There’s a good reason why more Australians are embracing minimalism.
The concept of ‘less is more’ has triggered feelings of liberation. For those who have chosen a more minimalistic lifestyle, removing possessions has brought extra joy to lives.
It’s estimated that more than 600,000 Australians are impacted by a hoarding disorder. However, almost anyone can benefit from learning to declutter.
Unfortunately, busy lifestyles, working long hours and compulsory consumption can become a problem. Before you know it, your home is overflowing with unnecessary junk. Whether you want to test the minimalism waters or your home simply needs a spring clean, here are the most practical ways to declutter your home fast.
Have You Used the Item in the Last 12 Months? Yes vs No
Decluttering expert Ryan Nicodemus says compulsory consumption is the real problem behind why Australians buy things they never use.
You may have the best intentions, but unfortunately most people purchase items they either don’t use or only use once and never touch again.
The bombardment of advertising messages telling you to ‘buy more stuff’ is a big part of what’s to blame.
To combat and help declutter, go through all items per room and ask yourself if you’ve used it in the last year. If the answer is yes, then consider why you use it, if it’s special to you and if you think you’ll use it again in the next year.
If no, toss. If yes, keep.
People tend to hold onto so many things ‘just in case’. But if it’s no longer serving you or bringing you joy, or it’s clogging up your home– it’s time to part with it.
Recycle vs. Trash
Possessions that you won’t keep need to be thrown away before more clutter accumulates.
Recycling and trash are your obvious choices, but don’t forget repurposing items or donating them are also useful and sustainable alternatives to consider.
Recycling is important to the environment to reduce greenhouse gas, pollution and global warming, especially following recent changes in the waste industry. Most recycled waste is turned into road base, compost, recycled packaging and strengthening for concrete structures.
Other options include:
- Repurpose: Any items that can be reused can be kept. Nearly every product can be used to serve a different purpose, so get creative!
- Reduce: By reducing the number of items you purchase, you reduce waste. When buying new items, look for environmentally-friendly products that are made from recyclable materials
- Repair: Broken items don’t necessarily need to be trash. Before you throw away, see if it can be fixed or repurposed first
When organising your clutter clear out, consider hiring a skip bin to ensure rubbish and recycling waste is disposed of properly. This also prevents waste clogging up landfill and encourages a more environmentally-friendly waste management process.
The Four Box Method
A quick and easy way to sort trash from treasure is with the four-box method.
This simple-to-follow formula, combined with a little willpower, will make the process more efficient. You’ll need four large boxes sorted into the following categories.
- Trash: Anything not worth donating, selling, recycling or repairing dispose of in your trash
- Give away/sell: Clearing away clutter can be easier if you know it’ll help someone else. Alternatively, think of the financial benefits of selling your items at a garage sale
- Reuse: Anything that can be repurposed into something else, whether by you or someone else, can be put aside to be loved again
- Put away/storage: If you really can’t part with some items or know they will still be used later (or not used regularly) store them out the way in your home or garage. This box should have fewer items in it and can be combined with a storage solution to fit your home to avoid cluttering again
One Room at a Time
Moving between rooms trying to declutter is a recipe for disaster.
Trying to tackle multiple rooms at once will only make the process more frustrating and time-consuming. Instead, focus on one room at a time. Once your four boxes are filled and the clutter is clear, move onto the next.
Here’s a breakdown of each room and the potential clutter culprits you may come across. Old electronics, magazines or manuals, clothes, plastic bags and extra kitchen utensils are common items you can often get rid of straight away to declutter your home fast.
Before you know it, a clutter-free countertop becomes a clutter-free room, which leads to a minimalist and clutter-free home.
Love vs Use
There’s a big difference between items you love and items you use.
Sure, many possessions have a sentimental value. However, the more realistic you are about decluttering, the easier it is to determine which ‘loved’ products are actually taking up too much space.
Simple mindset changes, such as changing ‘I’m saving it fora special occasion’ to ‘am I holding onto it for sentimental reasons?’ or ‘would I buy/need this right now if I were shopping?’ can make decluttering easier.
Get Storage Smart
Smart storage solutions are one of the best ways to create a clutter-free home fast.
For items that can’t be parted with or you know will be used later, the right storage for them is crucial. From smallhouse solutions to minimalist ideas that help reduce the clutter chaos, clever storage is key to creating order in your home.
Look for multipurpose pieces such as furniture with hidden storage compartments. Rethink the functionality of each room and consider how many items you need to store to find the best solutions for your needs. Making use of awkward spaces, such asunder the stairs storage will be also useful for many homes.
To achieve minimalistic living or simply reduce clutter in your home fast, all you need is a little discipline, change of perspective and creativity.