Hello and welcome back to our blog! Let’s start 2023 with some decluttering tips!
First of all, happy New Year! We hope you had the chance to enjoy the holidays and spend quality time with your family.
Every new year we try to set ourselves some resolutions to improve our quality of life. Many times, that includes house cleaning, decluttering and organizing.
Decluttering is an important part of cleaning our home. After all, it gets harder to keep our home clean and tidy when we have just too much stuff that we don’t even use or need.
Let’s read some decluttering tips to start the new year!
Set a Time and a Plan
Decluttering is dreaded by many because it is pretty much an activity that takes a lot of time to get done. This is going to be a trial-and-error activity because, many times, we do not estimate accurately the time we are going to need.
First, make a list of all the areas or categories you want to declutter in your home. Decluttering by category is usually more efficient than by area. For example, let’s say you have books in your office, in your living room and in your closet.
If you gather all of them and declutter them at once, you will be able to sort them out faster and build momentum for that type of item in particular (books, in this case). It will be a visual indicator of how many books you actually have in total, and how many of them you wish to get rid of.
Some examples of categories could be “clothes”, “receipts” and “photographs”.
Next, decide how much time you will have available for decluttering and how to use that time within your schedule. Some people prefer doing this every day for 20 minutes, for example. Others prefer dedicating 1 – 2 hours every Saturday.
You could also try 30 – 45 minutes every other day for 4 weeks, for example. This time should be enough to tackle every area or category.
Set a completion date for each category, let’s say two categories per week. By the end of the month you will have probably decluttered your entire home.
Start the Year with a Deep Decluttering
We are just getting started with the second week of the year. This is the perfect opportunity to set the tone for the rest of the month and hopefully the rest of 2023!
If you have not decluttered in a while, this can be physically and emotionally challenging. After all, pretty much all the stuff we have at home was something useful or significant to us at some point in our lives. But at some point, many of those items are going to become more of a problem than a solution.
Research has shown the mental and physical benefits of decluttering. Lower risk of asthma and allergies, and increasing your focus. Other studies show that, after decluttering, people feel better and happier about their home environment.
Just like making your bed first thing in the morning, deep-cleaning and decluttering during this time of the year will set the tone and will help you build the habit for the rest of the year.
Keep Your Workspace Decluttered
In your office and workspace, you probably find two main sources of clutter: old paperwork and then cables and cords everywhere.
First of all, go through all your cords and cables and make sure they are working and that you know where they belong. For example, it is extremely common to see cables for electronics that you don’t even have anymore!
After having all your must-have cords and cables, you can get some cord organizers to place behind or under your desk.
Then, it’s time for your paperwork. With time we gather old receipts, warranties, and other documents that are outdated. They can be easily transformed into a digital version, by taking a picture or scanning it with your smartphone.
While you’re at it, you can find better organization systems to compact your documents, whether that is binders, boards, or even utility carts if you have a lot of stationery and documents that you need to have access to constantly.
Choose One Area of Your Home and Keep It Clutter-Free
If you find it difficult to find the time for decluttering your home, especially if you haven’t done so in a long time. In this case, a quick alternative would be to dedicate at least 5 – 10 minutes to a clutter-free space. This could be a small corner in your living room or your office, with a comfy chair and a small side table or desk.
As we mentioned earlier, a cluttered space can cause stress and make you lose focus. You can dedicate this clutter-free space to relax, meditate, or read a book. This is a space commonly known as a reader’s nook.
If you work remotely, this space should be your office or workspace, to allow you to focus on your work and make fewer errors.
To keep certain areas of your home completely clutter-free and tidy, you can find items like a 3-tier utility cart or a monitor stand riser. This way you can quickly organize and clear out your space.
Declutter Your Virtual Space Too
Nowadays, your virtual space is just as important and demanding as your physical workspace. Between notifications, emails, and thousands of files that you gather over the years, you are going to be overwhelmed and feel that you do not have control over your virtual space.
First of all, make sure you take the time to go through your mailbox. Archive or delete anything that you deem useless. You might want to start with the oldest emails as they are more likely to be not important anymore.
To avoid your email from getting cluttered again, follow the same strategy as for your physical space: either take 5 minutes every day, or 15 – 20 minutes at the end of the week to empty your email inbox.
The same goes for your pictures. Many times we find duplicates or pictures that we do not need anymore. If you don’t keep that under control, you will soon have thousands of pictures in your smartphone.
Don’t Let the Clutter In
Now that your home is completely decluttered, you will notice the benefits right away. But it can be just as tempting to go shopping and replace your closet or your office with more items.
This will undo all your work and will have you spend money unnecessarily.
One of the most effective rules to apply is the “one-in-one-out” rule. This means that for every item that goes “in”, you need to get rid of an item first. This way, you will always have roughly the same number of items at home.
A good technique to prevent you from buying unnecessary items is to add items to a cart or a shopping list first. Then, wait for one or two weeks before actually buying them. This will prevent impulsive buying and will make you feel better afterward because you made a conscious purchase.
Deep Clean and Organize Your Home After Decluttering
Now that you have decluttered your entire home, don’t forget to organize and clean thoroughly. This way, you will truly see the improvement from your cluttered, messy home.
For example, let’s say you have decluttered your bookshelves after years of avoiding this task. You will now have shelves full of dust that will need to be vacuumed, cleaned and polished.
Decluttering might empty out a large amount of space in your home, which we have gotten used to see cluttered. This might give the sensation of rooms feeling “empty” and you might feel some anxiety because of it.
Take your time to organize your rooms in a way that you balance out the remaining items and allow them to “breathe” and have their own space. After decluttering, you might want to get some plants or décor items to help with this balance.
The same goes for cleaning. Ironically, having more items might help cover the fact that your floors, walls and other “set” surfaces are dirty or stained. It will be all worth it at the end if you take the time to restore them and bring them back to life.
We hope these tips give you the final push for decluttering to start the new year. Your home will always look and feel better after you have carefully chosen the items that will continue to be a part of you and your family for a new year.
Check our blog to get some organizing and cleaning tips, which will surely come in handy after you’ve finished decluttering.
As always, don’t forget to check our cleaning service in the Memphis area. After all, decluttering will probably reveal some nooks and crannies in your home that haven’t been cleaned for ages! You might need a professional deep cleaning for your home.
We hope to continue giving tons of cleaning tips and tricks this year. Stay tuned!