Guide For Decluttering
Before you start reading this guide please understand this one thing; decluttering is not a guide, it’s a movement and in some parts – a religion. What we got here are decluttering hacks so you can…you know…like have a life 😇
From all the main objectives decluttering have I want you to notice this one;
Build organisation into your daily routine. No matter how efficient an organising system you establish, your home will need periodical upkeep.
Rather than throw up your hands in the face of the encroaching chaos, find ways to build regular household maintenance into your routine: Make a date with your kitchen calendar while the coffee brews each morning, or sort through your junk drawer while you chat on the phone and don’t neglect to enlist help from the people that help make the mess in the first place.
You got that part where I said that this is a religion, right?
- No Retreat, No surrender
- Resistance is futile
- Your Papers
Organising the entryway
- Set up an “inbox”. Place it near the front door to serve as a holding place for mail. A basket big enough to hold magazines and manila envelopes works well. Sort through the contents during downtime – moving important letters and bills that require action to your desk or home office – and recycle the rest immediately.
- Set up an “outbox.” A basket or shelf near the door comes in handy for things that need to go out: paid bills, school permission slips, dry cleaning, or your dog’s leash.
- Find a spot for your keys. Hang them on a hook or put them in a bowl near the door, and make it a rule to always stash your keys in this spot.
- Make the coat closet work for everyone in the family. Attach hooks at waist level on the inside of the door so your children can hang up and retrieve their own jackets and umbrellas.
Organising the kitchen
- Create a master calendar. Keep it next to the phone and check it before turning in at night to see what the day ahead holds. You can even colour-code entries for each member of the family. Of course, many people keep their family calendars online or on their smartphones, but one centralised spot where everyone can see what’s going on including the kids can work better to help keep everyone on track.
- Invest in cabinet and drawer dividers. You can find ones that hold and separate everything from lids to spice bottles at most discount stores or at specialty retailers. These simple organisers prevent your cabinets and drawers from turning into messy jumbles or bottomless pits, and help you make the most of limited space.
- Make and keep mail-sorting appointments. Frequently sort through the mail you’ve moved from your entryway “inbox”, keeping a wastebasket handy so you can recycle envelopes and other unnecessary items immediately. Then make piles of mail that need to be dealt with immediately, mail that can wait, and mail that needs to be filed.
- Cluster like items together. Keep your cheque book (???), bank statements, and bills in the same spot, a logical and efficient grouping.
- Set up a bill-paying system. To save yourself from having to sit down and write cheques month after month, consider signing up for online billing and/or Direct Debit. This way you can pay your bills online and you can keep an electronic record of everything too.
There are more room in the house of course but who we kidding, the war is lost, so let’s stick to the 3 most important one 😉
Remember how I said at the start that it’s all about building and organization in your daily routine?
Frequently sort through the mail you’ve moved from your entryway “inbox”, keeping a wastebasket handy so you can recycle envelopes and other unnecessary items immediately. Then make piles of mail that need to be dealt with immediately, mail that can wait, and mail that needs to be filed.
Keep it simple. You may be tempted to rush out and buy a fancy container system to jump start your organising efforts, but buying things to store your belongings before you begin organising them is premature (not to mention expensive). Wait until you’ve gone through your stuff before investing in storage systems. Until then, a few cardboard boxes are all you need.
Store things sensibly. Once you’ve finished purging unnecessary items, put the remaining things in a logical place based on what they’re used for and how often you need them. Store the items that are used often, in an easy to reach spot – stash the cheque book in your “bills to pay” file, for instance, and your child’s lunchbox next to where you store the drinks and snacks that go in it.
Sort and purge. One of the most important steps in getting your house in order is going through your belongings. Be brutal about throwing out what you rarely use. A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used something in a year, chuck it. If you just can’t bring yourself to do that, box it up and stash it in the basement. If another year goes by and you still haven’t used it, get rid of it
It strengthens personal values. Having the power to improve the lives of others is, to many people, a privilege, and one that comes with its own sense of obligation. Acting on these powerful feelings of responsibility is a great way to reinforce our own personal values and feel like we’re living in a way that is true to our own ethical beliefs.
Giving has more impact than ever. Many people are concerned that their donations to charity may be reduced by tax or administrative costs, preventing the full amount from reaching the people or causes they really want to help. If you’re a UK taxpayer, you can boost the amount of every donation you make by giving through Gift Aid, an Income Tax relief created to help charities get the most out of the funds they receive.
It introduces your children to the importance. Children naturally love to help others, so nurturing their innate generosity is likely to mean that they grow up with a greater appreciation of what they have, and will carry on supporting charity in years to come.
Taking the time and effort to develop a systematic way of organising your papers can result in a lot less stress and hassle in your life. Try the following ways.
- Start simple. Come up with a filing system that’s relatively easy to use. You don’t want your filing system to be more stressful than the stress it’s supposed to alleviate.
- Be colourful. Files of different colours, or tabs and labels of different colours can not only turn your filing system into a work of art but also make it easier to find different subjects and interests.
- Don’t scrimp when you buy a filing cabinet. Invest in a cabinet of good quality. Poorly made filing cabinets tend to break down in the crunch. When your files get larger and heavier, their weight can strain a cheap filing cabinet and make it difficult for the drawers to open smoothly or to open at all, for that matter. And try to find a cabinet that won’t make your room look like a claims-adjusters office. Many of the traditional office cabinets are big and, frankly, pretty unattractive.
Keep important papers where you know they’re safe. Keep your documents in a safe place, but make sure that you can easily get hold of them when you need them. Keep track of the following: Automobile information; Bank account numbers; Birth certificates; Credit card numbers; Deeds; Important receipts; Instructions; Insurance policies; Loan agreements; Marriage certificate; Medical records; Mortgage agreements; Passports; PIN numbers; School transcripts; Service contracts; Tax returns (last 5 years); Warranties; and Wills. Some of these categories warrant their own separate file. Some, like your important numbers, can be combined. For the more important documents, you may want to keep the originals in a safe or in a safety deposit box, and keep available copies in your files.
Avoid Lower Moravia. The most common error people make when creating a filing system is to come up with categories that are too specific. If you continue in this vein, you’ll be overrun with file folders in no time, and you’ll have a heck of a time ever finding anything if you ever want to. Start with fewer, broader categories.
- Never put all your papers in one basket An approach described by organisational expert Stephanie Culp suggests that you have four baskets for your paper (in addition to the extremely important wastepaper basket)
- Keep the “To File” basket under your desk, out of the way of your more immediate paper needs. You can keep the “To Read” basket in a different part of your home such as your bedroom or study so that you can catch up on your reading whenever the opportunity arises.
- Fine-tune later. At a later date, take a look at what’s in your files. Usually, you find that a file is either underused or bulging. If you find that you have only one or two things in a file folder, find or create a file that’s broader in scope. Alternatively, if you find that a folder is overflowing, create subcategories, either by topic or by dates.