1. START SMALL
There's nothing more overwhelming than facing a large room filled with stuff without a game plan of how to declutter it. While it might be tempting to get it over and done with, one of the best decluttering tips is to avoid diving in randomly. Instead, Sue Spencer, a professional declutter at A Life More Organised, suggests starting small. 'Start with a sock, underwear or cutlery drawer – it’s not overwhelming, can test out your method and then you can enjoy the benefits when you get dressed every morning,' she says.
2. HAVE A CLEAR VIEW OF WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE
Talking of game plans, before decluttering your home, sit down and think about why you think it's necessary and what you aim to achieve. 'Before jumping in with the bin bags take some time to have a think about how you want your home to look and feel,' says Sue. 'This is an opportunity to hit pause and consider how you'd like to be living your life going forward.'
3. CATEGORIZE YOUR THROW AWAY ITEMS
Once you're on a roll, it's easy to find yourself throwing items over your shoulder, forming large, disorganized piles in your wake (yes, we've all been there). When you're organizing a room with too much stuff in it, in order to approach the job more methodically it's a good idea to designate certain bags or boxes for your throw-away items.
4. USE THE SIX MONTH RULE TO BE MORE RUTHLESS
There's no denying the fact that getting rid of stuff is hard. We've all been in a situation where we've felt a sentimental attachment to something we don't really need to keep. To help overcome this, Dave suggests trying out what he calls the six-month rule.
5. TRY THE MARIE KONDO METHOD
Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo encourages tidying by category rather than location for more effective decluttering, know as the KonMari Method. 'You start by focusing on your goals (ideal lifestyle) and what you’re aiming to achieve as a result of any decluttering that you do,' says Sue. 'Declutter by category (eg clothes, books, papers), rather than room by room – this is much more effective as you can make confident decisions about what you discard as you’ll know exactly what you have that’s similar.'
According to Sue, it's all about keeping possessions that ‘Spark Joy’ rather than look for items to declutter. The aim is to finish with something we all long for: a home that's filled with things that you love.