Most of us have grand plans to do a huge clean out of their house at some stage, but it’s such an enormous task and it can be difficult to know where to start.
No one wants to spend the whole weekend knee deep in ten-year-old newspapers, but weekends – especially long ones – are the perfect time to tackle some of those de-cluttering tasks you’ve been putting off.
We’ve put together a list of manageable ways to de-clutter your home. Each room has just three tasks for you to complete, so you can work through the whole list or just pick and choose what works for you.
1. Bedside table
Take everything off/out of your bedside table and start with a clean slate. Only put back essential items. The rest can be thrown away or put back where they belong. Get rid of anything unnecessary like unread books and unused beauty products or medications.
Choose five items that you haven’t worn in over a year and donate them to charity and do the same with your shoes. Anything you don’t wear or anything that isn’t comfortable should be given away, sold or thrown out.
Throw away any underwear that has holes in it or is no longer wearable. Pair up all of your socks and put the left overs in a Lost Sock Box so you can match up any strays next time you do your washing. Buy some drawer dividers to keep your clothing compartmentalised and tidy.
1. Cutlery drawer
Empty your cutlery drawers and give your dividers a good wipe. If they’re dishwasher safe put them in with your next load. Get rid of anything that doesn’t belong in the drawer and only put back the essentials. If you don’t use an item for the preparation or consumption of food, it shouldn’t be in your cutlery drawer.
Throw out any old food, expired jars of condiments or vegetables that have seen better days. Empty out your freezer of any questionable items. A good rule of thumb with freezer items is if you can’t remember when you froze it, you should probably throw it away.
3. Miscellaneous items
Plastic containers that have lost their lids, specialty baking pans that you’ve only used once and free merchandise mugs from conferences you went to ten years ago all have to go. Anything that isn’t used regularly in your kitchen has to go.
Throw away any empty bottles of shampoo and ditch anything that you’ve stopped using. Get rid of rusty razors, exfoliating gloves that haven’t been touched in months and any facial cleansing products that may have expired. Give your shower a quick clean and only put back items that you use every day/week. Tip: If you’re not fussy about shampoo pour all the leftovers from random bottles into one bottle to save space and product.
Organise items into catergorised tubs to keep them neat and tidy. Throw away anything that has expired or anything that you don’t use any more.
3. Counter tops
Clear away anything that shouldn’t be on the countertops and keep it as clear as possible. Store your daily items in a labelled tub in your cupboard and when you need the tub take it out of the cupboard, use the items you need, then put the tub away again. This stops the clutter of individual items on bathroom counters.
If you’ve got rusty or mouldy outdoor furniture, ditch it. If you never use it, there’s not point in having it. If you have furniture that you use and would like to keep, give it a good clean.
2. Sports equipment
Get rid of sports balls with punctures in them, equipment from childhood hobbies or any exercise paraphernalia that doesn’t get used. It should all be donated to charity or left on the street on hard rubbish collection day. If you don’t use an item, there’s no point in letting it take up room in your life.
3. Car accessories
Car accessories have a way of multiplying. If you still have manuals, specific cleaning products or parts of cars that you no longer own, they should be thrown away. You need a very basic kit of cleaning products and everything else is unnecessary.
1. Coffee table
Clear your coffee table surface and only put back the essentials like attractive coffee table books and remote controls. Bills, mail, wallets, plates and cups should be cleared away.
2. Book shelves
Get rid of any non-essential books like paperback fictions you’ll never read again. Also be aware of bookshelves becoming dumping grounds and avoid storing items like loose receipts and random sets of keys there.
Unclutter your surfaces – put keys where they belong, put handbags away and make sure all receipts and mail are put where they belong and are not floating around various tables in your lounge room. If you have a designated area for your wallet, keys and daily affects it will make de-clutter your surfaces a lot easier.
Be aware of bookshelves becoming dumping grounds.
1. Ironing/mending pile
If something has been in an ironing/mending pile for more than a year or two it’s safe assume you’re probably not going to wear it again. If the item was that important, you would have put in the effort to make it wearable. Donate these items to charity and free up some cupboard space.
2. Supply cupboard
Clear out your cleaning supplies. Throw away anything that’s leaking, expired or has stopped working in the way it was intended to work. Store all your cleaning items in a designated plastic bucket for easy storage.
3. Pet supplies
If you have a pile of old dog toys, medication and bedding that aren’t being used, ditch them. Same goes with cat specific items and any animal cages you haven’t used in years.