12 Tips for Starting To De-Clutter Your Home in Late Summer

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2020 fireplace with park picture, photo by A Howse

The initial stage of any project can ‘make or break’ if it is going to be a success. There has been lots of  picnic-ware and outdoor furniture ordered for those lucky enough to have a patio or a patch of green this season. Most houses have lots of extra books that have been read, DVDs viewed, games played, jigsaws completed, gadgets tested and other new activities and hobbies taken up during lockdown. Increasing amounts of time have been spent indoors and in gardens for many families in England this year. Some of these pursuits may not be appropriate to our daily routines as we head into Autumn. So this could be the perfect time to finally commence the de-cluttering challenge.

  1. Give yourself time in your diary to devote to this process. Allocate some time a particular day each week or every weekend (if you can) to going through the house and discovering what you can quickly clean, sort, give away, donate, reuse, repurpose or throw away.

  2. Encourage other family members to join in with a little ‘tidy time’ and show them how you ‘divide and conquer’ your things into neat shelves, simply divided drawers and tidy cupboards. Put on some upbeat music if this helps get you all moving in the right direction.

  3. Keep a bag or box in the hallway labelled ‘take to the charity shop’ for everyone to use. Have it ready to pick up and drop into town when you next going to your nearest retail centre.

  4. Stick to purchasing essential toiletries, groceries, gifts for others you know they want and new ‘urgent items’ only while you sort out the ‘wheat from the chaff’ to avoid buying duplicate items.

  5. Focus on indoor sorting when the weather is bad and quickly go through the garden and any garages and sheds when the weather is fine.

  6. Empty all your bins throughout your property as often as possible.

  7. Put away clean washing quickly so it doesn’t add mess to your bedroom or any other rooms unless you are lucky enough to have a dedicated laundry area.

  8. Decanter toiletries and larder cupboard staples and label up if needed as you pack away your groceries. Recycle any packaging from groceries and post parcels quickly to avoid it lying around.

  9. Use beach bags, shopping bags and baskets you already have to help you organise your items and save buying the perfect container for when you know exactly what you need.

  10. Enjoy flowers, plants and produce that come from the garden or local nursery or is in season to help motivate you and reward you with something bright to cheer your progress at this stage.

  11. Use the ‘posh crockery’ etc. if you are lucky enough to have some pretty sets, what are you waiting for? When on on your home management mission think about the minimalist mantra “quality not quantity” and the quote by the architect Le Corbusier that “Less is More” .

  12. Just do one maintenance, sewing, DIY or craft project at a time during this phase to help minimise visual clutter and extra ‘stuff’ to find a place for. To quote Marie Kondo the famous Japanese tidy expert; we hope you can “find joy” in some of the things you own and in the process of what can be a surprisingly therapeutic and unexpectedly rewarding process. Good luck with phase 1 of sorting out your stuff and heading closer towards living in the pad of your dreams.

(1) ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ KonMari website 18 September 2020 KonMari Shop – Books

(2) Cancer Research Shop  Cancer Research Shop