I have a secret. My hallway cupboard is what I imagine hell to be like: cluttered, disorganised and things fall on me every time I open it. My hallway cupboard is my nemesis. It always reminds me of the ‘Friends’ episode that reveals Monica’s secret closet, which is crammed with rubbish. It is the complete opposite to the rest of her apartment, which is so organised, tidy and ordered (much like my flat – probably achieved because I have such a big cupboard filled with crap!).
I have decided that the hallway cupboard is on my list of summer projects. It has become even more crucial in the light of getting a new puppy, who requires lots of space, toys, food, blankets so we need as much organised storage space as possible.
I am very embarrassed to reveal this ‘before’ picture to you…
My task is to declutter the cupboard and then try to create storage solutions so the items we need to keep are accessible, organised and, therefore, useable. At the moment, for fear of everything falling on my head, I bearly use any of the stuff in here, except the hoover.
I will show you the results in a few weeks, as I finish work for the summer this week. In the meantime I want to share with you my tips for decluttering your home.
1) Focus on one small area at a time
If you try to set aside a whole weekend to declutter your entire home, firstly, you’ll have a really boring weekend and secondly, I bet you won’t get it done as you’ll lose momentum and motivation. If you try to do too much at once, often what happens is you make so much mess and dis-order you end up with stuff everywhere, which becomes overwhelming and dis-heartening. You then run out of time and your home is left in total chaos. Instead, try to focus on one small area at a time as this is much more manageable and won’t leave you exhausted and annoyed e.g. your desk, a shelf in your wardrobe, dining table, the drawer of your bedside table, bathroom cabinet, one kitchen drawer.
2) Choose to declutter an area of your home you use every day
Start with the areas you use everyday, that annoy you everyday day e.g. the hallway table, your underwear drawer, the cutlery drawer. That way you will immediately notice the difference and feel more motivated to carry on elsewhere.
3) Tidy first
Never start a decluttering job in a messy room. If you begin with a tidy room you will find the job much easier as you will have clear floorspace and there will be no confusion over what is clutter and what is mess.
4) Don’t stop until you are finished
Try really hard not to get sidetracked by reminiscing about long forgotten treasures you may come across or whatever else. If you leave the job half-done, you are far less likelty to return to it and you will have succeeded in making your home even more disorganised!
5) Be organised
When decluttering use four different bags or boxes labelled: charity/giveaway/sell, rubbish, recycle, keep. The boxes/bags are a good idea as it keeps your decluttering organised as otherwise the piles can start to merge and the process becomes confusing. Once you have filled your four bags/boxes, don’t leave them in the hallway – take them out to the bins, put them in your car, ready to be dropped at the charity shop etc. If there are things that you can’t bear to get rid of, but you know full well you don’t need them anymore, give them away to a new home! Far too many of us buy everything new, whereas we would all save a lot of money and the environment if we shared our belongings.
6) Declutter by yourself
Controversial, I know, but I like to declutter by myself and take executive decisions on what we need/don’t need. The main reason for this is that if you do it with someone else you end up discussing every single item, which wastes a huge amount of time. I will often get rid of things, without conferring, and no one even notices that anything is missing….I hope Jules doesn’t read this!
7) Declutter first and then buy new storage solutions
It’s important to clear first before spending a fortune on new storage solutions. Figure out what you are going to keep and then you can work out what you need to buy to organise what is left.
Let’s hope my hallway cupboard will look something like this in the end…
I have already started decluttering my kitchen cupboards and used some easy storage solutions, which I will share with you at the end of this week.
P.S. Please don’t judge me by my hallway cupboard…!