How to declutter and be more organised - 6 top tips
New year, new start? At this time of year, many of us find ourselves drowning under all of the excess stuff we've acquired over the festive period. Not only does it clutter our homes, but our minds as well. Yet the prospect of tackling all of it seems so daunting - after all, where do you start? So many of us spend January asking ourselves, how can I be more organised this year? What exactly is minimalism and how do I achieve it? And what do organised people do to keep on top of everything?
In the spirit of new year's resolutions, we've put together some helpful ways to face the surplus stuff head on, and (hopefully!) help you live a more streamlined and minimalist life in 2018.
1. Make a list
All great organisational projects start with a list. So, jot down everything that needs doing and give yourself realistic timescales in which to tackle it, bit by bit. You might want to list it room-by-room and approach one at a time, or maybe you could categorise it in terms of what you want to achieve each day, week or month of the year in your journey towards being an organisational demon. Whichever approach you choose, a list will keep you focused and there's nothing more satisfying than giving it a huge tick or crossing it off once it's completed!
2. Start small
Breaking down a huge task into manageable pieces always makes it seem more achievable. Why not fill a charity bag a week with clothes that no longer fit, pass on spare coats to a homeless organisation in your town or go through your kitchen cupboards and set aside any duplicate items to donate to charity? Not only will your home start to look more streamlined, but you'll be doing something great for a good cause in your local area.
3. Dress down
There's a minimalist fashion movement called Project 333 which encourages those involved to wear 33 items (or fewer!) for 3 months, in a bid to pare down their wardrobe. The 33 items you choose must include clothes, accessories, jewellery, coats/jackets and any other outerwear AND shoes. Think you can hack it? Find out more here.
4. Be bulletproof
Bullet journalling is huge right now, with good reason. This ties in with point 1, but takes it much further and spans beyond your home into other areas of your life, too. We all know these things can have a domino effect, as sorting out one area of your life can have a positive effect on others, as well. With a little effort, you will be living your best life when 2019 rolls around!
But what exactly is a bullet journal? Well, simply put, it's a cross between a to-do list, diary and planner, all in a handy bullet point format. There are sections for your daily, monthly and future goals to help you stay focused on what you've done or need to do within each timeframe. As it's based on quick notes rather than lengthy sentences, it can help you to keep on top of things and access all of your organisational needs in one handy place.
Want to find out more? This Buzzfeed article on bullet journals is a good place to start.
5. Be realistic
If you don't use something every day, week or month, do you really need it? Similarly, if you don't find a decorative item like a picture, ornament or plant beautiful to look at, what is it doing there? We can all be guilty of failing to notice many things surrounding us in our busy day-to-day lives, but if you've found yourself asking how to become more organised this year, it may be time to look around your home with fresh eyes and be ruthless about what you wish to have in it.
Hopefully, the outcome of this will be a whole new simplified home you can't wait to enjoy, once all of the clutter messing up your mind has gone for good.
6. Store what you can't part with
Time for a cheeky little plug for our fantastic self-storage solutions (sorry, but we couldn't resist!). It simply may not be realistic to throw away or donate everything you do not use on a daily or weekly basis. And that's where self-storage can come in useful. Many people choose to declutter their homes by storing things they don't need every day, safe in the knowledge they can access it when they next need it. All Store First self-storage centres offer 24-hour access to customers, so when the time comes, you'll be quickly reunited with your stored items.
Find your nearest centre here. And on behalf of us, here's to making 2018 your most organised year!