Decluttering Tips to Simplify Your Life

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Every season, a new opportunity for decluttering your home presents itself. We accumulate a lot of stuff in just a few short months.

Regular clean-ups may seem tedious, but staying on top of your belongings is rewarding in the long run.

We’ve compiled some simple but effective tidying tips that will change your life for the better.

Find your motivation

Tidying up is boring. We know. It can be taxing and frustrating, especially when there’s a LOT of stuff to sort through. So naturally, the first step is to get motivated.

Some people really stand by a reward system: you get to eat that snack, or watch that movie, or see those friends when you’re done cleaning.

This can be really effective as it inspires you to push on, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

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iTunes silhouettes via pinterest.com.

Music is another great way to get you moving – until you get distracted by your favourite jam. 😉 Choosing songs without lyrics, or a podcast, can improve your focus. Now your mind can relax while your hands stay busy.

If all else fails, what’s the best to get motivated?

Just start. Once you jump that first hurdle, you’ll gain momentum. Stop dipping your toes in the pool and just dive in! Suddenly the water doesn’t seem so cold.

Organise your mentality with KonMari

When it comes to decluttering, you have to be two things: ruthless and realistic. Things pile up because:

  1. We’re too lazy to throw them away, or
  2. We feel that they still hold purpose or value in our lives.

Enter Marie Kondo, author of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and Japanese organisation guru.

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“Marie ‘KonMari’ Kondo is a Tokyo-based organising consultant. Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has sold over 7 million copies worldwide.'” Image and text via twitter.com/mariekondo.

Creator of the KonMari method, she explains that the best way to organise is by category rather than by room.

This involves going through your entire home to collect all the items of a single type: clothes, books, papers, etc. and tackling the mess this way.

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This Mini Bookworm Bookshelf from Willow & Wood is the perfect organised display. Shop all bookshelves online at Zanui.

So how do you know which items to keep and which to remove?

KonMari uses the “Spark Joy” method. This involves taking each and every item in your hands, and evaluating whether it brings you joy or not. If you feel it has some kind of emotional or spiritual value, keep it.

If not, thank the item for its role in your life and then decide whether to throw it away or, alternatively, donate it so that it can spark joy for somebody else.

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A visual representation of Spark Joy. You can’t argue  with the heart! Image via jujusprinkles.com.

Some may scoff at the idea, but thanking each discarded item is important for closure. It alleviates the guilt associated with getting rid of things that came to us as gifts, or used to hold sentimental value. Kondo places emphasis on the importance of saying goodbye to move on.

Be practical and proactive

There is another method that works especially well for the more ruthless cleaner (and is particularly effective for wardrobe clean-outs).

Ask yourself, “Have I worn or used this in the last 6 months?” If you haven’t, that could be because it is a seasonal piece. If that’s the case, have you worn it in the last year?

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Culling your wardrobe will determine your style by leaving only your favourite pieces. Image via pinterest.com.

Decluttering will motivate you to adjust your consumer habits. Stop buying frivolously, and instead invest solely in pieces that you love.

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to keep something, then ask yourself one final question: “Would you buy this again?”

The answer to that question determines whether to keep or remove it.

Storage to save your life

So now we’ve established which things we are keeping, binning, and donating. It’s time to put everything back to where it came from, right?

Not so fast! Putting things away correctly is the solution to clutter. Filing and storing things in a neat, logical manner eliminates the need for massive clean-outs, or at least significantly reduces it.

So how do we store things methodically?

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The Generosa Double Door Wardrobe, Large by LWDI is a sleek solution to organising your household necessities. Storage baskets and boxes are great for adding texture whilst remaining practical. Shop them online at Zanui.

It all depends on what storage you have in your house. Keeping track of what you own is crucial to avoiding clutter.

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The KonMari folding method is an amazing time saver that not only keeps your clothes neat, but also makes finding exactly what you want a breeze. Image via onetalltwoshort.com.

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Hang items seasonally from left to right, with bulkiest items on one side. This makes your closet look neater and makes finding things you want to wear a lot easier. KonMarie’s simple methods make folding neat and easy. Illustrations via pinterest.com.

If you can, opt for built-in storage in bed or lounge suits, or ottoman storage to keep things tucked away out of sight.

Using a decorative ladder to house your shoes creates a chic feature. Organisation can be pretty!

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Tiered shelves such as the Camden Graduated Bookshelf from Phil Bee Interiors are a feature of their own. Adorn with your favourite decor pieces for a stylishly organised aesthetic. Shop the range online at Zanui.

Attaching wall hooks or hooks over the back of your door can make items you use often easy to grab and to put away.

Storing your handbag, coat or hat on these hooks doesn’t take up much space and can save time if you use these things often enough to justify having them outside the wardrobe.

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These Halifax Wall Mounted Hangers from Nova Solo are a great fusion of wall hooks and shelving. Shop online at Zanui for more smart solutions.

Don’t forget to think vertical! Shelves are the perfect way to store and display items as they utilise wall space, as oppose to living space.

Don’t put it down, put it away!

As soon as you’re done using something, don’t just chuck it on the coffee table or the back of the sofa – put it back in its place. If you put something away immediately, it saves you moving it twice.

This may mean a trip up the stairs to shed your extra layers or drop off your folders, but those things are now back in their place ready for the next time.

A place for everything, and everything in its place 😉

Courtney is currently studying Communications at the University of Technology Sydney, majoring in Creative Writing. Her ultimate goal is to break into the publishing/editing world. She is interning at Zanui until February 2017. Her hobbies include writing, talking, daydreaming, and hanging out with her cat.