So you’d like to declutter? I think that’s a great idea! I’ve decluttered my own south east London home, which I share with my husband and our three children, and I love it. It creates a sense of calm, and pride. Also, I find it easier to relax in our clutter-free, organised home, as I can do the things I truly enjoy without feeling guilty. Before decluttering our flat, there was usually this nagging voice in the back of my head saying I should really be doing something else such as tidying. Knowing where everything is, makes me feel more in control, in comparison to before when I would get stressed and frustrated when having to search for items. Also, simply not seeing lots of things everywhere has made me feel more in control and less stressed.
Benefits of decluttering
These are a few of the benefits that I’ve personally experienced after I decluttered and organised our home. There are so many more positive side effects to tidying though. Clutter can adversely affect your mental and physical health, and also your relationships. Once you’ve decluttered, you save time, money and the environment. But the benefits of tidying – or as Marie Kondo says ‘the magic of tidying’ – is something I’ll be discussing in more depth in another blog post. Today, I’d like to share with you the first step I recommend taking when you’re about to embark on your decluttering journey.
Visualising is the first step
Before you start going through your items deciding what to keep and what to let go, it is important to think about why you would like to tidy. Think about this deeply. Obviously, you’d like a tidy home, but why do you want a tidy home? What will your tidy home look like? How will you feel once your home is clutter-free? And what will you be doing in your clutter-free home? It might help to think about your day from the moment you get up, till the moment you put your head on your pillow again, or as Stylist says ‘from morning latte to lights out’. What do you do on a typical day, and what could go smoother? In the bathroom, are your cabinets full to bursting with all kinds of bath, shower and beauty products of which you only use a few? When preparing breakfast, do you first need to empty your work tops before you can start? Is it easy to find the ingredients you need, not just for breakfast but also for your other meals? Keep thinking about the rest of your day, and identify where improvements can be made, if you would simply declutter your home. Yes, simply! Decluttering can be hard work at times, but it can also be a very enjoyable experience, and when you follow a method, it is really quite simple.
When thinking about why you would like to tidy, it can also help to find some pictures of homes that you really like, in magazines or online. You don’t need to copy these homes exactly, but it might give you inspiration for the style you’re trying to achieve. Or, just looking at these homes may evoke happy and positive emotions, and in the not-so-distant future you’d like to look at your own home and feel just as happy, if not more so.
Once you’ve done the above – you’ve thought deeply about why you’d like to tidy (and it’s a good idea to write this down!), and you possibly collected some images of dream homes – you have ‘visualised your ideal lifestyle’ in the words of Marie Kondo. Marie Kondo has developed the KonMari Method® and when I help people to declutter their homes, I use this method. Visualising your ideal lifestyle prior to decluttering will help you with your decision making, i.e. what to keep and what to let go, also known as the joy-checking process. It will also help to keep you motivated, because you’ve got an end goal in mind.
Let the adventure begin!
Take this first step, and let your decluttering adventure begin!