01 Mar 31 Decluttering Tips in Time for Spring
Decluttering the kitchen, living room and bedroom can feel like mammoth tasks. But it’s nearly Spring, so brace yourself and prepare for the biggest declutter ever. We shows you how, with 40 great ideas…
7 Tips for clear outs for your kitchen:
1. Throw out any food past its expiry date.
2. Safely dispose of outdated medicines.
3. Get rid of unused gadgets. Some charity shops are delighted to have electrical items, but do check first.
4. Cut out favourite recipes and store in plastic pockets.
5. Banish plastic bags – reusable bags will save you money and space, and are much greener.
6. Stocktake your freezer – and discard anything that’s been in there for more than three months.
7. Consolidate! Group lightbulbs, batteries and bin bags together so you know where to find them and when to buy more.
The professional touch…
‘My motto is: keep it simple. I like to declutter in a practical and realistic way,’ says Vicky Silverthorn, who organises the lives of busy people through her website.
6 Tips for your living area:
1. Find new homes for books you have finished.
2. If you’ve joined the digital age, do you really need to keep all those CDs and videos?
3. Add extra storage: put up hooks on doors and on the backs of cupboards.
4. Hide away clearly marked storage boxes in cupboards.
5. Create clutter-free zones, such as the dining table, so some surfaces are always clear.
6. Don’t be too hard on yourself – keep an attractive keepsake box for special mementos.
• Keep ornaments to a minimum if you want them to be fully appreciated. A shelf with three lovely ornaments or photo frames is much nicer to look at than 50 of your favourites – not to mention easier to clean.
• Be systematic. Work from room to room, one room at a time. Start, work, complete, stop. That’s the key.
• Charity bag in hand, walk around each room of your home with your new eyes on. I bet you can easily fill a bag. Make it your mission to fill at least one bag during a sweep of your home.
6 Tips for the bedroom:
1. Put out-of-season clothing into storage.
2. If it doesn’t fit or you haven’t worn it in a year, bin it or recycle!
3. Organise jewellery in a compartmentalised box or on a jewellery tree.
4. Invest in some attractive baskets for storage.
5. Divide and conquer with drawer compartments.
6. Think more classics and fewer throwaway clothes.
• Don’t sleep on clutter: keep the space under your bed as organised as possible.
• Underbed storage is great for stashing out-of-season clothes. I keep my holiday clothes in a separate drawer, ready to pack when needed.
2 GHI tips for your paperwork:
1. Make Post-it notes a thing of the past by going digital. Whether it’s a web link, a screen shot, a photo or simply a note to self, use Evernote to store it all in one place. Simply download the app for free from your app store on to your phone, tablet or computer and create an account.
2. Leave files behind and access documents wherever you are with Google Docs – a free word processing app. As documents are stored in Google Drive – a free online storage area – you can access them from any device that has the Google Docs app downloaded on to it. All you need is a Gmail account to get started.
MORE: 6 documents you need to shred right now
• Piles are the enemy… Piles of stuff, that is. Try not to let them get started but if they do develop, grit your teeth and sort them out – 10 minutes and it will be done.
7 Tips for jobs right now:
1. Write down your goals: why do you want to get organised? What do you want to accomplish?
2. Decide where your clutter is going to go. Charity shop? Recycling? Tip?
3. Ask a friend to help – it’s easier to be objective about someone else’s things.
4. Don’t run out to buy organising supplies – this is just another word for more clutter.
5. Take before pictures of each room and work out what needs to be cleared.
6. Switch to paperless post and opt to receive bank statements electronically.
7. Tell yourself, if you don’t love, wear or use it, it’s out.
4 ways to keep up the good work:
1. Schedule a time each day for a routine tidy to your home to clear surfaces and floors.
2. Be wary of January sales – clutter often comes with a reduced price tag.
3. Keep a donation basket handy for unwanted items.
4. Use the weekend to get organised for the week ahead: clear out and stock the fridge, wash bedlinen, plan meals so you’re not buying food daily.
• Use skinny hangers to gain extra space in your wardrobe.