Top 5 de-cluttering steps to bring the calm back into your life

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It’s well known that clutter and a disorganised environment increases stress and anxiety levels. Now add in the isolation of lockdown and the stresses of a global pandemic and you’ve got a recipe for personal and inter-personal disaster. Well don’t fret just yet as we have some recommendations to help avoid a meltdown. In this article we’ll explore our top 5 de-cluttering steps to bring the calm back into your life.

1. Have a vision

Before you start tossing things into cardboard boxes, start with a vision of how you want your space to look. Even if you don’t have specifics, imagine the feeling you’d like when spending time in the room once it’s de-cluttered. Grab your favourite home décor mag or start pinning a Pinterest board to get you inspired and visualising your new space.

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2. Start small

If like most of us you’ve spent decades accumulating stuff, getting rid of it can feel like too much to face. But rather than pushing that drawer closed for the hundredth time and ignoring the problem, approach your de-cluttering mission as you would with any other big project: take it one step at a time. Try dedicating an hour or two a day to the task that you’d normally spend scrolling through your phone, or start with a single drawer or shelf in one room.

3. Tackle the space that bothers you the most

Whether it’s your bedside table that’s driving you crazy, the “catch-all” kitchen drawer overflowing with takeaway menus or the garage that’s harboring dusty DIY tools, start with the part of your house that causes you the most anxiety. By facing your biggest problem area first, you’ll feel more satisfied to continue through the rest. Another option is to start with the area that impacts your daily life the most, such as that Tupperware cupboard in your kitchen, or your bathroom vanity.

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4. Don't forget the big stuff

Many people focus on the small items when de-cluttering, such as papers, books, ornaments or toys. But too much furniture in a room – or objects that are too large for it – can also make it seem crowded.

 

Jocasta von Merveldt, owner of interior design company Curtain Drops, advises you think about your room in terms of spatial balance. “Make sure your bedside tables are proportionate to your large king-sized bed, for example,” she says. “And in your lounge, couches and chairs should fit in a way that you can still move around them easily.”

 

If you can’t change your couches, maybe a solution is to swap out your large coffee table for a smaller version, or perhaps take out your multiple chests of drawers and replace them with one sleek bookshelf? Mable are a local furniture company who manufacture modern bookshelves made from Baltic birch plywood, and they can be completely customised to your space. With this one item, you can store everything you need for one room, while making sure the dimensions exactly fit your space so it doesn’t feel overcrowded.

5. De-clutter by category, not room

In her KonMari method, de-cluttering queen Marie Kondo recommends you sort your possessions by category rather than by room. So when it comes to your clothes, for example, create a pile of every single item of clothing you own from every location in the house – whether it’s your wardrobe, your coat rack, or that forgotten storage chest – and then sort from there. The KonMari method specifies five categories for your possessions: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items and sentimental items, which can be notoriously tricky to let go of!

Feel free to get involved and share your de-clutter methods with us in the comments section below. What room grates you the most and why?

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