Decluttering tip: ‘Do something today that makes tomorrow easier’
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Caroline Major, a professional organiser based in Little Paxton, on about how to get on top of your clutter, and how to stay on top of it.
Household clutter, unfortunately, is something many of us struggle with – drawers of junk, piles of paper, and cupboards crammed full of stuff.
It can also negatively impact our mental health.
“Having bits and pieces lying around can cause stress as it tells the brain that work is never done,” says Caroline Major, of C Major Change, a professional decluttering and organisation service. “This can fill you with anxiety and make you feel overwhelmed.”
Common clutter spots are high traffic areas, such as hallways, bedrooms and the kitchen. While solutions will depend on your individual circumstance, Caroline suggest “editing out” the items you’re not using – your winter coats or an old fondue set - and find practical solutions which are easy to use for the things you do.
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“In every room, every item needs a home. Otherwise, you will dump it anywhere and once one thing is dumped, extra things get dumped too.”
If you’re thinking about giving your place a deep clean but don’t know where to start, Caroline suggests starting with the kitchen or bathroom, as generally, these rooms are unsentimental, and work your way up to culling photographs, children’s clothes or your own. Also, start small.
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“Don’t think you have to do the kitchen in one go,” Caroline says. “Start with a cupboard or a drawer.”
She suggests making a list of the problem areas in that particular room and tackling them one at a time. Alternatively, give yourself a time limit or tell yourself you’re going to discard five red items - for example - a day.
“If you set yourself an achievable task,” says Caroline, “you will feel like you accomplished something and that’s addictive. If you tell yourself you’re going to do the whole kitchen, you’ll get fed up, stop and feel like you haven’t achieved anything.”
When decluttering, you’re bound to find things you think belong in another room. Keep a box handy to put these things in and work out where they belong once you’ve finished clearing the space or your time limit is up.
“It can be distracting when you move things from room to room and you might beat yourself up because you didn’t finish you task,” Caroline says. “Put the things to one side and don’t get distracted.”
Whatever part of your home you want to tackle, Caroline advises using the same approach: Remove items, edit and purge whatever you don’t need by creating four piles - keep, donate, recycle, sell and get rid of - clean the space, and then think about the storage you now need. “You’ve got to know what you want the storage for before you buy it,” Caroline stresses. “Otherwise, you might find it doesn’t work, and you end up with more stuff you won’t use.”
Technology can also help you discard things you don’t need. Electronic bank statements, utilising online menus and scanning documents to store on your computer will reduce the paper in your home.
Once you’ve decluttered your problem areas, you need to maintain the space. This is when making sure everything is in its new home is key.
“If you have clutter and don’t know where to put it, it stays as clutter,” Caroline says. “Ask yourself if you need it, and if you do, you find somewhere suitable for it.”
Lastly, Caroline suggests to “do something today that makes tomorrow easier”.
“Rather than letting it build up and up, that little daily tidy will make things easier.”
Spring Clearing Week is from March 22-28.
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For more on C Major Change go to cmajorchange.co.uk