Ah, it’s November now which means that Christmas is almost upon us!
Christmas is by far my favourite holiday but for some reason there always seems to be a lot of stress leading up to it. With new gifts and decorations coming into our lives during this time it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the stuff that we own. This is why this year I’m challenging myself to declutter my entire home before the holidays!
In order to help you do the same, I have written this decluttering guide for you to break down the steps that I take to declutter my home.
Decluttering is great for so many reasons. But here are a few:
Decluttering clears up space in your home. It gives you more room on shelves and in cabinets so that you’re not overwhelmed by all of your things.
Easier to find things
Clearing out your space and getting rid of things makes it easier to find the things that you do use on a regular basis.
Easier to clean
How much easier would it be to clean your home if there were fewer things on all of your shelves, countertops and surfaces? Having fewer things makes cleaning a lot easier.
Understand what’s important to you
Finally, decluttering and getting rid of the things that don’t matter as much to you, can help you to focus on and realise the things that are important to you. When you force yourself to consider all of your possessions you begin to understand what things really make you happy and what things you can live without.
I hope this guide gives you inspiration and motivation to declutter your home for a more peaceful and relaxing Christmas.
Declutter room by room
When you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the clutter in your home it can be really difficult to know where to start. It’s easy to feel too overwhelmed to start because you’re faced with such a huge task. Don’t worry, most people feel this way when they’re overwhelmed by clutter too. Just follow the steps below to make your decluttering task more manageable!
1. Know that it is possible
Before you even start sorting through everything I want to tell you that it IS possible. That if you take it one area at a time, the clutter will eventually go away. This is really important to remind yourself of, so that you don’t feel paralysed by the task ahead of you. Just break your work down into baby steps and you will be successful.
2. Declutter one small area
The best thing you can do if you’re feeling overwhelmed is to start by picking one area of your home to start with. It can be just a cabinet or a shelf in one room that you focus on first. By breaking your decluttering job down into smaller sections (under the sink, desk, wardrobe etc.) it is easier to allocate different rooms or areas to different days.
Next, start going through all of the items in this area and decide whether you need to keep it or not (I go through this step in more detail in the next section!). By just focusing on one area the task of decluttering seems less daunting.
3. Move on to the next area
Now that you have finished going through your first section, move on to somewhere else. It’s up to you how many areas you want to do at one time. You could decide to do one area each day leading up to Christmas. That sounds much less overwhelming, doesn’t it? Even if you don’t find the time to finish decluttering your entire home, you will at least have some clutter-free spaces to help you feel more relaxed before the holidays.
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Ask yourself decluttering questions
As you declutter you’ll probably find it difficult to let go of certain items or to know if you’ll need to use it again. In order to help you determine what is useful and what’s not there are a few questions that will help you out.
1. Have I used this item in the last 3 months/6 months/year?
The first question is probably the one that will help you the most to determine if you need an item or not. Have you used this item recently? Is this something you frequently reach for? Everything you own will not necessarily be things used on a daily basis but if you have a shirt that you haven’t worn for 2 years then you’re not likely to pick it up any time soon.
You can select your own time frame for this. 3 months is a good starting point because it’s fairly recent but if it’s a seasonal item then you can consider the past year. Unless you know a specific moment when you definitely will use an item and you have used it for over a year then it’s probably not worth keeping.
2. Am I holding on to this because it was expensive?
If there’s an item that you haven’t used recently, are you holding on to it because it cost you a lot of money? When you spend a lot of money on a product, you perceive it as being much more valuable. Even if you have no use for this item you find it difficult to let go because you know that a lot of your money went into it and so it should be valuable to you.
However, you have to be realistic. If this product is of no use to you then there is no point in keeping it in your home. All it does is contribute to the amount of things you already have. An expensive superfluous item is of no more use to you than a cheap superfluous item! If anything, it might be worth looking into selling this item. You could get extra money this way instead of just keeping something that you don’t need.
3. Do I really plan on using this?
If there’s an item that you’re holding on to because it could be useful then you need to think about if you actually have a realistic plan of when you’re going to use it. It’s really easy to not want to throw something away because you’re not sure if you’re going to need it. If you know that you will definitely use an item in the future then you will want to keep it. However if you’re unsure then it may just be better to throw it out or donate to someone else who might need it.
4. Is this a duplicate?
If you have 2 or 3 of one identical item and you don’t use all of them then ask yourself if they’re all necessary. You may realise that there’s only one that you really love and use all the time and that the duplicates are just kept ‘just in case’ you need them. In this scenario you probably don’t need all duplicates.
5. Is it broken?
Many times, when a beloved item breaks we think ‘I can fix it’. But more often than not, I find that these items slowly get forgotten about because it feels like too much work. If you have a broken item that you’re holding on to to get fixed and you haven’t then you probably don’t need it. If it was important enough in your life you would have already fixed it!
6. Is this a sentimental item?
Some sentimental items may be nice to keep for the future. For example, some drawings from when you were young or a piece of jewellery that belonged to a loved one. But if you keep every single artwork that your child makes then all those paintings sort of loose value. Sentimental items become more special and important to you when they’re limited and you don’t have too many. That makes them unique and significant. Crowding your home with too many sentimental items can really add a lot of clutter that you don’t need.
Note: Only declutter as much as you’re comfortable with!
Although I have really pushed the idea of decluttering and really getting rid of everything you don’t desperately need, there is no need to set a limit for yourself or to get rid of absolutely everything. Different people have a different attachment to things and if you feel really uncomfortable throwing something away then don’t feel pressured to do it.
This guide is meant to encourage you to let go of things you don’t need and to really look at the value of your items but it is just a guide. Use it to whatever extent you feel is useful to your decluttering journey!
Schedule time for decluttering
Okay, so we’ve talked about how to declutter and how to avoid feeling overwhelmed by our clutter but is that enough? For some of you this might be all you need to motivate and encourage you to declutter your entire home this weekend. But if you’re anything like me, I often start a task like this feeling very motivated and then tend to drop it after a while because it seems like such a huge task.
If you’re like me then you need to schedule time in your week when you know you will declutter. This means that you can’t make any excuses to yourself like ‘I forgot about it’ or ‘I didn’t have time’. If it’s in your calendar at a specific time then you have to do it.
Don’t stress about it!
Lastly, my final bit of advice for those of you who feel overwhelmed by the idea of decluttering and preparing your home for the holidays is just don’t worry too much about it. Decluttering your home will feel great but if you can’t find the time and don’t get everything done it’s not the end of the world. We often like to compare ourselves to others. Other bloggers, YouTubers and friends but your home doesn’t need to look like your neighbour’s or like someone online who you don’t even know. Decluttering should not be a stressful experience and if you’re finding that it is, take a moment to breathe and remember why you’re doing this. If you don’t think it’s worth it then take a break and do this at a later time!
Thank you so much for reading until the end! I hope that this guide helped you to find the inspiration and ability to declutter your home before the holidays. Let me know in the comments what area of your home you will declutter first. Don’t forget to share this post on social media if you enjoyed it! xxx
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