There’s nothing like decluttering to turn your home into a calming haven. Sure, it’s not the most enjoyable of tasks, but the sense of satisfaction you get once all those bits and pieces have a place of their own really is unparalleled.
It’s easy for clutter to pile up: we’re all busy, and when you get home from work, it’s tempting to throw your keys, work papers and assorted stationary on that table in the hall, rather than returning everything to its spot.
If you feel like clutter has got the better of you, it’s time for some action. We’ve divided this ultimate decluttering plan into 5 days, so you can tackle the sometimes-overwhelming problem in small chunks. Don’t forget to plan a nice reward for yourself once the hard work is done!
How to declutter your home in 5 days
There’s nothing like decluttering to turn your home into a calming haven. Sure, it’s not the most enjoyable of tasks, but the sense of satisfaction you get once all those bits and pieces have a place of their own really is unparalleled. It’s easy for clutter to pile up: we’re all busy, and when you get home from work, it’s tempting to throw your keys, work papers and assorted stationery on that table in the hall, rather than returning everything to its spot. If you feel like clutter has got the better of you, it’s time for some action. We’ve divided this ultimate decluttering plan into 5 days, so you can tackle the sometimes-overwhelming problem in small chunks. Don’t forget to plan a nice reward for yourself once the hard work is done!
Day 1: Gather your supplies
Let’s keep things simple—on day 1, all you’ll need to do is gather the supplies needed for your decluttering week. Here’s what will come in handy:
-Stickers, labels or post-it notes to mark what goes where
-A notebook to keep track of your progress
-An all-purpose cleaner for newly exposed surfaces
Day 2: Categorise your clutter
It’s time to start categorising your clutter. It’s a good idea to have three different labels: keep, move, and throw away/donate. There are hundreds of decluttering experts out there who have their own way of approaching the problem at hand, and one of the most well known is Marie Kondo.
Her “does this spark joy?” question provides us with a simple-as-123 way of knowing whether or not to keep something. It’s also wise to think about how often you use something. A toothbrush, for example, is (hopefully!) used multiple times a day, so you won’t want it tucked in the back of a drawer. A stapler or hole puncher, on the other hand, aren’t typically needed on a daily basis, so they’re worth stashing away somewhere out of sight.
Day 3: Tackle your clutter room by room
Now, the hard work begins.
Work through your house room by room, cabinet by cabinet and surface by surface (example: in the bathroom you might want to declutter cabinet one, cabinet two and the sink).
It might help you to make a list of each area to tackle, and cross it off once you’re done. If you’re short on time, you don’t have to do everything at once. Take a look at your list, and assign different rooms to different days. You’ll get the job done without even noticing it. If you find that you’re really in the zone, it also feels great to blast through your decluttering all in one go.
Don’t forget those forgotten areas of the house like the coat cupboard (how many broken umbrellas have you got stashed away?) and under the kitchen sink.
Day 4: Come up with smart storage solutions
Here’s one of the golden rules of cluttering: come up with sustainable storage solutions.
Make sure that when you’re tackling a clutter-prone cupboard or surface, you’re not just moving the mess elsewhere. It can be tempting to chase a quick win by moving clutter from a surface to a drawer, but in the long run, you’re just causing more mess for yourself.
Consider collecting similar items in one place: clear a section of your office or living room cupboard for pens, extra notebooks and highlighters. Whenever you find office supply-style clutter lying around in future, you’ll know just where to put it.
It’s also worth having one miscellaneous box or drawer for those bits and pieces that really don’t fit anywhere else.
To ensure your home stays decluttered, keep storage boxes to hand, in different shapes and sizes. A small storage box by the bathroom sink, for example, can collect hair ties and clips, lip balms and hairbrushes.
Day 5: Clean your newly visible surfaces
The toughest part is over. Now that your surfaces are decluttered, it’s time to give them the polish they deserve. Start by running a duster over cabinets and anywhere else that might have gathered dust amongst the mess. Now, spritz some all-purpose cleaner lightly, and give everything a good scrub, making sure to remove any sticky residue. Once they’re dry, decorate with a vase full of seasonal flowers or a candle, and admire your hard work!
Colt & Willow’s decluttering dos and don’ts
Let’s round off with some of our best dos and don’ts for approaching decluttering your home.
Don’t overthink it: there’s no need to decide on the spot whether or not you want to keep something. If in doubt, put it in a drawer and come back to it later.
Do have fun: you’ll feel extremely satisfied once the job is done, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the process, too! Put on some music, and maybe even crack out a dance move or two as you sort through the clutter.
Don’t let overwhelm get to you: dealing with clutter is an ongoing process, because no matter how thorough a job you do, something will always reappear the next day.
Do get the whole family involved: every part of the house can get cluttered, from bathroom cabinets to your kid’s bedroom. Teach them young, and give your children age-appropriate decluttering challenges, like picking toys they no longer use that they could donate to a charity.
Don’t forget to reuse/recycle your clutter: depending on the item, you might be able to donate it or give it a second chance at life in a different form.
Do reward yourself: decluttering is an intense job, so treat yourself to a relaxing night in your newly serene space afterwards.
Happy decluttering :)