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Decluttering is pretty big right now – there are TV series about it, Facebook groups with thousands of members dedicated to it and many, many Instagram challenges floating around too.The good thing about this trend is that it isn’t going to make you broke – you don’t need to buy a shed load of stuff to do it, in fact it’s the total opposite!So what are the benefits of decluttering and why should you do it?
Not only does physical clutter create a messy living environment it can make your mind feel cluttered too. When you are working on something are you likely to be more productive in a calm and clear space? Or in a room surrounded by mess? I personally can’t focus at all if I’m surrounded by mess and have to clear up before I can make a start on work.
Your home should provide the solution to stress, not be the cause of it; and clutter and chaos causes stress. How many times have you found yourself inconvenienced because you can’t get to an item you need or you end up pulling an entire drawer/cupboard out before getting to the item you want?
Decluttering not only makes your home look tidier but it will positively impact your stress levels too. I wrote a whole post about how organisation affects my mental health which you can read here:My Mental Health and the Impact of Organisation
Following on from the above, if you own less you will always be able to find what you’re looking for. Less clutter makes it easier to keep house tidy because everything has a home and is easily returned there. No more wondering where your car keys are or looking for a pen.
Your newly decluttered spaces will make it easy to see exactly what you have so you won’t have to rummage through hordes of junk.
If you own less, you’ll clean less – it’s as straightforward as that. There will be less moving things and cleaning around/under things. Clear surfaces look neater and take seconds to wipe down. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve saved since I decluttered my kitchen worktops.
Likewise in the bathroom, I decluttered the side of the bath and installed a shower caddy to house only what we are currently using. No more cleaning around 100s of half used bottles of product covered in slime and mildew. The bathroom is easily cleaned in a fraction of the time now.
Decluttering and money go hand in hand. If you need to get your hands on money quickly, you look to your belongings to see what you can sell. I’ve been decluttering our home for over a year now and I still have an unbelievable amount of stuff to sell.
Think you don’t have anything to sell? Trust me, look again. You do. Clear the clutter and get some of the cash back that you wasted in the first place
As we grow older, our tastes and interests change, and our belongings reflect that. Make room for the new by getting rid of the old. It’s pointless hanging onto things just because we loved them and used them a lot once upon a time, if we no longer use them we should let them go and pass them onto someone else to love.
It’s not wasteful to admit that we no longer need something. The item has already served its purpose so we shouldn’t feel compelled to keep it out of a sense of guilt.
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In theory decluttering is easy. Grab 3 boxes/bags and label them Sell, Trash, Donate and start filling them. Piece of cake.
But in reality it’s not so straightforward. Human emotions are complex things and we create attachments to physical things like we do people and so the process becomes more difficult and emotional challenging.
If you feel like you don’t know where to start read this post:How to Declutter – The Questions to ask when Decluttering
Decluttering is an ongoing process and what works well for one person might not for another. Some say you should tackle everything in one go and other say little and often. Find what works best for you.
Here are some posts I’ve written about how I’ve personally tackled specific areas which you might find useful.
How to Organise Toys and my Decluttering Rules
Organise Your Paperwork Once and For All
How to Declutter and Organise Your Wardrobe
Organise and Declutter Your Kitchen Once and For All!
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Depending on the item you might feel that it’s too valuable to just let go of or that you’d like to try to recoup some money.
If that’s the case you might find the following posts useful:
The Best Places To Sell DVDs
The Ultimate Guide To The Best Places To Sell Clothes
A-Z Guide of Clothing Brands That Sell Well on Ebay
Rubbish You Didn’t Know You Could Sell on Ebay
Car Boot Sale Tips
If you’re not sure how to get started with eBay, you can find a tonne of resources on this page
If you’d rather just have the stuff gone from your home than go to the effort of selling, pack it up and put it straight in your car to be donated.
Here are some ideas of where to donate:
Ladies toiletries and clothes to Women’s Refuges
Children toys and books to hospital wards, nurseries and playgroups
Linen and blankets to animal shelters
You can drop food (in date) at supermarket donation stations
Specific charities are happy to receive Bras
Old socks can be sent to Donkey charities
And lots more! If you google ‘where can I donate…’ you’ll get a tonne of hits.
Of course you can also donate directly to charity shops – wherever you’re donating, it’s always best to contact in advance and ensure they’re accepting donations.
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I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about all things money with a little life organisation thrown in for good measure. Join me!