If you’ve never decluttered before then do not fear as this is the definitive guide to having a declutter in a single weekend. You’ll feel absolutely amazing when you introduce simple living into your home. Use these steps today to get you started with living a decluttered world.
According to researchers at UCLA’s Center of Everyday Lives and Families (CELF), there’s a link between high cortisol (a stress hormone) in women who own homes with a “high density of household objects.” Clearing out your clutter is a fantastic way to feel more free than before and lower your stress levels. I personally feel amazing after I’ve had a good clear out.
If this is the first time you are tackling your clutter, your house may get messier before it get’s neater – this is totally normal and happens to everyone. Mess and clutter are not the same thing. Mess is items out of their normal place where as clutter are items you do not need. Clutter is what we will be focusing on in this guide.
4 Steps to Declutter This Weekend
Friday PM – Prepare First
Preparation starts on Friday evening after work and can really set you up for a successful weekend of decluttering. To prepare, I recommend you get some boxes or structured carrier bags. I like to use the latter as I get them anyway when I go shopping and they are easy to carry around your house. But if you have boxes lying around, let’s get them used up too.
Also, grab a pen and some sheets of paper from a notebook. This is so that you can label up the bag or box with what you intend to do with it. You don’t want to be donating your sell pile or vise versa.
Finally, set yourself up with eBay, Facebook Marketplace or your favourite online selling platform. This is so we can sell the clutter with value. eBay is my go-to as I find the app really simple and easy to use.
Saturday AM – Start With The Biggest Items
On the Saturday, I recommend start with any items that are bigger than you such as unused furniture or broken appliances. Take a peek into each room of your house and ask yourself what are the essentials to the room. Fro example, in my bedroom I have my bed, two beside cabinets and a trunk (which I use to store wedding stuff for now but in the future will hold linen). The bedroom used to hold an extra cabinet (that we had no use for) and a dining table with tables folded up (that again, we weren’t likely to use again). Donating, binning and selling those big items first can make each room look tidier already.
Sunday AM – Box Up Room by Room
On the Sunday, after you’ve removed your big items the day before, move on to the medium items and box up what you haven’t used for a year, won’t use again or have absolutely no use for. If you focus on nothing else and have a friend or partner helping you, there’s no reason this can’t be done in a day if you live in a small or medium sized house or flat.
These are the 4 questions you should be asking yourself when considering if something is to be removed from your house. If you can’t answer yes to one of these then consider it clutter.
Do I use this item?
Is this item something I need?
Would I buy this item today?
Does this item bring me joy?
Below are some items to declutter in each area of your house:
Items you haven’t worn in over year (or have ever worn!)
Trends no longer in style
Cheap items such as shoes that make your feet ache
Discoloured or faded clothing
Items that don’t fit you (and you won’t fit in within 12 months)
Old tech such as retro consoles
Media like blu rays, CDs or DVDs
Unused cushions or throws
Stationary, notebooks and pens
Books you won’t read / re-read
Clear up any bits and bobs like earnings and hair bobbles
Underwear you won’t wear again
Take a peek under the bed and see what can be decluttered
Have an organise of your memory box
Frames or artwork you won’t put up
Worn out toothbrushes
Make up / cosmetics nearly empty or no longer used
Single use items (sorry avocado peeler)
Unused or heavily worn pots and pans
Appliances you’ve used less than 5 times in 12 months
Extra items such as more mugs than people you’re likely to entertain at once
Hallways / Entry Rooms
Shoes and wellies
Bills and mail
Decluttering the garden may not be as important as your house so this is optional only if you have the time. Tackling the garden, shed and/or garage may take up a weekend in itself depending on the size and space you have to work with. Personally I have a very small garden with little in it so I can usually include this when I do a sweep of my house.
Sunday PM / Monday AM – Sell, Donate, Bin
Finally, on Sunday night, once you have your bagged up / boxed up items all labeled you need to get them organised to be gone from your house. Take pictures of anything you’re planning to donate that you feel a family member or friend may have use for and offer it to them first. If no-one snaps them up, pop those items in your car ready to take on Monday.
Anything you have to sell, list on eBay – or your marketplace of choice – and set the listing for 7 days so next Sunday you can donate what hasn’t sold (or re-list them) or donate.
Make sure all items to be binned are bagged up and placed in your outdoor bin. If you have a lot of items, spread them out throughout the next few weeks in the bins to not overload the bin men or take it to the local tip if there’s an extraordinary amount.
Then on Monday morning, drop your items off at your charity shop of choice before work or on your lunch break. And that’s it! You’ve spent the weekend having a declutter and you should be amazingly proud of yourself.