Declutter without the overwhelm
We’ve all been there. The mountains of mail, the overstuffed wardrobe. From tools to toys, clutter just becomes part of the background. Even the neatest among us accumulates a lot of stuff. When do we do something about it?
“I think you know in your gut that it’s time to start letting go,” says Mary Cornetta, chief executive officer of Organised Overall. “[It’s time] when the clutter really starts to stress you out, you’re misplacing things more frequently, and the floors and benchtops are starting to disappear.”
But knowing you need to declutter and actually decluttering are different things. It’s hard to take that first step because the task seems so overwhelming. It’s not hopeless, though. If you’re ready to start, Cornetta’s expert techniques will get you on the path to organisation, without the stress.
Here are 13 tips to finally declutter your benchtops for good.
Start with the easy stuff
The first things to go? “Anything with an expiration date,” says Cornetta, who also founded and owns Sort and Sweet professional organisers.
Getting rid of “no-brainer” items like expired medicines and stale food works wonders for your confidence. Open up your medicine cabinet and check the bottles and boxes. Next, tackle the pantry. Ditch anything expired or empty.
“As you gain confidence in your decluttering skills, you can move on to a space like your closet,” says Cornetta. It’s hard to part with our things, so it pays to start with something that doesn’t require much thinking. If it’s out of date, get rid of it – no decision-making needed.
Discover 20 things professional organisers would never do in their own homes.
Pick a small space
Another way to jump into decluttering is starting small.
Most of us have a junk drawer in the kitchen, or several. Cornetta says decluttering a small space like a drawer, your handbag or a backpack is a great first step, especially if you don’t have a lot of time. “Doing a little decluttering is better than doing none at all!” she says.
So take 15 minutes and go through your sock drawer. You’ll feel better and gain confidence to tackle bigger spaces.