Space is the most essential part of a great living experience across the world until clutter steps in.
Clutter is a natural response to becoming comfortable, likely too comfortable, in how we place and accumulate things. It makes it harder to think and relax in a space and the presence or absence of clutter is often a reflection of the state if our lives. Less clutter means more space for living, playing, and working. Clutter-free spaces are very functional and more attractive.
Clutter free living demands consistent thought, evaluation and action to ensure that the choice to be low on clutter is maintained. It is an ongoing process that demands the following:
1. Self-assessment: The starting line is that you look at your situation, your needs and your personality. What is important? What can’t you live without? What can you give away? How much is too much? Why are all these things important? This is important because when you understand what you need and what you don’t and will guide the purging process…a guiding light.
2. Sort: Go through, go through, go through. Make time to really go through your space, figure out what you have, what you need and what can be disposed of. This means going through every room, chest of drawers, bookshelf, wardrobe, etc. If you haven’t used it, worn it, read it or remembered it for more than eight months maybe you don’t need it. Separate the items into three piles or use three different coloured markers one for throw away, another for keep and the other for give away.
3. Throw: There are items that are not useful to anyone and need to be disposed. Get a big garbage bag or dustbin and literally throw out the trash. Don’t think about it. Don’t hesitate…just throw those ones out. Find a nice dustbin and use it well…throw!
4. Giveaway: These are the items that are still in good condition that you no longer use but would be useful to others. Giving away may be hard because of the sentimental value of many items but the understanding that others may make better use of them makes it easier. Do you have extra seats, shelves, stools, tables? Do you have too many clocks in the house? Can you find a family or community who could use it and give it to them?
- Consolidate: Find the elements in your home that you can use for more than one purpose. This could be a coffee table with drawers, a TV stand with shelves or a pouf with storage within or a recliner seat with a cup holder or a wooden vase that could hold a plant and umbrellas together. There is also the option of splitting the bookshelf between books and decorative elements or a platform bed with storage space underneath or a bunk bed instead of two single beds in one room or double curtain rods instead of a curtain rod or thick nets instead of curtains.6. Upcycle: Upcycling means finding new uses for existing items. Do you have baskets that can be turned into storage bins on an open shelf? Can your coffee table be placed in the corner of the room and serve as a shelf? Can you use a console table as a TV stand with a low shelf underneath or as a cover for a nest of stools or a lower stool under the coffee table?