Decluttering is one thing- but preventing the hoard from happening again is a whole other ball game. To stop you falling back into bad habits and accruing things again- here are my tops tips for keeping on top of your home once you’ve had that initial declutter.
Always have a donation bag on the go- I tend to make a trip to the charity shop once a month and it’s amazing what I can accumulate in that time. If you always have a bag on the go- you can put things straight in there you know you won’t use rather than trying to find a place for them.
Clean a room a day- Rather than leaving all your cleaning for your day off- clean a room every day and thoroughly. If you let the rooms in your home get dirty, you take less pride in them which can result in clutter slowly making its way back in.
As you clean- take note of what’s going on behind the scenes- Empty out all the drawers and cupboards that are in the room you’ve decided to tackle that day. If you remove every item and look at it before putting it back, this will help you to sift out the items you no longer use. The more often you look through your things the easier it will be to keep on top of them and the less you will have to take out each time.
Deal with paperwork as it comes through the door- File it, shred it, reply to it or recycle it. Just make sure that it doesn’t form a pile in your office or by your front door.
Keep Inspired- If you know you have a tendency to fall back into old habits- watch you tube videos, read blogs and books around the topic to keep the momentum going. This will reinforce why you made these choices in the first place and help you too see where you can make more changes if necessary.
When you do your ironing/washing- Use it as an opportunity to revaluate your wardrobe. As you put things away, take a good look for anything you haven’t washed or ironed in a few weeks/months- perhaps that piece of clothing is destined for another person.
Make lists of what you have- In your closet, in your freezer and in your cupboards, so you only buy what you need and not on impulse. It’s so easy to re-buy something in the shops only to come home and find you already have 5. If you know what your inventory looks like- you are in more control.
Tidy a room as you leave it- Make your bed in the morning after you wake, line up your pillows on the couch after you’ve watched TV, load the dishwasher after your evening meal. If you spend just a few minutes setting the room back to neutral again, you are much more likely to keep it this way. If you leave things until the weekend or for a few nights- it’s a bigger job and you are less likely to do it.
Keep on top of your laundry- It may not be a permeant hoard- but having a big stack of washing looks untidy and can throw you off course. If you have enough, do it every couple of days so you can ease the burden for yourself and keep your bedroom as a place of sanctuary not a dumping ground.
Most importantly- Fill your time with something wonderful. Now you don’t have to spend as much of your days on cleaning and tidying and mass decluttering sessions- you will probably have some time on your hands. So, spend it well. Read, take up a new hobby, do some volunteering, visit your friends and family more often, do something you’ve never done, take up some exercise- whatever it is- don’t just sit in your tidy home and admire your hard work. Minimalism is about living with less- but living more so make sure you do the last part, or it will have all been for nothing.