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Tips for removing clutter

A new home is a new start, which provides a great opportunity to sort through your household items and remove clutter.

It’s not uncommon to develop some hoarder-like tendencies when you live in a home for an extended period of time. The trick is knowing how to sort between the essentials and disposables.

Here are our top de-cluttering tips.

Set objectives
When tackling clutter, it’s smart to set yourself objectives to guide you.

If your home is particularly bogged down with clutter, looking at the big picture of the task ahead can be daunting. Instead, narrow your vision and approach the job step-by-step.

You may want to complete the project in a day or weekend, or you might prefer to de-clutter over a number of days focusing on one area at a time.

Write yourself up a schedule of when you will tackle each job and put dedicated time aside to achieve these tasks.

Keep your new home in mind
When sorting through the items you currently own, it’s worthwhile having a clear picture of what you envisage for your new home.

Do you have a specific décor and style in mind? If not, do you plan to? Really consider the look and feel of your new abode before sorting through your current home, this will ensure you only bring along items that enhance your vision as oppose to confusing it.

For items that don’t fit the look and feel of your new home, put them up for sale or donate to your local charity.

Sort by the ‘one year’ rule
If you haven’t used, touched or worn the item in question in the last year, there’s a good chance it’s well past its used-by date.

Be honest with yourself. Do you really think you’ll use it again, or is it more likely you’d be weighing up the same dilemma in 12 months?

If the answer is the latter, throw it. If you think there is a chance it might still have use, keep it, but make a note to reassess its value in three months’ time.

This goes for items that are broken too. You may have had every intention of fixing it for the past 12 months, but realistically, if you’ve gone that long without fixing it, it’s not an item that had a huge influence on your everyday life and comfort. Throw it away or give it to someone who would go to the effort of fixing it.

Call in an objective party
This is a great tip if you find yourself getting too emotionally attached to your clutter.

To an objective party, that ratty linen set with the outdated and faded print should have been thrown out years ago. To you, it may have sentimental value because your favourite auntie gave it to you as a housewarming gift 15 years ago.

Bringing in an objective party, like a good friend, who knows you well but isn’t as emotionally connected to the items in your house as you are is a great way to sort through what is and isn’t necessary to keep.

You can establish ground rules. A good rule of thumb is to agree that you must get rid of whatever the objective party tells you to unless you can mount a strong argument for why it has merit in your new home.

Author: Samantha Jones
Communications from REIWA


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