As we finally wave goodbye to the turbulent year that 2020 has proved to be, many people are busy making resolutions for 2021. If you’ve been spending a lot of time indoors over the past 12 months, you’re probably thinking about improving your living space and leading a less wasteful life. There’s nothing like a pandemic to put one’s consumerist habits into perspective, after all.
If you’re hoping to start afresh in 2021, it could be time to declutter your home. As well as making an excellent New Year’s resolution, getting rid of old or unwanted items is likely to improve the atmosphere of your living space and even improve your mental health.
If you’re unsure about how to start decluttering, we’ve listed a few popular methods you may find helpful. What works for one person may not work for another, so try to find a technique that suits your personality and lifestyle.
Use one or all of these methods to declutter your home.
1. The Konmari Method
You’ve probably already heard of this method, but it is worth mentioning here as so many people find it effective. Dreamed up by TV personality Marie Kondo, the simple premise of the technique involves identifying which items in your home spark joy. If you don’t feel an attachment to an item, donate it or throw it out.
Learn more about the Konmarie Method in Marie Kondo’s book, Spark Joy.
2. The Four Box Method
This method suits people who like to get tasks done quickly and efficiently. Start by locating four large boxes or containers and labeling them with the words “relocate”, “trash”, “donate”, and “sell”. Place items in the appropriate box depending on what you wish to do with them.
3. Swedish Death Cleaning
This technique sounds a little morbid, but it was inspired by the power of family bonds and the strength of unconditional love. In short, Swedish Death Cleaning involves imagining whether your family would want to keep certain possessions in the event of your death. If you can’t see them finding a use for the item, get rid of it. Generally speaking, this method is best suited to the over 50s.
To learn more about Swedish Death Cleaning, check out Margareta Magnusson’s book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.
4. The Packing Party Method
Packing Parties are designed to take tricky decisions out of the hands of indecisive people. It involves filling a big box with all the items in the room you want to declutter. Only take items out when you need to use them. After 21 days, you should then decide whether to get rid of the items still in the box. You may be surprised at how many items remain untouched!
5. The 90/90 Method
Ask yourself whether you have used an item in the past 90 days and whether you plan to use in within the next 90 days. If your answer is no, throw it out!
6. The Reverse Hanger Method
This is useful if you want to declutter your wardrobe, and it is very easy. Simply hang all your clothes so that the hooks of the hangers are facing towards you. If you wear an item, turn the hanger inwards. After six months or so, consider donating or throwing out any items that have not been worn.
7. The Capsule Wardrobe Method
Let’s face it – most of us only use a small fraction of our available wardrobe. The capsule wardrobe method involves paring your wardrobe back to somewhere between 30 and 60 items and getting rid of everything else. As well as clearing plenty of space, it will encourage you to get creative with your outfit ensembles!
8. The Five-Minute Method
If you’ve got a hectic schedule, try decluttering for only five minutes a day. Within a month or so you’ll really start to notice the difference!
9. The Helpful Friend Method
Okay, so this method isn’t exactly original, but it’s lots of fun! Ask a friend to come over and help you to declutter. You could end up having lots of fun digging through old photos and your tragic fashion items from the ‘90s!
10. An Item a Day
This method involves giving away a single item a day for a year. It will probably be very easy for the first month or so, but you’ll start to feel challenged once November rolls around.
11. The Photography Method
Take before and after photographs of the rooms you want to declutter. The results will really motivate you to get the whole property sorted, making it a great method for people who struggle to finish projects.