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With home decluttering sensation Marie Kondo a firm favourite in the eyes of many people, it’s no surprise that homes across Britain and around the world are slightly less junk-filled. Throwing away items thatare no longer required (or, even better, finding new homes for them) is a smart move: not only does it reduce the amount of taken-up space and cleaning jobs such asdusting, but it can also improve your mindset by allowing you to focus on the things in your life and in your home thatreally matter.

How can it be done? Even if you’re not someone who hoards, it’s likely that you’ve got a wide range of possessions. Where should you begin, and what tools do you need? This article will answer these questions and more and help you get started on your journey towards a decluttered home – and a decluttered mind.

Pick a strategy

Before starting, it’s wise to clarify exactly why you’re havingthe clear-out and what you want to get out of it. Do you, for example, want to get to a situation where you have reduced the number of kitchen items to less than half? Do you want to create enough space to store one specific item? By getting your goals clear in your head from the outset, you’ll be less likely to believe that you’ve failed.

Don’t be avoidant

One of the reasons why junk accumulates so easily in people’s homes is because holding a clear-out isn’t ever an urgent priority. Other household jobs such as making sure that there’s food on the table or that the kids have clean clothes for school are, of course, more important. This leads to people becoming avoidant about doing the task!

To get around this, it’s wise to grade all household jobs according to importance and urgency. Serving dinner is urgent and important – while clearing out is not urgent but important. By dealing with urgent and important tasks first and important but not urgent tasks second, you can make sure that you get the value of a clear-out etched into your brain.

Storage lockers

Sometimes, however, a creative solution to the issue of accumulated possessions and items needs to be found. In every home, there’s often at least one item thatcannot be thrown away but thatis very bulky and hogs space. It’s often something thathas financial or sentimental value, such as a family heirloom. Or it’s something that’s only used every so often but is taking space for the rest of the year, such as a Christmas tree.

The rise in self-storage units has been a godsend for people who have one or more items thatfall into the above categories in their possession. Rather than binning an item and regretting it or becoming resentful about how much space it takes up, a third way is possible – and that’s storing it away from your home in a secure location.

Being disciplined

Ultimately, the key to a good declutter is to not let yourself get side-tracked away from your defined strategy. Ensuring that you remain on track is important – otherwise, you could end up making bad decisions or, even worse, no decisions at all, and letting the clutter mount forever more. One way to stay disciplined is to reward yourself. Why not promise yourself that once you’ve cleared all those old books off the shelves and taken them to the charity shop, for example, you buy yourself a beautiful ornament to replace them with – something that, in Marie Kondo’s words, really will “spark joy”?

Doing the clear-out with someone else who lives in the property is also a good move from a discipline point of view. It could mean, for example, that you can spur each other on, and consult each other about key decisions relating to what to bin.

Clearing out a home can be a drag, but it can also be an opportunity to give yourself a bit of a psychological cleanse. By creating space in your home, you can also create space in your mind– and enjoy your place in a much more relaxed manner. Don’t forget to remain disciplined throughout the process, and to think carefully about some out-of-the-box solutions such asstorage lockers or similar: that way, the whole thing will be much easier to do.

Sam Allcock

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