The thing about Christmas is it brings more ‘stuff’ into our homes. That’s not necessarily a negative thing – only the Grinch or Scrooge himself doesn’t love a beautifully decorated Christmas tree or to receive a thoughtful gift from a loved one! But what it does mean is that the house can suddenly start to seem very small. Especially given we’re all spending more time in our own home this Christmas than we would usually.
Obviously Christmas decorations will be coming down in January but you may still find yourself with excess ‘stuff’ to find a new home for. So, here’s some top tips for decluttering your home this new year, so you can start 2021 with a bit more room to breathe!
- Set small daily objectives. Decluttering can easily become overwhelming if you try to tackle everything at once and then you’re more likely to give up. It doesn’t even have to be as big as tackling a full room every day. Write a list and if you just tick off one thing – clearing out one drawer, for example – you’ll feel a sense of achievement which will motivate you to continue.
- One in, one out. It’s quite a simple way to think of things, but particularly at Christmas, and for kids, it can be helpful. For every new toy entering the home, is there one they’ve outgrown which they’d like to pass on to another boy or girl?
- Try and be green. Think about possible reuses for every item you’re disposing of – perhaps you know someone who would appreciate it, or it could be sold/given away on a local selling site? If not, could it be charity shopped?
- Clear out as you go. Whilst clearing up, frustratingly, the mess can get even more overwhelming for a short while! Try and clear out as you go along. Taking a couple of bags to the charity shop at a time is easier than trying to take 15 bin bags full – which the overwhelmed charity shops might struggle to process anyway at the moment.
- Don’t fall prey to ‘just in case’. Sometimes decluttering isn’t easy – it’s sometimes simpler to think you better keep things just in case you need it in the future/lose weight/it comes back into fashion. The likelihood is, if you haven’t used it in a year, you’re unlikely to use it.
- Think about self storage. Self storage can be a great solution for those with extra stuff they legitimately need to keep hold of, but which there’s no room for at home. Particularly with more people converting garages and lofts, storage space at home can be lacking. We have self storage centres across Yorkshire, including Leeds, Harrogate, Wakefield, York and Huddersfield. You can rent a unit of varying sizes to suit your needs.
- Don’t drown in paperwork. It can be easy to shove paperwork, statements and bills in a box to be sorted later – but very quickly that pile can become overwhelming! Set aside some time and go for it. We can even provide a bag for you to save up items for shredding and shred them for you in our professional machines. Much easier than having to do it yourself!
- Ask yourself – is it useful or beautiful? If it’s neither, do you really need it? Also, look at the quantity of items you’re keeping hold of. Mixing bowls are useful but how many are you likely to need at any point? Probably not 10.
- Set aside guilt. It can be easy to keep hold of things just because of sentimental reasons – an old set of china which belonged to a relative (which you don’t really like and never use, so it’s up in the loft in a box), or a jumper you wore on your first date (but would never wear now). But remember you don’t need to keep hold of these things to keep the precious memories. Guilt can see you holding on to things which may have been passed down from someone else – but what will happen to them when your time comes? If the likely answer is they’ll be disposed of, maybe it’s time to speed up the process. Similarly with gifts – you can be grateful for the gift you have been given, whilst not feeling guilty that it’s not something you want to keep. Pass it on to someone who will appreciate it.
- Pretend you’re moving house. If you were hiring a removals company (McCarthy’s of course!), which stuff would you get rid of ahead of moving day?
- Check out the experts. From Marie Kondo to the Minimalist Mom, there are decluttering experts aplenty online with videos and tutorials to help you live a more decluttered life.
Wishing all of our customers, friends and families a wonderful Christmas and New Year – and here’s to a healthy, happy and clutter-free 2021! Stay safe everyone.