Yeesh, it’s 2016 already! Don’t worry, nobody else was prepared either. Getting your home in order is a great step for a good new year.
Unpacking all the debris that 2015 brought in is a symbolic gesture to usher in the new, so in order to help you shake off the shackles of the old, we’ve collected together a couple of golden rules and timeless tips to get rid of last year’s mess.
1. START WITH STORAGE
The first mistake people make is starting to clean up without having a designated area to put your stuff. You’ll end up with piles of junk ‘tidied’ up from your other piles of junk, with the end result of: junk still everywhere.
Invest in some storage space. Whether this be some boxes, a storage unit, a wardrobe, or just a large bin is up to you. It all depends on your intentions for the end result of what you’re cleaning up, but regardless, you’re going to need some space.
Don’t fall into same trap as the first time artist though. You can buy as much equipment as you like, but it doesn’t matter unless you…
2. BEGIN THE JOB
There’s something near you that’s out of place. Try picking it up, putting it where it belongs, and coming back. Don’t worry, we’ll wait.
Got it? Great. That wasn’t all that difficult.
Sincerely, the hardest part of doing just about anything is getting started, and something like restructuring an entire household requires you to have to think hard about your future planning, and how much of any of your stuff you really need.
Getting that first piece done is a good start. Getting the second piece done is better. Keep at it!
3. DON’T GET SENTIMENTAL
By all means, keep anything that means a lot to you when doing your New Year’s cleaning. If you’re the kind of person who stores a lot of keepsakes, though, think about their exact relevance and meaning to you, and whether they really are all that important…
The piece you wore on the first date with your significant other has a place in your house. A piece of rock that looked kinda cool when you were 16, and you’ve kept around for some unknown reason? Maybe not so much.
If you don’t have something as obvious to throw away as a weird rock, you still have something just as odd. Take a hard look at your stuff; don’t throw a single thing that means anything to you or your loved ones, but maybe look twice and check whether the meaning is really there.
4. DO YOU NEED TWO?
Duplicates of things that aren’t likely to break or bust easily are really quite redundant and simply add clutter to your home. You change a lightbulb every couple of months, but no sane household needs five carrot peelers.
Take the best option for what you need, and either throw out the others or put them in a more permanent storage option for a rainy day. Keep only what you need around you, and you might actually be able to find it for once!
5. DON’T GO CRAZY
This might seem like an odd tip in a hot-to on clutter, but don’t get so worried about your declutterisation that you don’t end up using the space, or leave it in a permanent state of decluttering.
You’re cutting down on the junk in order to save space in your mind and make your household more beautiful and efficient. If you’re now spending all your time stressing about cleaning it all up, you’re no better off than if you were stressing about not being able to sort through it all.
6. TRY IT ON FOR SIZE
One quick tip for sorting through clothes. Try it on, and if it doesn’t fit, chuck it.
It’s extremely easy to get caught up in ‘rainy day’ syndrome, where every piece of junk has a purpose later on that never comes. Put it off long enough, and that coat you never had a reason for might be so moth-eaten, so out of fashion, or so badly fitting that you may as well have thrown it out years ago.
Try your old stuff on for size. This also goes for other stuff; test it out, check that it still works! Just don’t try and wear a blender. Let’s not take this metaphor too far.
7. KEEP IT UP!
Don’t rest on your laurels. Even if it’s a little bit each week, or even if you’re the sort of person who prefers to kick everything into line once a month in a big ol’ grand cleaning, keep at the decluttering process until the clutter is well and truly gone.
Getting into a routine is sometimes just important as the initial cleanliness. It’ll certainly help you have a much smoother time of it by the time 2017 rolls around.