The idea of decluttering can be overwhelming but gets easier the more one does it. The clutter may have built up over many years without one realising it's happening. After successfully decluttering it is just as important to avoid filling all that lovely space with new clutter
1. Ditch the guilt It’s hard, but don’t feel you have to hold onto something that was a present. No, you don't have to accept things offered to you by a friend who is decluttering.
2. Don’t hold onto things to use for a special occasion Use and enjoy it now. Candles, pretty notepaper and hand lotion can all be used now. I used to hold onto perfume and the like to use for special occasions. Trouble is some things get pushed to the back of the cupboard and forgotten. Sometimes these things deteriorate so use it while it's fresh.
3. One drawer, one shelf, one cupboard at a time Don’t attempt too much or you may get overwhelmed. That is, unless you prefer to set yourself a bigger goal. Or, if you are so inspired once you have decluttered one drawer that you want to go on, just do it.
4. Take out of date medications to the chemist Also, instead of dumping surplus or out of date pet medications, take them to the vet. Some pet shelters also accept surplus pet medications.
5. Opticians often accept old glasses Keep the most recent pair as a spare but get rid of the rest.
Image by Marie Vonow
6. Donate CDs and books Ask your local library if they accept donations of CDs, DVDs and books in good condition. Do you have items you think would be enjoyed by residents in an aged care facility? Some places have a library which residents can borrow from. Large print books are likely to be greatly appreciated.
Now you can feel virtuous about sorting out the items you no longer want and giving them away for lots of other people to borrow and enjoy.
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7. Put a 'No junk mail' sticker on your letter box Not only does this reduce the amount of printed paper entering your home but it stops you being tempted to buy cleverly advertised things you didn't know you 'needed' until you saw them in a catalogue.
8. Don’t buy things you might use one day There is a temptation to purchase items you just might use one day because they are on sale. This can be a hard one but it gets easier with practice.
9. Avoid buying things you can do without Try keeping a list for non essential items you think you want. Write each item on the list and date it. If you still want it after a month, buy it but not any earlier.
Bit by bit one can conquer clutter and prevent it from piling up again.