Spring is the perfect time of year to give your home an overhaul — clearing out the old and making way for the new!
Today we have Decluttering Queen, Cat Brown of simplifyme, with us to share her expert advice on how to get hands on this Spring and simplify your home and your life.
“A decluttered home is a decluttered mind.”
1. Have a process. Decluttering your home can be overwhelming, especially if you’re working in many rooms at once and getting sidetracked. I encourage people to work room by room and my rule is ‘only handle it once’ so if you pick something up, put it where it belongs or allocate it to a sell, donate or throw away pile. If you keep going back to the same items over and over it will feel like you’re not getting anywhere.
2. Consider the 3-6 months rule. If you haven’t used or thought about an item for 3-6 months, or it’s been stored in the garage for that length of time, ask yourself ‘Do I really need this?’ I find this gets difficult for clients who have inherited items that they feel they can’t get rid of, and in this situation I encourage people to either start using some of those special items or consider passing them on to someone who will appreciate and use them.
3. Walk through your house with a fresh set of eyes or ask a friend to help you for an afternoon to give you a more subjective perspective about your home. It’s incredible what we don’t see in our homes because we look at the same things each day. Even small things like a big stack of boxes in the corner of a room can go unseen when they have been sitting there for months. This mindset will help you make good decisions about what to keep, sell, donate or throw away.
4. Tackle the book pile. If there’s one item I see cluttering homes, it would be books! Similar to inherited items, people find it really hard to give books away. I love books but they need to have a place in your home and like tip 2 says, you should be using them. If you have stacks of books laying in your home or filling your garage, consider donating them — Lifeline generally does a large book fair once a year in each major city.
5. Edit your collection of kids work. You don’t have to keep everything your kids ever created! Pick paintings you really love and find a way to display them in your home. Take photos of their artwork and store on your computer. There are some fantastic art folders around, purchase one and keep your favorites in there, discard the rest or use as wrapping paper. There are so many options!
6. Rearrange furniture or repurpose items. Decluttering your home isn’t just about getting rid of all the extra ‘stuff’, it’s also about looking at the design of your home and interior styling. Ultimately you want to create a more comfortable home with good feng shui. I recommend looking at your furniture layout and moving things around — pull bulky items out. Some items will have a whole new purpose when you put them in a different room.
7. Just make a start. So many people just keep putting this job in the too hard basket and that’s when I get called in. You don’t have to declutter your entire home in one weekend — break the job up into manageable chunks.
Thanks Catherine for your great tips to declutter your home this Spring. If you’ve already put this job in the ‘too hard’ basket and need Catherine to help you, you can visit her website for information about her range of services.