take care of this now while the space is empty. Then start loading things back putting items used most regularly at the front so they can be accessed easily.
7. Dance your happy dance
Marvel at how beautifully organised the area is. Take pictures. Be proud. And then move on to the next project.
Focused and systematic gets the job done
If you limit decluttering to just one category within one space, the job is much more ‘doable’. Finish one job completely and then start on the next. Repeat this process to have Christmas decluttering done in plenty of time for the festivities.