Ok, it’s time to get real – we’re about to deep dive into decluttering and organising your home.
If just reading those words has you hyperventilating and making moves to hide behind the enormous pile of washing teetering on the couch, then STOP. This one is for you.
Shows like Netflix’s The Home Edit and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo have made us face our messy shame, and have shown us in full-colour how much better our homes (and lives!) would be if we decluttered and got ourselves organised.
And you only have to spend a hot minute on Pinterest or Instagram before you have a perfectly styled ‘shelfie’ to miserably compare your own overstuffed shelves with.
We get it.
Life is busy and sometimes it’s easier just to shove that thing under that other thing and forget about it, rather than mindfully organising it.
But wouldn’t it be nice if having guests to your home didn’t require that psychotic scramble to tidy and clean beforehand?
So, now’s the time. It’s time to adult your way to a home that you’ll be relaxed about welcoming guests into, and FURNISHD’s very organised design team are here with some hot tips to help you turn your chaos into a place you’ll be posting smug photos of on aaaaall the socials.
But do I have to?
No, you don’t.
But you should.
A home that’s organised and free from clutter looks beautiful, is better for your mental health, and is easier to look after.
It’ll literally give you more time in your day too – less stuff equates to less to clean and organise on a daily basis, and you’ll no longer have that mad search every morning for a hair tie or your daughter’s school socks (even though she has TEN PAIRS).
So, take a deep breath, own your mess, and get ready to kill it dead.
"A home that’s organised and free from clutter looks beautiful, is better for your mental health, and is easier to look after."
Where do I even start?
We recommend starting in a high-use area of your home, so that your efforts will have a big impact on your day-to-day life and hopefully inspire you to keep going in other parts of the house.
Pantries, wardrobes and bathroom vanities are all good places to get started, and we promise you’ll thank yourself afterwards!
But how do I start decluttering?! (No seriously, how do I get started?)
To get started, let’s keep it light.
Try one of these quick organising hacks for the home to get you into the swing of things and make it fun.
Ok, maybe not fun, fun – but definitely less boring, at the very least.
- The twenty-minute challenge: Put some music on, set the timer on your phone for 20 minutes, and grab a couple of bin bags – one for donation and one for disposal. Pick a room and just go for it. Twenty minutes will go quickly, and by the end of it you’ll likely have two full garbage bags worth of clutter gone from your home. That’s a win in anyone’s book.
- The 12:12:12 challenge: Pick a room and find twelve things to donate, twelve things to throw away, and twelve things that need to be put away. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you can do this one!
- The four-box challenge: Take four boxes or baskets into any room or storage space in your house – one box for donations, one for items to keep, one for items to throw away, and one for things you want to keep but that shouldn’t be living in that space. Keep going until every one of the boxes is full (or you’ve boxed everything that isn’t nailed down), and you’ll be well on your way to having a beautifully organised space.
Time to get serious
Ok, now that you’re in the zone, let us take you through our favourite method for really getting serious about decluttering and organising your home.
- STEP 1: Choose your target (and tear it apart)
Maybe it’s the (shudder) drawer with all the plastic containers, maybe it’s a wardrobe or cupboard, or maybe it’s your workspace – whichever pocket of clutter you decide to tackle, remove every single thing from it and spread it all out somewhere where you can see (in all its dubious glory).
- STEP 2: Edit (which is just a nicer way of saying start chucking stuff out)
Now it’s time to turf or rehome anything that doesn’t belong, that doesn’t get used, or that is broken. You don’t need five pairs of tongs, nor do you need more than one potato masher to make it impossible to open the utensils drawer. Be ruthless – keep only what you use.
- STEP 3: Sort it out into categories
Whatever’s left after your editing session now needs to be sorted in a way that makes sense. In a pantry that might mean grouping baking ingredients, breakfast cereals, and canned goods. In a wardrobe, it might mean sorting your clothes into uses (eg. Workout gear, sleepwear, workwear etc), and in a bathroom it’ll mean grouping your haircare products, make-up and those three skincare products that your husband never uses.
- STEP 4: Put it away – nicely
Once everything is sorted into categories, it’s time to pop it back from whence it came. But wait! Don’t just shove it back in willy-nilly and hope for the best. Contain or display your things in their categories so that they’ll be easy to find when you need them, and so that it’ll be easy to keep the area tidy. In the pantry and bathroom, go for clear storage containers that you can label. In the wardrobe, use matching hangers to store your clothes, and baskets or containers to help keep smaller items like socks and underwear organised.
This is also your chance to jump on the Shelfie bandwagon. If you have open shelf space in your home, use it to display vignettes of your special things, without overcrowding. Look to Pinterest for styling inspiration, and change the arrangements every now and again to keep things fresh and interesting.
STEP 5: Keep your house clean and organised
Once you’ve put the hard work in to declutter and organise an area of your home, your only job is to keep it that way. Easier said than done, especially when you have a family, but you can do it! We recommend making sure everything is spic and span and where it should be before you trundle off to bed for the night, because it’s amazing how different your morning will feel when you wake up to an organised, clutter-free space.
Some other tips:
- Take before and after photos – when you can see the impact of your efforts, you’ll be motivated to keep going.
- Pack away clothes that aren’t appropriate for the season to make your wardrobe feel less cluttered. When the weather changes, swap them over so you’re always prepared with appropriate outfits.
- Don’t expect to get your whole house done in one fell swoop. Going too big at the start will likely result in overwhelm and you’ll probably give up before you’ve made any real difference. Tackle the clutter in stages, and you’ll have a much better chance at making it stick.
- Write a checklist of every area in your home that you want to declutter and organise. It’ll keep you accountable, and it’s immensely satisfying to tick them off as you go.
Need some help with furnishing and storage solutions to keep your place organised? The FURNISHD. team is here to help source the perfect pieces to suit your home (and keep all that stuff under control!)