Top tips for decluttering your home

From the rise of the Marie Kondo method to the aestehtically-pleasing minimalist interiors that flood our Instagram feeds, decluttering has never been so trendy. But living without unnecessary ‘stuff’ is also good for the planet… and scientists even think it’s beneficial for our mental health.

Beginning the process of decluttering can feel overwhelming, so we’ve pulled together some handy tips for tackling it in your own home. But the real trick is to keep it up, long-term. By being mindful of what you buy, shopping second-hand and borrowing as much as possible, we can reduce the amount of ‘new’ items being produced… and that’s when the planet (and you) really benefits.

1. Get organised

Start with an action plan — take three large bags, bins or boxes and label one for selling, one for sharing/donating, and one for recycling. This way you will only have to sort through stuff once.

2. Be methodical

Tackle one room at a time, evaluating every item and the role it plays in your life. The Marie Kondo method is famous — if it’s not an item you need, but it does “spark joy”, then it stays. But before her was the artist William Morris, who said that everything in his home must be either useful or beautiful. The sentiment is the same: do you *need* it? Yes/No. Do you *love* it? Yes/No. If it’s a no to both, it goes.

3. Have a selling strategy

If you’re going to the trouble of selling something, you might as well do it properly. Depop and Vinted are great for pre-loved fashion and both have friendly communities of buyers and sellers. Furniture and homewares do well on eBay and Facebook Marketplace. Make sure you take good, well-lit photos of each item and include lots of detail in your listing — the more effort you put in, the more likely you are to reap the rewards.

4. Share on Olio

Next up, tackle your ‘donate/share’ pile. If you don’t have time to drop items to the charity shop, Olio is a convenient way to pass items on for free because people come to you. Sharing is an excellent way to save items from landfill that are not quite right to be sold, but still perfectly useful. It’s also much faster to give something away for free than it is to sell it, so worth considering if you need to clear things out in a hurry.

5. Take before and after pics

For each room, take a ‘before’ and ‘after’ decluttering picture. The results will be super satisfying and motivate you to keep going.

6. Don’t fill up the empty space

If you simply go out and buy loads of new stuff to replace the items you’ve cleared out, you’ll have wasted all your efforts. Keep up the feel-good factor by buying mindfully, shopping second hand as much as possible and sharing or borrowing wherever you can.

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