I am one of the many people who have become an advocate of the Marie Kondo method. Honestly it is hard to maintain the folding techniques she uses but I have come away with a few tips on how to be minimal and how to declutter like a pro.
Personally, I love decluttering and love going to my family’s house and try to get them do a big clutter purge. I get a real sense of accomplishment when a lot of needless items are removed and everything is clean and crisp and sparse.
Here are my go-to-tips for decluttering
If you have something and you haven’t used it or worn it in a year. Get rid of it. The chances of you using or wearing it will not increase in the next year.
I understand many people are not comfortable giving away so much of their clothing all at one time for many reasons, you might not want to believe you will never fit into your ‘skinny’ clothes again. Certain pieces may hold special memories etc. My top tip for this is to put everything you haven’t worn or used for a year in a massive suitcase and if you don’t ever have the need to open the case to retrieve an item then you probably don’t need it and should donate.
Don’t go crazy and try to declutter the whole house at once. Do one small area at a time. Decluttering can be time consuming and tiring.
Realistically you only need six pairs of underwear and vests and socks etc. Pick out your top six, and donate the rest. Don’t leave ratty socks and knickers lying around your drawers, its absolutely pointless and just makes drawers look unnecessarily bulky and messy.
For the sake of your mental well-being, throw out any clothes that do not fit you. Don’t ‘wait till you lose the weight’ or hope that one day that particular style will look good on you. It won’t. Just donate them and stop having items that make you feel bad about yourself. If you do lose the weight, celebrate and buy new trendy clothes instead of wearing something from 2015.
Try not to buy needless appliances, my general rule of thumb for kitchen appliances is…if a gadget or machine only has one function then most likely it is useless.eg. electronic can openers etc.
For bathrooms if you have a lot of shampoos and conditioners and skin products etc. It is a good idea to put everything you use regularly on your sink cabinet and all the extras in a cupboard. It can be very frustrating to wash your face and have a shower with a dozen bottles of products all over the place.
Everyone has ‘that drawer’ the one with a million electric cords and broken phone chargers and an old Nokia 3210 battery. Seriously just dump everything. Chances that you’ll need a rusty battery and a broken Allan Key in the near future are next to none.
It is a good idea to store all the manuals and product warranties of all your appliances in a folder. In case something gets broken or you need to call your local representative everything you want for all household appliances will be grouped together.
Don’t be tempted to dump things you don’t want to deal with under the bed or in a big box etc. Attack everything with gusto, it is absolutely amazing the feeling of a house with no unwanted items.
If you children you will probably know what I am talking about when I say there are always tonnes of bits and bobs of broken and unwanted toys lurking in toy drawers. The amputated leg of a Barbie doll. The bent wheel of a toy long gone etc. Just chuck them out.
If you can try to get the children to help. Label boxes with the type of dolls/toys that go in each one. It is also a good habit to try to get them to clean after themselves (So you don’t have to) Next time your three-year-old has a meltdown looking for her particular teddy bear, you will be able to find it much quicker. Tantrum averted.
If there are toys your child has not touched for over a year or incomplete jigsaw puzzles etc. just get rid of it. No point having mindless toys lying around. Deep down you all know your kids play with around 20% of the toys they have, and won’t even notice if those items are gone.
Medicine cabinets can have so many boxes and bottles of expired medicine. Throw them out. If you don’t use a particular type of medicine anymore, many pharmacies in Egypt accept them and donate them to those in need.
The most important thing is maintenance. This can actually be harder than the actual decluttering, especially if you have kids. The best way to go about this is by having a small basket (I use an empty laundry basket). If you are in a room and there is stuff that don’t belong in that room i.e. toys in the kitchen etc. Just chuck it in the basket and that room will be clean. Then put everything in the basket in its proper place. The secret to maintenance is consistency because a few lapsed days can make the whole thing seem daunting and will rest put you off the whole thing which will inevitably lead to a bigger mess in the future.