There’s no denying that clutter can make life seem a bit overwhelming. Decluttering can help your home feel a lot more spacious, easier to clean and less stress-inducing.
Looking after other people’s (and businesses’) clutter is what we do! When we first opened our storage centre in Leeds, followed by Harrogate, Wakefield, York and Huddersfield, it didn’t take long for us to start hearing stories from our customers about how we were helping them manage all their ‘stuff’.
Whether you’re storing belongings whilst work takes place at home, whether you’re downsizing or losing a garage/loft, whether you’re looking for business storage or whether you just need some extra space, self storage can help.
Your belongings are kept safe and secure yet can be accessed 24 hours a day. Only you hold the key to your unit, and there’s ample car parking and lifts/trolleys to help you move your items from vehicle to storage unit.
So, if you’re looking to declutter, here’s our top tips:
- Start small. It’s overwhelming to tackle too much at once. Just aim to do one drawer, shelf or rail each day and you’d have a room done in a week or two, whilst barely noticing the time spent.
- Get the whole family involved. This needs to be a household job – after all, unless you live alone, it’s unlikely you created the clutter single-handedly. The one time this may not be true is if you need to get rid of toys – if you think the kids will be unlikely to give up even the things they never play with, it can be better to tackle that on your own!
- Don’t treat a room like a storage unit. It can be easy to have that ‘dumping ground’ of a spare room, dining room, playroom or even just a table or workspace where everything gathers. Resolve to clear it and not let it build up again. If that involves getting an external storage unit, it’s much better than having valuable house space wasted!
- Start by trying to get your surfaces as clear as possible. Can things be put away in drawers or cupboards or hung on hooks? Do you even need them? Clear surfaces will instantly help your home feel less cluttered.
- Don’t duplicate. No one needs 3 different tin openers or 15 vases. Think seriously about how many mixing bowls, pans, bottles of shampoo etc you need, and use up or find new homes for those you no longer need.
- When did you last use it? It’s a kitchen gadget you used once in 20 years. You may need it again in another decade – but is it worth taking up valuable cupboard space when you may not? If you haven’t used it in the last year it’s probably worth getting rid of. The same goes for clothes – when did you last wear it?
- You don’t have to keep things because they were a gift. It can be difficult to give things away that were gifted or handed down. But if you don’t like or need them, give yourself permission to do just that. You’re not obligated to keep anything. It can be easy to connect memories with things, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
- Do you love it or is it useful? Marie Kondo has become famous for encouraging people to have a less cluttered home. Her famous saying is a useful benchmark. Does the item spark joy? Is it useful? If not, it’s time for it to go.
- Set realistic targets. If you find it really hard to let go of things, set yourself a target. Aim to reduce your clutter by 10% – so for every 10 items, one has to go.
- One in, one out. This is a good idea for those who like to shop. For every one thing you bring into the house, something else has to leave. So, if you buy a new t-shirt, donate one you no longer wear.
- Have three boxes on the go. One should be for things to be sold, one for things to be gifted to others and one to be sent to the charity shop. Anything to be binned, get it out of the house asap.
- Don’t forget paperwork. Paperwork can quickly become overwhelming, although it’s better now we’re all going paperless for things like bills. Make piles to be binned, kept or shredded – and remember to shred anything which may contain confidential information which could be used by criminals.
- Dispose of electronic items safely. Just as criminals can use data on paperwork, they can also use data on hard drives, discs and USBs. So, if you’re getting rid of them, make sure they’re completely wiped, or if they’re no longer any good, get them properly destroyed.
- Have a dedicated space for things in your home. Bills that need dealing with, keys – whatever it might be, if everyone knows where it should go as soon as they enter the house, it will make it much easier.
- Don’t buy storage units until after you’ve decluttered. If you do, you will just be tempted to keep more as it’s hidden away! Declutter first, then buy the storage needed for what is left.
- Repair broken items – or let them go. It’s pointless keeping broken things because ‘one day you’ll get it fixed/sew it/get a new part’. If it’s been there a while and you still haven’t done it, be honest with yourself about whether it’s ever going to happen, and whether you even need the item anymore.
- If you’re struggling, involve a trusted friend. Every time you want to keep an item, justify it to your friend. If you can’t convince them, it has to go.
- Think of under-utilised storage spaces you can use in your home. This could be under beds, behind doors, under stairs, under furniture. Make the most of the space you do have.
- Self storage is your best friend. When there just isn’t enough storage space in your home, consider external storage solutions. We can offer reasonably priced and secure storage in Leeds, and other Yorkshire locations.
- Do a 15 minute nightly declutter. Before you go to bed, spend 15 minutes getting the house sorted and putting things away. You’ll be grateful you did it in the morning!
- Consider a temporary separation. Out of sight out of mind, goes the saying. And storage can be very useful for that! Take belongings you’re unsure about to a storage unit. You’ll actually have to go to the trouble of driving to retrieve it. If you don’t need to do that in a couple of months, maybe it’s time to let it go?
Get in touch for more information about our self storage centres near you.