Want to start your day on a clean, happy note? Then begin by organising your home and adopting decluttering habits.
The word ‘declutter’ means to remove mess from a place. Whether that ‘place’ is psychological or physical, it’s important to rid it of all clutter (mental or material) from time to time. This is a great way to begin the new year. Here, I’ve listed six ways in which you can make your home a more neat and tidy space by adopting this easy-to-do fun, therapeutic practices.
Expert: Shami Goregaoker, Design Director, GA Design
First step: Declutter psychologically
Before you get started on arranging and tidying up your home, it’s important to first clear your thoughts and get focused about the task at hand. In a sense, you need to declutter your mind. You can do that by doing this:
Write things down
This is a great way to visually see what you have to do or what is on your mind. Writing things down and crossing them out is therapeutic and can free the mind of any unwanted clutter.
Meditate or introspect
It’s a great way to take some time out from your day – to introspect and to focus on yourself. Particularly, try guided meditation if you are a busy person, as this will help you switch off.
1. To-do lists
Writing things down can be a good place to start. If you have a few rooms (like the dining room, bedroom, kitchen) you want to tidy up and declutter, put them in the order you are going to tackle them, and break down how you are going to approach the task, so that you can complete it without stressing out and in good time.
2. One in, one out
Start to live by this rule to stay on top of clutter. If you go out and buy anything new, say furniture, come home and get rid of something you don’t use anymore, and I don’t mean just throwing it away – recycle it by giving it to a friend or work colleague, or even try selling it somewhere.
3. Make it fun
People are less likely to do things, or do them well, if they don’t enjoy doing them. I know what some of you may be thinking – how can decluttering my home be fun? The word fun means something different for everyone, so think of things that you enjoy doing and incorporate them into your decluttering tasks, such as listening to your favourite album, watching TV, having someone keep you company while you’re busy doing the task at hand.
Set a goal and a time within which you should finish the task. You can even reward yourself if you complete it well and within the stipulated time.
4. Make it a family activity
Begin gently, with small steps, and then incorporate this into your weekend routine as a family. Instead of jumping straight into bigger rooms and projects, start by clearing smaller messes in the house, such as paper clutter (old newspapers, magazines, documents), empty bottles, large cans, plastic bags. There are several NGOs that buy these items in exchange for cash, which you can donate to the cause of your choice. This way, you are not just decluttering your home, but working towards a good cause as well. What more could you want for a happy and content weekend?
Here’s how you can teach your children how to declutter
5. Recycle, recycle, recycle
Make a list of all the things that are rendered useless, for instance, torn bed sheets, stained pillow cases, empty glass jars and paper printed on one side, and find out ways to re-use or recycle them. Bed sheets and pillow cases can be cut up into squares or rectangles and used as one-time throwaway wipes. Empty glass jars can be reused to store food items, jewellery or other household things. Printed paper that’s blank on one side can be cut up into smaller sizes and stapled together to make a notepad. If all this sounds too boring, look up the internet to stir up your creativity and make decorative stuff.
Learn ways to stylishly repurpose and reuse old items at home
This is of key importance. How you organise is what your home reflects. There is much to be said about sorting things properly, segregating and storing, labelling and so on. Everyone has things in their closets that are lying in heaps or in some sort of disarray. So, organise your space. There are many accessories available out there which can help you store your items neatly – plastic boxes, wicker baskets, quirky jars – you name it. And the best part is, most of these are available online, with accurate descriptions. Organising doesn’t only concern your wardrobe, but other parts of your space too. Organise your kitchen by ensuring that there is a specific place for everything – be it your appliances, snacks or dish towels – so your kitchen counter top looks neat. Make your living room tidy by putting away daily newspapers where they can’t be seen. Rearrange your balcony to keep all your plants along one or two walls instead of scattering them all over the place.