Tuesday, 3 March 2020

How I Decluttered 21 Years Worth of Junk

It's been a bit of a roller coaster year. We moved into a flat and we have now moved back into my childhood home! Now, long story short, my mom was a little bit of a hoarder and it's now down to me to clear everything out; her old belongings; my toys from throughout my childhood; and a lot of junk that should have been thrown away years ago! A lot of people either have a special draw or room for this sort of crap, but imagine that junk draw... throughout the entire house! It's been difficult to do and has taken a long time, but I have managed to clear the house to a decent level and here are my tips on how to declutter your house.

1. Do it room by room - I think one of the biggest mistakes is trying to declutter the whole house in one. It's always best to focus on one room at a time, else you end up with an even bigger mess and get disheartened thinking you've made little progress. Make sure you do each room thoroughly and don't start another room until you're completely finished.

2. Make sure you have separate piles - There's nothing worse than sorting out all your stuff only to find that when it's all done it has merged back into one pile! Keep your 'charity' pile, 'bin' pile, and 'keep' pile all separate to avoid sorting it out again or getting rid of something you wanted to keep!

3. Tidy up as you go - Following on from the last point, it's always best to tidy up your piles as you go along. When your rubbish pile or bag gets full, stop what you are doing and put it in the bin. When your charity pile gets too high, box it up and dedicate a special place to put the boxes until you get the chance to take them. This way you're not tripping over things whilst trying to tidy up, and you have less to clean up when you're finished.

4. Be brutal - This is the part that really pained me, but in the long run it felt best. It's really difficult to get rid of things that you might have fond memories of, but overall you have to decide whether it is really sentimental or if you just liked it at the time. I had to do this with a lot of old clothes and small bits and bobs that although I used to love, I would never use again.

5. If you're getting nowhere, stop - After sorting out a lot of shit and then finding that you are keeping everything, it's best to stop sorting out your things. You need to be in the right mind set (the brutal mind-set) to be able to declutter productively. I've found that I sometimes wanted to sort out my things but felt sad about getting rid of anything and I knew this wouldn't help me in the long run, so I stopped and waited until it felt right.

6. It's OK to keep a 'maybe' pile - There have been a few things before that I've not been sure about whether I want to keep or not, so I've kept them to one side to see if I pick them back up. If I go back to them and I still want to keep them then I will, but most of the time I find myself throwing them away.

7. Make a memories box - We all have things that we want to keep and that's OK, just make sure they're kept in the same place. I have a toy box from when I was little that I have emptied out and put all of my photos and sentimental things in. It makes sure they're altogether and not cluttering up other parts of the house.

8. Get someone else's perspective - Sometimes it's helpful to have someone with you when sorting things out. They might say 'are you sure you want to keep that?' and it might sway your decision. It's not necessary but sometimes it does help.

All of these tips really helped me clear out my mom's home. There were lots of things that I found difficult to get rid of but I knew that I would feel better when I wasn't so surrounded in things that were sometimes older than me! Now I have a good balance of things that remind me of my childhood and things that are a part of my life now. I've really enjoyed renovating the house and making it mine, even though some of it has taken a lot longer than it should have! I'm so glad we have moved in and when we're fully settled I should hopefully be able to post some details on it.

Have you had to get rid of junk recently? What are your top tips for decluttering? Let me know!

Until next time...


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