We have officially reached the month of December! Aka the Christmas month (no seriously it is Christmas every single day in December. Google it, it's the era of awesomeness.) You'll hear jingle bells, 'Santa baby's, 'All I Want for Christmas is You's and of course the iconic Mean Girls video that is bound to be recreated by many groups of people (myself included *winks*) Enjoy lovely strolls down Orchard Road with the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations and eat all the yummy goodies to your hearts' content! It's been a hard year, and we all deserve a nice break. December is also a reminder that 2017 is coming to an end, and 2018 is coming soon! Over the year if you've accumulated a lot of things from your online shopping, then I'm sure you are in dire need to tidy up your house before the new year starts. What better way to welcome a new year with a neat and clean house! A clean house is a happy house and a happy house makes a happy person.
Onward to minimalism!
If you feel overwhelmed, anxious, and defeated around the idea of decluttering your homes, don't be! There are so many benefits of a clean tidy house: you have less to clean, less debt, less to organize, less stress, more money and energy for your greatest passions. And of course a neat house is pleasing to the eye and perhaps even the soul. However, looking at the disastrous state of your home may leave you wondering: how in the world should I even begin?! Fret not, your girl has your back!
Take 5-1o minutes to walk around your house and mentally decide what things you definitely need or don't need. Keep in mind that you should declutter room by room for maximum efficiency.
Grab a ton of boxes or bags to place all the unwanted items. (bonus points if you separate your items into recyclables, donations, resell and trash) A lot of us are guilty of impulse buying and sometimes these things are hardly used, so why not give it to someone else who could make great use of it? You are doing a great deed and you can clean your house at the same time, killing two birds with one stone. You could also recycle them or even start a garage sale to sell a few valuable items and earn back some of the money you spent.
Commit to your goal of decluttering, as it might take a few days (Rome wasn't built in a day you know!) So set mental goals for yourself, give deadlines for each room and it'll become a more tangible goal with minimal risk of procrastination.
Before I give you some tips to declutter each room, let me share some of the usual pitfalls in decluttering as well as how to overcome them.
1. Getting Over Sunk Costs
Sunk costs are costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Many of the things in our houses are sunk costs except for rare instances where the value of an item increases over time (like gold). A lot of people tend to fixate on the money they spent on their belongings and can't bear to get rid of them. Over time your things will accumulate and you'll get closer and closer to being a hoarder. *gasps* So, since you can't get your money back, you should only think about the value that thing can add to your life in the future. If it doesn't add much value, toss it. Understanding this concept of sunk costs can help you make more rational decisions about what to keep and what you should toss as well as a means to control your impulse spending in the future.
2. The 80/20 Rule
We generally only wear 20% of the clothes we own, 80% of the time. (The comfy loose t-shirts, sweatpants and shorts) And this rule applies to other items too, like bags, games, CDs, etc. Your mission is to figure out what the 80% of things that you only use 20% of the time are and toss them appropriately.
- Pull all your stuff out of the bathroom cabinets and drawers
- This gives you an idea of how many things you have and which of these you hardly ever use or are expired. (usually these items are in the pits and crevices of your drawers)
- Arrange things by their category (makeup, soap, toiletries, cleaning supplies) and toss the expired products and recycle the unused ones.
- Put everything back in place and organize it in a fashion that places your most used products in easy to reach locations. (counter-top at eye level or nearby shelves)
- Clear everything off your kitchen counters except essential items (like your kettle, coffemaker, knife set, etc.). You can put the counter clutter on the kitchen table or on the floor, but get the stuff off the counter.
- Put away or find another home for everything you cleared off the counter. Anything left that doesn't fit or is not necessary goes into the recycle box!
- Purge all appliances you hardly use.
- For the things you are unsure of, you can keep in a box for storage and see if you really need them over the course of the next year. If not, take that box straight to a donation drive!
- Identify if the item belongs in the bedroom and if it has been used in the past year, if not relocate it or toss it.
- When rearranging your things, you can add little dividers in your drawers for better organization. Tip: these can just be little gift boxes, cereal boxes or containers. You don't have to buy dividers just for this sole purpose.
- Keep flat surfaces like bedside tabletops clear. Moderation is key: a lamp or two, some pictures and decoration but not too much. Less is more!
- Keep infrequently used items in storage boxes out of sight (like seasonal clothing) so your room always looks pristine.
Living room Tips
- A lot of things end up in this common space so remove anything that doesn't belong.
- Add more storage space like shelves and cupboards for all the necessities.
- Wrap up the cords from your TV and hide them behind a shelf or cabinet to keep it out of sight.
- Remove some decorations that might make your living room look too cluttered. Again less is more!
- Consider repainting the walls to give it an extra crisp and fresh look.
There you have it, some great tips and guidelines to help you reel in the new year with a clean, clutter-free house. Everything mentioned is most definitely doable so put your mind to it and get cracking!