expert decluttering tips

by - June 20, 2015

Moving is one of life's most stressful events. Luckily, I've only had to do it a handful of times in my life and, as I've been in my current place for about seven years, I haven't had to think about it for a while.

But the stress-inducing thought of packing up absolutely everything I own is suddenly back on the radar and every time I look at my full-to-bursting kitchen cupboards my breath shortens and my heart seems to beat a little faster. I am NOT looking forward to packing it all up!

Before I even start the eternal search for packing boxes though, some serious decluttering is in order.

For those who, like me, freeze at the thought of getting rid of some of your stuff, here are some great ways to get started.

Give away one item each day

Colleen Madsen at 365 Less Things gives away one item each day. Over the past several years, she has experienced quite a transformation simply reducing her stuff one day at a time. If you're on a timeline (like I am) try giving away two or three things at a time to family and friend you know will appreciate them.

Try the closet hanger experiment

This definitely isn;t a new idea but definitely one that I'm going to try. To work out which wardrobe pieces to clear out, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After six months, you’ll have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard. This experiment could also be applied to a number of clutter areas in your home (cleaners, toys, linens, tools, hobbies and craft items).

Dream closet space!

Space it out

Uber organised Katrina from super helpful website The Organised Housewife says don’t overwhelm yourself by taking a full afternoon or day dedicated to decluttering. "Thirty minutes a day is all it takes to make a start on decluttering," she says. "Dedicate some time each day purely to decluttering one particular area.  Write down this day and time and stick to it, do not procrastinate."

Take the 12-12-12 challenge

The brainchild of Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist involves finding 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home. He says it's a quick way to organise 36 things in your house. Do it every week to really reduce clutter.

Concentrate on one area at a time

"Start small, try starting with a drawer, wardrobe or a small room like pantry or laundry," says Organised Housewife extraordinaire Katrina.  "But don’t choose the most cluttered room, this would be too overwhelming. Divide your clutter amongst the labeled boxes, when each one is full transfer to a garbage bag.  Place rubbish directly into the bin.  Place charity bags in the garage ready for a trip to the charity store/bin." And don't start on the next area until you've finished.

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