New Year's Resolutions are a noble idea, but goodness, some of them require a lot of work! If you’ve resolved to lose weight, get fit, learn a language or something of that kind, you’re looking at months of hard work and dedication. A much quicker, more achievable and ultimately uplifting and generally great way to start 2024 is to resolve to declutter your home!
Here are our top 4 decluttering tips
for creating a productive, comfortable home to enjoy throughout 2024 and beyond.
1. Get organised and plan
Identify which parts of your home need to be decluttered. There may be a room that you feel you’re not using properly because it’s full of clutter - perhaps your spare room has become a bit of a junk room, and you avoid having people stay because it would require a Herculean effort to clear a path to the bed. Maybe your bathroom is full of bottles with an inch of product in each, and although your wardrobes are fit to bursting, you don’t seem to have anything to wear.
Write a list of the jobs that need doing, and gather supplies. You’ll need boxes or bags to store or remove items and some uninterrupted time to work. You can pick up free cardboard boxes
from all sorts of places, and zipped or vacuum bags can be bought very cheaply on the high street or online. Plastic storage boxes are best bought in person rather than online, so you can easily visualise how much you could pack into them.
Then, stock up on snacks and drinks that will keep you going without breaking your clearing mood or mindset - and you’re ready to declutter!
2. Tackle long-term clutter
This sort of clutter is made up of things you’ve held onto for a really long time - things you’ve put away and almost forgotten about. You don’t need them, but you’ve held onto them because of a vague notion that you might need them one day or maybe because of some sentimental attachment to a memory they represent.
This clutter is probably stored somewhere out of sight. It’ll be in your loft, your shed, on top of your wardrobes, under your bed - anywhere out of sight and out of mind.
If it’s out of sight and out of mind, though, why would you need to declutter it? Well, to make room for things you need to keep and to make your home feel lighter and refreshed by having clear space and more room. Keep that goal in mind to keep you motivated!
For instance, you might have some of your children’s old clothes up in your loft or your wedding dress/suit. You might have old books or folders full of school/university work from years gone by. It can be very difficult to go through boxes of items that hold memories and feel able to give them away, sell them or recycle them - be kind to yourself and acknowledge that difficulty, but be as firm as you can be and think of how good your home will feel when it’s decluttered. Freeing yourself from the past can be quite therapeutic, and there are ways to preserve your memories without hanging onto physical items.
Rather than leave old books and paperwork gathering dust and at risk of pest infestation, for instance, you could digitise anything you really want to keep by taking photos or scanning them. To retain the texture of favourite items of clothing, you could have your children’s old babygrows turned into a patchwork quilt or a ‘memory bear’ that will be of far more use than a bag in the loft!
Sell, gift, donate or recycle anything you don’t need to keep. This might be difficult! If you’re undecided about whether to keep some items, it might be that you’ve become fatigued and overwhelmed by decluttering
. The urge to hang onto belongings gets stronger, not weaker, as you go through your stuff, and eventually, you may reach a point when you feel like you can’t get rid of any more belongings.
If that happens, don’t leave those items where they are - you’ll just forget about them again. Instead, give yourself a ‘cooling-off’ period of a week or two. Pop those items into boxes and rent a storage unit for a fortnight. At the end of your rental period, go back through your boxes and decide whether you really want to keep them or if you can let them go.
If you have items of spare furniture or bedding that you think you’ll need in the next year (e.g. if you have an older child who is leaving home or you’re planning to buy a larger home), you could pop them into a self storage unit to provide more room at home for things you want to access more frequently.
3. Deal with seasonal belongings
Now that your long-term clutter has been cleared, you’ll have more storage space in your home for the belongings you actually use. Suitcases, Christmas decorations, sports gear, camping equipment - things you don’t use every day but nevertheless need to access easily a few times a year - can be kept in your loft, on top of your wardrobes, under your bed, wherever there is now space available.
If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to get fit or spend more quality time with your family, it’s important that you can access your sports gear and camping equipment quickly and easily. If it’s stored in your loft, you’re less likely to be motivated enough to go and retrieve it! Storage should be accessible, clean, and dry.
If you prefer, those seasonal belongings (and out-of-season clothing and bedding) can be stored safely in a self storage unit until you need them. This will give your home a lovely feeling of being free from clutter, and you don’t have to worry about your belongings getting dusty, chewed by pests or covered with spiders!
Our stores are accessible 7 days a week and are located close to major roads and public transport networks, so you’re sure to find a store that’s convenient for you. Our units are indoors and covered by CCTV, pest and fire safety measures, so your stuff will be safe and sound until you next need it.
4. Deal with everyday clutter
This is the clutter that you don’t have any particular attachment to and that just seems to accumulate over time. Clothes you’ve grown out of / no longer like / have holes in, nearly-empty bottles of hair products or makeup, items of stationery, old tins/packets of food or herbs - all these things tend to build up without us really noticing until there is no room to store anything new.
Old clothes can be recycled, donated to charity (if they’re clean and in good condition) or sold. Go through your wardrobes and use your boxes or bags to sort them into piles for the charity shop, recycling centre or to photograph and list online. Ensure anything out of season (bulky jumpers in summer, cotton dresses in winter) is put into vacuum bags to be shrunk and stored safely until needed. Everything you decide to keep can be hung up or rolled and stored in your drawers without being squashed!
Your shoes can be given the same treatment as your clothes. In the bathroom, put new bottles away and be very strict about ensuring that all the old stuff is used up before a new bottle is opened! In the kitchen, go through all your tins and packets and recycle anything out of date (pots and glass bottles can be recycled, as can tins when you’ve emptied and cleaned them).
You’ve made it! Your home will feel so much larger, and you’ll be able to find everything you need when you need it without having to trawl through lots of other belongings. Your spare room will be fit for someone to actually sleep in, and you’ll be able to put your laundry away without having to force a space on the hanging rail!
If you decide that a self storage locker or unit
would be useful for your seasonal items or as a holding space while you decide whether you want to keep things long-term, our friendly team can help you find the right unit in the right place at the right price for you, so feel free to get in touch today. Start as you mean to go on, get your home organised and enjoy 2024!