Not making time to declutter?

As our lives flash by at the speed of light, it’s so hard to find time to tackle our homes, especially when the muddle has built up a bit. But can we afford not to when we spend 10 minutes everyday looking for things we know we have but can’t find?

A selection of watches

If you’re a member of my facebook group I want to be OrganisedWell you’ll know that I asked what my followers would like to see in my next blog and not making time to declutter was top of the list!

As our lives flash by at the speed of light, it’s so hard to find time to tackle our homes, especially when the muddle has built up a bit. We expect to fit so much in! We need to work, care for family, maybe care for pets, keep up with housework, the garden and DIY, ferry children to clubs and social commitments, want to spend quality time with loved ones, keep in contact with friends, have our own hobbies (if we are lucky!), maybe want to keep fit and more! There’s a lot of pressure.

People say to me that they don’t have time to tackle their clutter and I understand, it can feel like that. But actually we are making a choice, anything can be a priority if we make it so. What we have to decide is whether having a less cluttered home is a priority.

Decluttering can benefit us by:

  • making more space to play or work and creating a calmer environment
  • saving us money on replacing items we already have but can’t find (and possibly earning money selling some items)
  • removing the visual clutter and mental ‘noise’
  • enabling us to relax and not feel guilty about the state of a room
  • making it easier to see and find what we need, when we need it

A recent study by esure home insurance found that we spend 10 minutes everyday looking for the things we know we have but can’t find. This is time we could be reading, having breakfast with family or getting a job done around the house!

a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days is spent searching for stuff, over our lifetimes.

These ideas could make things easier:

  1. Have a declutter as you go mindset and try to simplify at every opportunity; use the 1 in 1 out rule when you buy new items and clothes, if you come across something that you have not used for a long time. Ask yourself whether you expect to use it in the next 6 months and if not set it aside. You could set-up a small bag/box to add things for the charity shop or recycling centre and ensure you take it when it’s full. (I have a bag in the boot of the car and add to this when I come across things we no longer need)
  2. Practice Saturday morning half-hour declutters. Engage the rest of the family, put some fun music on and have a competition – get everyone to rush around putting things back where they should be and removing anything that is no longer needed. You might ask children to rotate any pictures that you have up on the wall, adding new pictures created that week and deciding which pictures are to go into a keepsake box and which are to be recycled
  3. Diarise a day periodically to have a sort out in anticipation of new items entering the house (pre-birthday, Christmas and the start of school are good points in the year). Take the opportunity to remove any old/ill-fitting clothes, toys and books that are no longer played with. The promise of new items can make the removal of old items easier
  4. Allocate a space for everything (it may help to label drawers and containers) and as you leave a room, pick up items that don’t belong there and return them to their place as you move to the next room/upstairs. I have a friend who has a stairs basket that works really well, she adds any bits that need to go upstairs to the basket and takes it up when she goes, and vice versa when coming down
  5. Treat decluttering like any other household activity (like ensuring you have clean clothes and groceries) and schedule it in to your weekly/monthly diary. I love the analogy of rocks in a jar. To ensure that we make time for the activities that need to be done, fit them amongst the important activities so they are not left out. If it’s important to you that you maintain a clutter-free home (get clear in your own mind why it’s important – what do you and your family gain – maybe less time wasting in the mornings, less stress, less expense) then you will ensure that you get to it.

Whether you blast your clutter every 3 months or declutter as-you-go, what’s important is that you find what works for you, enjoy your home and life is a little less stressful!

Would you like help getting organised?

If you need guidance, ideas and practical support to get better organised, see my services or give me a call.

Nottingham, UK

One thought on “Not making time to declutter?”

  1. True Joan, using reviews can minimise purchases that don’t meet your expectations and you can avoid bringing items into your home that quickly become useless.

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