4 min readMore mess = more stress. If anyone knows how clutter creates stress and anxiety for households, it’s 7am Wardrobes who see it time and time again when customers approach us desperate to incorporate wardrobe, pantry and linen storage solutions in their home. We also get to see the satisfaction and relief people experience after they sort and declutter, and finally, have organised storage.
While we’ve all been self-isolating and spending more time at home, most of us are unavoidably more aware of clutter, mess and jobs that, despite our best intentions, remain undone. Having everyone working or schooling at home together can create a feeling of chaos that leads to stress but having effective household systems and storage can help you feel calmer and more in control of your home.
While we’re still spending more time at home, now is the ideal time to tackle some of those decluttering projects we all keep putting on the back burner and bring some order and calm into our homes.
Here are our seven favourite quick and easy ways to take back control in a week, without feeling overwhelmed.
7 days, 7 decluttering projects
Day 1. Start small
The biggest mistake people make when they start to declutter is thinking it all has to be done at once, which makes it feel overwhelming and unachievable. The key is to start small with the end goal being to get rid of any junk and create a place for everything. Tackle just one drawer – maybe it’s a junk drawer or a Tupperware cupboard – and suddenly it doesn’t seem so hard.
Day 2. Set the timer
Allocating just 30 minutes a day is a great way to clear surface clutter. Grab a garbage bag and a box or basket and quickly move from room to room. Anything that can be thrown away goes in the garbage bag, and anything that needs to be put away goes in the box or basket for another 30-minute declutter.
Day 3. Pantry and fridge
Most of us have been throwing a few extra items in the supermarket trolley, and often we’re not even aware we could be doubling up, so it’s a good idea to do a bit of a stocktake. Start shelf by shelf – it doesn’t have to be all at once. Take everything out, throw away anything past it’s a use-by date, then clean the empty shelves and drawers. Replace items, grouping the same or similar items and placing items with the shortest shelf life near the front so they can be used first. It can also be a good idea to write a quick list of what you have to use up, avoid double-ups next shop and lessen what goes to waste.
Day 4. Medicine cabinet
The medicine cabinet is one area that accumulates clutter quickly, a lot of which you no longer need or forget you have. It’s important to throw out anything past its expiry date and to keep only the medications you use. It’s also a good idea to keep like-medicines together, e.g. cold, flu and allergy; vitamins and wellness; prescriptions and first aid supplies. Wipe clean and disinfect the cabinet or container.
Day 5. Car
This is a common area that needs decluttering as there’s so much junk that accumulates while we’re out and about rushing around – food wrappers, coffee cups and other rubbish. Throw out the rubbish and remove anything you don’t need or use in the car, including in the glove box, centre console, boot and door pockets. If you’re feeling motivated and have some extra time, washing the car, vacuuming inside and wiping down the interiors can make you feel super-efficient.
Day 6. Laundry
This is another room in the house that tends to be a dumping zone for the whole family. Remove everything from cupboards and shelves, throw out anything you don’t need, then clean and disinfect. Make sure you put everything back in its designated spot or create one if it doesn’t have a spot. Labelling where things go is a good idea, so there’s no excuse for family members not knowing where to put them. Add wall hooks and open shelving to store those loose items (clothes pegs, cleaning products, brooms, hats etc.) that easily clutter up the laundry space.
Day 7. Cupboard under the kitchen-sink
This area can easily get cluttered with all manner of household products shoved in and forgotten about. The only way to declutter this space is to pull everything out and sort through it. Throw away anything that’s expired, broken or even just looks disgusting then wipe and disinfect shelves and walls. The most efficient way to store cleaning products is by purpose, so grouping like-products together. Open plastic bins or baskets are great for this – e.g. keep dishwashing items in one clearly labelled basket.
So there you have it – seven quick and easy ways to declutter and make a difference to your home in just a week. If you’re on a roll and looking for more easy decluttering projects, here are a few more ideas:
- Books and magazines
- Kitchen counters
- Dumping zone near the front door
- Mail pile
- Toiletries and makeup
- Purse or wallet
- Kitchen utensil drawer
- Spice rack
- Wardrobes and linen cupboard