It turns out that mess can go hand-in-hand with stress, with research by The Australia Institute showing four out of ten Australians feel anxious about the clutter in their homes1.
The good news is that four easy steps can declutter your home – and even help you pocket some extra cash along the way.
1. Get organised
First up, find out when your council’s next curbside clean-up day is due. Make a note on the calendar to have any rubbish left on the curb by this date.
Buy some storage containers from your local discount store. Decluttering doesn’t have to mean getting rid of everything but what you decide to hold onto should be stored neatly.
2. Draw up a room chart
The thought of decluttering your whole home in one hit can be overwhelming. Break the job down into bite-sized chunks by aiming to tidy up one room at a time, followed by the garage or backyard shed.
3. Sort the keepers, the sellers, the giveaways and the junk
When you’re tackling individual rooms, sort belongings into one of four categories:
- Items to keep – these go in your storage boxes.
- Things to sell – yes, decluttering can see you make money! Selling site Gumtree estimates we each have $5,400 worth of stuff we don’t want in our homes2
- Items to give to charity stores – be sure it’s all clean and in good condition
- Stuff to take to the tip – load up the car with rubbish or add unwanted and broken things to your curbside collection pile.
If you’re struggling to part with stuff, try asking three simple questions:
- Does it have genuine sentimental value? If yes, keep it.
- Have I used it in the last year? If not, move it on.
- Could someone get better use out of this than me? If so, sell the item or give it away.
4. Make a plan for the future
Decluttering can take time and energy. So it’s worth putting plans in ensure your efforts aren’t wasted.
Aim to make a habit of completing any tasks you start around the home – after all, the laundry isn’t complete until the clean clothes are folded and put away.
Stop and think before buying more stuff. Do you really need it, or are you just reintroducing more clutter to your home?
Could it be time to think bigger?
Of course, clutter isn’t always about having too many things. Sometimes it can be about lack of space.
If you need to upgrade to a bigger place or find funds to complete an extension on your home, call your local Mortgage Choice broker to discover which loan and lender is right for your needs.
You might also be interested in:
1Stuff Happens: Unused things cluttering up our homes, The Australian Institute, 2008 http://www.tai.org.au/sites/defualt/files/WP112_8.pdf
2Second Hand Economy Report, Gumtree, 2017, https://www.gumtree.com.au/second-hand-economy/