Self Storage for Everyone

How to (Actually) Declutter Your Home: 10 Simple Steps

In this modern day in a world of overconsumption, nearly everyone has excess items in their home. Sometimes this can be hard to manage and we can end up feeling a bit out of control and this can lead to a negative cycle of feelings such as stress and frustration.

In this article we’ll show you how to declutter your home in 10 simple steps to help turn your cluttered house into a space you can feel comfortable in.

Why Is Decluttering Your Home Important?

What is clutter?

Clutter can be defined as any unnecessary possessions you have that don’t add any value to your life, whether that’s functional or brings you joy.

When is clutter a problem?

A small amount of clutter may not seem to have a huge impact on your life, but over time it can cause a cumulative loss of time as items you are looking for get lost within the clutter.

Many people experience feelings of stress when in a cluttered house which becomes a problem as increased periods of stress can lead to other health problems. Other negative feelings people may experience when surrounded by clutter include embarrassment, or after prolonged periods of time in more severe cases depression. 

Clutter can also become a fire hazard if the levels are at a hoarding level and there may even be issues surrounding mould or dust build up which can also cause medical issues including lung conditions. In short, clutter matters! 

Why should you declutter your home?

A decluttered home can help significantly reduce stress levels as it can make people feel as though they have a sense of control over their space and therefore lives. This can create feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Particularly in extreme decluttering cases, it can create a lot of extra space in the house which can be used for other purposes that can bring joy or just make the area feel more spacious.

It’s also a good idea to declutter when you are moving home, particularly if you are downsizing so that your possessions can properly fit in your new home without it feeling cramped.

Finally, decluttering can actually save you money. That’s right, we conducted a study that calculated just how much you could save by decluttering. If you were to put the average amount of lifestyle items (around 7.56m2 or 81.38 sq ft) into storage instead of purchasing a new home to accommodate the same amount of space, the national average was £22,333 in savings.

Step 1 – Create a map of ‘clutter hotspots’

mapping clutter hotspots

Sometimes, the concept of decluttering the entire house can seem a bit daunting, so creating a list or drawing a map of the main ‘clutter hotspots’ can help break the overwhelming task into something more manageable.

Think about the areas that cause you the most stress or frustration and note these as ‘clutter hotspots’.

Step 2 – Grade your hotspots

prioritise clutter hotspots

Step 2 for how to declutter your home is super important. Once you’ve identified the hotspots you want to tackle, give each one a grade on a scale of 1-3 based on how cluttered the area is. Assign the most cluttered areas a grade 3 and the least cluttered grade 1. 

This way, you can prioritise areas depending on how messy they are.

Step 3 – Set a timeline and goals

set a timeline and goals

Whenever you have goals, it’s always good to set a deadline for them. This gives you something to work towards and pushes you to achieve them. By creating completion dates for your decluttering you can add a game-like challenge to it which can help avoid frustration in the process. 

However, make sure the timeline and goals are attainable, otherwise you are at risk of making it more frustrating for yourself.

In your timeline, it’s useful to plan out specific times you will work on certain areas, particularly areas that will take longer so you can complete them in one go.

Step 4 – Visualise how you want your room to look

room without clutter

Visualising what your room will look like when decluttered can help in two ways: 

  1. It can show you where you need to tackle in particular in order to achieve your goals  
  2. it can provide motivation for you to begin decluttering so you can enjoy the space you have visualised.

Step 5 – Start with small tasks

small tasks

Often, we put off decluttering when it feels like a big task that you simply don’t have time for. Now this may be true for some tricker areas such as the garage or messy closet, but there are still small tasks that can be done.

This could be something as simple as a single drawer or corner of a room. By tackling these smaller tasks when you can, it will gradually make a difference and make the rest of the tasks more appealing when you see a change starting to happen and you begin feeling good in your newly decluttered areas.

Step 6 – Create a sorting system

sorting system

Step 6 of how to declutter your home is probably the one that makes you feel like you’ve made the most progress. Setting up a sorting system can make it easier to know what to do with the items you find along the way during your decluttering. Adopting the ‘three-box method’ is a great way to categorise and sort through your items.

  1. ‘Keep’ box – these are items that you use each day that have a designated place where they belong and simply need to be put back in that space.
  2. ‘Get rid of’ box – these are items that no longer serve you and will be removed from your home to make space.
  3. ‘Put in storage’ box – these are items that you don’t use in your daily life but still want to keep. They may have sentimental value or have purposes that don’t require frequent use. However, limit the amount of these based on the storage space you have available.

Step 7 – Identify and address problems

identify and address problems

Often, clutter hotspots are created because there is no set system in place for the items that gather there. Maybe the hallway always seems cluttered with coats and shoes because there is no designated place to put them so they get dumped in the same area. Or letters and keys pile up on a coffee table because there is nowhere else to store them.

The key to solving this, is to first identify why a problem is occurring. What is it that you are missing? It could be something as simple as getting some coat hooks or a bowl to put your keys into as soon as you walk in the door that could solve the issue.

Step 8 – Learn to how to get through the rut

get through the rut

Perfectionism is often what can get in the way of the decluttering process. We can create grand plans about how we want our space to look and it may look far from it at the start, but you don’t need to do it all in one go – not even a room has to be done in one go. Start by spending just 15 minutes sorting one area with the goal that it just has to be better than it was, not necessarily perfect.

When you get into the habit of doing that, then the process can seem a lot easier as you are doing it bit by bit. A bigger change can be made than if you put off starting at all out of fear it won’t be perfect.

Step 9 – Have a car boot sale

decluttering home

Having a car boot sale for the items that you sort into the ‘get rid of box’ can be a great way to not only remove the clutter from your home but to also make some extra money on the side. It creates a double benefit for you.

Step 10 – Donate items to charity

decluttering tips

Alternatively, if you don’t want to sell your items (or any items that you were unable to sell) you can donate to charity. This means your items are going to a new home of someone that could actually get value from that item and you can feel good about helping out a charity who will then profit from the sales of your unwanted items.

Only donate items that are in good enough condition and check the charity’s guidelines for which items they accept.

Our expert bonus tip

We wanted to add a bonus Ready Steady Store expert tip to help you declutter your space (for good this time). It can be easy to throw yourself into decluttering and make your space nice only for it to not last longer than a week.

This is often because other people living in the space aren’t on board with the plan, so our bonus tip is: 

Make sure that everyone else in the house joins in with the decluttering process. 

This then creates more of a habit of decluttering rather than a one off event that causes clutter to build up and the process to repeat itself. Also, if others have joined in, they are more likely to keep it that way so their own hard work isn’t undone.

Final thoughts

Although it can seem overwhelming if you have a large area to declutter, by following these tips for decluttering can help you be free of a cluttered house, boost your mental health and save you money.  

Doing it in this way means hopefully you can make decluttering your home a habit that will last a lifetime.

Of course, decluttering your home with our tips is only part of the challenge. For sentimental items, memories and keepsakes that you don’t have space for in your house, storage units are the ideal solution. At Ready Steady Store, we have storage facilities across the UK including Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Doncaster, Great Yarmouth, Eastleigh, Wokingham & Bournemouth. We offer security and peace of mind for all of our customers with 24-hour CCTV at all of our stores. 

For items that you need, but don’t use often we have a range of units available in many sizes. From small lockers to double garages, all on flexible contracts – we can provide the self storage solution for you.  

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Self Storage for Everyone