Ways to declutter your living spaceVincent Tan
Have you ever realised that your home is constantly running out of space to accommodate the new chair you just bought? Or, do you find yourself trying to constantly find space in your office cubicle to put additional documents you just brought back from a meeting? Decluttering and downsizing is basically to eliminate things you think you need but don’t and to live a more simple life. The famous decluttering expert Marie Kondo noted that decluttering can ‘spark joy’ and that ‘tidying can transform your life’. According to the Mayo Clinic, decluttering can make you happier and healthier and it can lead to better living quality. Here are some tips on how to declutter and to downsize to the essentials that you need.
Start with your wardrobe
The easiest place to start with is at your wardrobe. Take out all your clothes and arrange them systemically. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that the majority of the clothes you have will probably never be worn again because you’ve lost/gained weight, because they are old fashioned or simply because you just don’t like it anymore. Be charitable and donate those wearable ones to charity or those which can’t to the recycling centre.
Move on to your book shelf
Next, move on over to your book shelf. Are you still keeping books from when you were in university or encyclopaedia sets which are obsolete? Sort out books into categories such as books that should be disposed to the recycling centre (magazines, newspapers, obsolete books etc), books that can be donated (story books, novels, children’s books etc) and books which u think you can resell at garage sales. Getting rid of old books is also healthy as books disintegrate with time releasing dust and allergens.
Then look around at your furniture
Do you have ten times more chairs than you can sit on in your house? Do you find that your floor space is mostly taken up by large tables, chairs and cabinets? Furniture can have a funny way of making the house feel homely, and it can also make your home feel suffocating. The rule of thumb to follow here is if the furniture is merely a decorative piece without a specific function and particularly if it’s underutilised, then get rid of it. Old furniture is easy to get rid of to pre-owned furniture shops and sold online.
Make your way to the kitchen next
The kitchen is a tricky place to declutter and to downsize as electrical appliances, no matter how old they are could still be perfectly usable and could be useful sometime down the road. However, the issue here is rarely with the coffee maker you use twice a year. Rather, it’s the food that people buy in bulk. Often people buy food in bulk because it’s significantly cheaper that way and thinking that they could finish all of it by their own. That is rarely the case. Start by throwing out expired food. Next, sort out food which will be expiring soon. You can either consume it or give it away. Lastly, rearrange what’s left and you can surely see the space you’ve freed up.
At the end of your decluttering journey, you will find that you are left with three main categories. The first category being things you will keep and continue to use, the second category is things you want to keep and the third category is the things you will be throwing out. The trickiest of the three categories is the second, which are the things you want to keep. For whatever reason you decide to keep those things, be sure to store them properly in boxes, in cabinets or in the storeroom. Keep a record of what is kept and where it is kept. This way, one day, when you decide to finally get rid of it, you will know exactly where it is.