As you ring in the new year, you’re probably thinking about making one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions: getting rid of the clutter from the previous year and giving your home a fresh start. To help, here, Lisa Lyons from Plastic Box Shop gives her expert organisation tips to help you detox your home in 2020.
Clutter in the home has been linked to feelings of distress, tension, depression and reduced productivity, according to a study conducted by the University of New Mexico and DePaul University. And, as 2019 brought us the tidying tips of Marie Kondo, you might be wondering how you can declutter your home for 2020 to refresh your mind and boost your mood.
But, while detoxing your home might seem like a daunting task, Lisa shares her top decluttering tips below to help make the whole process easier.
Create a plan of action
The first thing you want to do before any big task is to create a plan of action. Try to figure out which areas of your home you’re going to focus on first, aiming for clutter hotspots, like the living room, kitchen, and bedroom. As these are the areas that you spend the most time in, they can often collect more clutter than other areas of your home, and they’re where you’ll notice the biggest difference when you’ve finished your tidying.
It might help to start with smaller projects first, like clearing out your fridge or bathroom cupboards, to ease yourself in and make the whole process seem less daunting. Then, you can turn to bigger tasks, like clearing out your wardrobe or tackling the living room.
Decide what to keep
While you’re decluttering, you’re going to find some things you’ll want to keep and some you’ll want to throw away. But deciding just what you need to get rid of can be a challenge. The easiest way to do this is by throwing away the items you haven’t used in the last year, as it’s likely you don’t need them. It can also help to have a friend or family member to help you through the process, as they won’t have the same sentimental attachment to things as you do. Other objects, like cosmetics, should be thrown away once they’ve passed their expiration date. And don’t forget to recycle or donate your old items where you can.
For the things you want to keep (or are hesitant to throw away) you can always store them in plastic tubs in the attic, garage or shed. This can free up some space in your main living areas and, if you use clear containers with labels, it can help to organise your storage space, too.
Organise your storage
Once you’ve decided on the items you want to keep, it’s time to store them away neatly. Articles that won’t be used every day can be stored in plastic boxes with lids and placed on a high shelf, in the attic or under your bed. To keep them organised and help you know where everything is, you can use coloured boxes for different categories. For example, you could store linens in one colour and jumpers in another. This way, you always know what’s in each box if you need to retrieve anything at a later date. Alternatively, objects like Christmas decorations can be stored in clear boxes with separate compartments, which means no more searching through cardboard boxes to find what you need.
However, items that will be used quite a lot should be placed within easy reach on lower shelves towards the front, or on countertops in baskets. Try to limit decorations and knick-knacks to three per shelf to avoid things looking too cluttered. Cutlery holders are useful for storing small items like pens and paperclips in your home office, or toothpaste, toothbrushes and creams in the bathroom drawer.
Keep it up over the year
Once you’ve decluttered your home, it can be all too easy to revert back to your old ways, so try to make a conscious effort to keep your home organised. One of the ways you can do this is to put systems in place that can help you declutter next year.
For example, you could turn your coat hangers the opposite way around, only turning them back again once you’ve worn the clothing on it. That way, when you come to declutter your wardrobe next year, you’ll know which items you don’t wear and can be thrown away. Similarly, when you use items from your storage boxes, place them back in towards the front, near the top, or place the whole box in front of the others, so you know which ones you need to keep and which might need to be thrown away.
If your New Year’s resolution is to declutter your home, the tips in this guide will help make the process stress-free and simple.