Self-Isolating Decluttering Ideas
Living in uncertain times can be very unsettling and a lot of people will find themselves with a lot more time on their hands as we live in lockdown or even have to self-isolate. But we need to look to the positives in life and make the most of the spare time we have. So why not be productive and make our homes as comfortable and spacious as possible to relax and enjoy.
As Harry Charles Estate Agents resident decluttering guru, I often recommend to landlords or vendors how to make the most of their property for sale or rent. By applying those principles to the homes we are living in will pay dividends. Here are my top 5 ideas for decluttering and home space efficiency.
1 – SPACE SAVERS
Cupboards were invented to store our items away from the visible eye, unfortunately they can end up being dumping ground for items that we’ll deal with ‘one day’. That day has arrived – so set to task with 3 boxes or bags – one to throw away / recycle, one to give away, one to repurpose. Clear out the full cupboard, it makes it so much easier to organise. Then sort everything into the 3 categories including what you want to keep. Be ruthless, don’t hold onto anything you haven’t used for the past 2 years or so, and if it doesn’t have any sentimental value – it really isn’t worth keeping.
When it comes to putting the items you will keep back, if you have any nice boxes that you aren’t using, or want to use cardboard boxes you can label them up creatively and sort them into categories. An airing cupboard should have towels stacked into the right size, a cloakroom into summer or winter coats, and bag up hats and scarves, box up sewing, electrical and miscellaneous items into different boxes. Not only will the cupboard be a joy to look at when you open it, items will be easy to find and restore.
2 – LOVE YOUR LIVING SPACE
It’s easy to have clutter in a living area such as a kitchen diner, lounge or bedroom, but they are the areas you want to have space to de-stress. Take away the piles of papers, books and clutter and spend the time to go through the letters and file what is needed. Make a library pile or shelf space for books and arrange them so they look inviting to read. Make the items you really love and remind you of past events shine on the shelves and take away the clutter around them. Use a storage solution, such as Caboodle to store items you know you want to keep but don’t have space for right now. Then you can enjoy your space knowing those items are easy to get back when you need them.
3 – OPERATION OFFICE
A lot of us will find we have to work from home but don’t have any real office space, or even a kitchen table to work from. All is not lost. Choose a warm room with the most natural light and an electricity plug point close by. Even if you are short of space, get creative and create a home working hub. Homes can have a lot of unutilised space, landings, hallways or spare rooms are ideal.
A desk is a must, either look online to purchase a slim line desk that fits your space, or be creative on what you have – a dressing table, hall console, or even a chest of drawers can work. Find a chair that you can sit at the right height and now for the fun bit…Create some space on shelves for your work files, or buy some attractive storage boxes. Put down a rug to make it feel more of a zone and accessorize the desk with a favourite mug as your pen pot and a plant to brighten up the desk.
4 – GET LOFTY
Our lofts are often left for a rainy day to clear. So why not now? Take some cleaning products including your vacuum cleaner and the 3 boxes we spoke of earlier. Now really get to task, you’ll find items that are dated, mouse-eaten or just not wanted anymore. Now’s the time to make proper storage space for your items you don’t need to see all the time. Use old boxes and label them with Christmas decorations, camping gear, holiday essentials, winter gear. You’ll then find it so much easier to find items and it may even become a new space in the house for present wrapping or a library. If you have boarded your loft, get some carpet or a rug and try to make your loft as inviting as possible, then you’ll be more likely to enjoy the space.
5 – OUTDOOR LIVING
As it’s getting warmer, make the most of your shed space, by giving it the overhaul. Take the throw, recycle and reuse boxes into this space and be ruthless. Have boxes for gardening gear, kids toys, bike accessories, tools, sport items etc. and make them as easy to find as possible using chalk labels.
Now sit back, relax and enjoy your decluttered home which is more practical and inviting.
Leone Ashby is one of Caboodle's expert partners. She is owner and resident decluttering guru at Hertfordshire’s Harry Charles Estate Agency www.harrycharles.co.uk Find more tips at Cluttercation on Instagram and Facebook.