Many of us are guilty of hoarding a tremendous amount of "stuff" over the years that we simply cannot (or don't want to) get rid of. Knowing how to declutter your home will not only give you an organized space, but is essential for mental health and overall well-being. But if you don’t know where to start, there are three things to declutter right now, according to experts.
These items can easily build up into a cluttered mess without us even realizing. That’s why it’s so important to tackle these key areas straight away, providing you don’t make any of these common decluttering mistakes! In fact, professional organizers recommend 30 minutes a day to declutter a room and make your space less overwhelming.
Once you’ve decluttered, you might need top tips on how to clean every room of your home, to create a spotless, minimalist space. So whether you want to create more space, or moving apartments, these are the three things to declutter right now, according to experts.
Check out 9 things you’re hoarding, which you should throw away right now. Find out what happened when our writer tried the Swedish death cleaning trend for a week.
Even if you have a designated office space, paperwork is one of the top decluttering challenges that can take over a room. This could range from important documents, manuals, and shopping receipts to a pile of old magazines you haven't got around to reading!
While it’s very easy to pile everything on a desk, or shoved into desk drawers, (never to be seen again), it’s more difficult to organize and find exactly what you’re looking for. Plus, you end up taking up precious storage space for paperwork that is old and no longer needed.
“To declutter paperwork, start by gathering all of your paperwork together in one place. Then set up multiple piles for the different categories of paperwork you possess,” suggests Jessica Linighan, professional organizer at Homefulness. “Some examples of categories you may have include junk mail, catalogues, flyers to discard or recycle, important documents to file away for safekeeping, school letters, etc. File away important items and discard or recycle the rest.”
Another thing we don’t do enough of is labelling our things. It may seem time-consuming, but putting labels on storage boxes or our filing systems will save you precious time in the long-run.
In addition, if you’re disposing old paperwork that has your personal details, always shred documents to get rid of them safely. You can buy shredders of different capacity to suit your needs, and ones that can even cut credit cards like this Bonsaii Paper Shredder for Home ($31, Amazon). This is important for security, and keeps you protected from potential identity theft.
2. Cluttered countertops
Kitchen countertops are another hotspot in the home to declutter right now. From a growing cookware collection and recipe books to random gadgets, the kitchen can often become cluttered, turning them into an overwhelming space. What’s more, we often find items dumped in the kitchen that don't belong there.
“Cluttered kitchen surfaces make it difficult to find things, inconvenient to prepare food and, as the kitchen is an area of the home in which many of us spend a lot of time, a constant visual reminder of mess and disorganization,” Linighan agrees. “Start by discarding any rubbish and recycle any unused papers and other recyclables. Then spend some time returning any items that don’t belong on the kitchen countertops to their proper places. Finally wipe down your surfaces and enjoy your newly decluttered kitchen countertops.”
In addition, if you have damaged or chipped dishware or glasses in your cabinets, get rid of them. “Chipped dishes and glassware can be dangerous and should be immediately purged from your kitchen,” states Nikki Boyd, professional organizer and creator of ‘At Home With Nikki. “Extra cooking utensils act as barriers that keep you from accessing the items you need. Try to limit yourself to only the tools that you truly use in your kitchen.”
3. Overcrowded food pantry
When was the last time you cleared out your food pantry? If you can’t remember, you’re not the only one! Typically, the pantry or food cabinets are "out-of-sight" areas that we often forget to declutter.
“Over time, items can build up in the pantry that end up being pushed to the back and not being used,” Linighan states, “such items clutter up the space and can make your pantry overcrowded and difficult to keep organized. First, remove all items from each shelf and then go through checking for expiry dates and empty items; discard or recycle these.”
After you’ve given your pantry a good clean, return the items and categorize and group similar items together such as condiments, grains, cereals and so forth. “Alternatively, create a dedicated space on the shelf for items that need using up soon, so you can plan your meals around using up these ingredients before they expire,” Linighan says.
To help you best organize your pantry, invest in BPA-free food storage containers or organization bins with dividers like these ClearSpace Plastic Pantry Organization ($39, Amazon), for a clutter-free pantry.
If your home is compact, here's how to make a small room look bigger and these are 7 ways to double your kitchen space. Also, if you’re rearranging rooms, check out these 9 Feng Shui bedroom tips to get a better night’s sleep.
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As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features.
Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.
With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!