A step-by-step guide to decluttering your home
With a lockdown underway, there’s no better time to declutter your home and your life. Rohini Rajagopalan, decluttering expert and founder of Organise With Ease, takes us through the process
Why declutter now?
Currently, we have the luxury of time to undertake this process. The current situation has compelled us to introspect and recognise the things that mean something to us. Most of us are feeling anxious and a clutter-free home helps one stay calm and relaxed. More importantly, a space devoid of clutter is easier to clean especially at a time when hygiene is critical.
How do I begin?
A simple step-by-step approach always helps. Begin by listing down the spaces you want to declutter and break them up into mini projects. Organise one area (or mini project) at a time as tackling it all in one go will be daunting. Sift through the contents individually instead of reviewing them collectively.
What should I keep?
The golden rule is: If you love it, keep it or else find it a better home where it’s valued and cherished. When most of us think of decluttering a space we approach it from the point of view of getting rid of objects we don’t want. This needs to be reversed as we must identify the articles that matter to us and hold on to them whilst letting go of everything else that is not contributing to our lives in any way. The objective is to create a space that houses items that you treasure. A few simple questions you must ask yourself are, ‘Do I enjoy using this?’, ‘When did I use it last?’ and ‘Will I actively look for it if it’s no longer here?’. Spend a moment with each piece and evaluate its significance in your life. As a thumb rule, an object that you have not used for over a year or one that is still in its original packaging or broken or non-functional clearly needs to go. By only keeping the belongings that you treasure, you will create a space that truly reflects you as a person.
Is there room?
When it comes to the individual rooms in your home, follow the same mantra of holding on to items that bring you joy. Start with the most troublesome room in your home and divide it into smaller sections and tackle them one by one to avoid getting overwhelmed. Direct your attention to a spot that has accumulated a pile of articles—for instance, the bedside drawer or television unit. Zero in on the larger items that you no longer use—electric appliances, a stool or an old videocassette recorder (VCR) that’s still lying around—and get rid of them. Aim to keep surfaces empty to increase your overall productivity. Once you’ve systematically reviewed and evaluated everything, redirect unwanted objects into two boxes—trash and donation. Follow this pattern for each room in your home and remember to deliver your donation box to your chosen NGO once the lockdown is lifted.
So, use this time to be productive and free your home and life from unwanted baggage.