Most of us have been in lockdown for weeks, which means there is no better time to have a declutter and throw out some of the things you don’t use anymore. There is a lot of negativity in the media and people are still talking about how bad the Coronavirus is, so having a clear-out will help remove some of the stress and monotony from being at home all the time.
If you are a bit of a hoarder and always find yourself hanging onto things that don’t bring value, then read about why we can’t let go of stuff.
It’s important to look after your mental health and organising your living space will bring you a much needed, a freer feeling of space and calm. You might be home-schooling the children and working from home, so having a break from it all and getting the whole family involved will help.
Here are some steps to help declutter:
Take a pen and pad with you as you walk into all of the rooms. Note down any areas that feel cluttered, and don’t forget to look inside drawers and cupboards! We tend to “hide” items in these so that we don’t see them taking up space in the room.
Set out your key priorities. Are there specific rooms that you spend more time in and will feel the weight lifted after clearing them? Maybe you want to set up a new system of storing items in the kitchen, for example. Whatever it is that you want, set out how you will accomplish it.
A trip to a local store to buy bags or a box to put the items in will be needed. If you have old clothes that you are giving to a local shelter or charity shop, then having a separate bag or box makes sense.
You will also need a marker or labels to identify each bag or box and where it is going.
Decide when you will do the decluttering and organizing. Maybe you want to do one room a day when it’s bright so the children can help after their morning lessons. Everyone will have more energy in the morning, and it will break up the time being spent indoors.
Set a timer for one-hour periods and then review how you feel. You don’t want to spend hours and hours in one room only to feel worse than you did before starting. Also, concentrate on one room at a time and finish that room. You will feel more accomplished doing this than spreading yourself and decluttering different rooms at the same time.
If an item seems to be adding to the clutter but you don’t want to get rid of it, it’s ok to place it in the “I don’t know right now” pile. Minimalism isn’t about throwing everything away and just living on the basics; it’s about having a lifestyle with less stress and more time to concentrate on the things you love. If it feels like you shouldn’t part with something right now, then put it in a box for a few weeks or months and decide on it later.
Drawers and cupboards will generally have unused electronics. You can either choose to donate these unused items or, for example, trade-in an unused iPad and receive money to spend on other things. This also gives the electronics a new life with someone else. It was sat in your drawer, so it makes sense for someone else to make use of it, and all of this can be done from your own home.
If you are working at home, then the kitchen table has probably become your new “best friend”. Unless you have a dedicated workspace of course. If you have an old uplighter in one of the bedrooms, then pop a new bulb in and move it to the kitchen (or your new workspace) to bring a different ambience to space. Using items that feel like clutter in one room and moving them to another can help to brighten your mood.
With movement restrictions in place across the world, lots of charities aren’t able to accept physical donations because they are closed. However, some charities will come and collect items from you if they are left outside in a bag or box. Contact local charities because it will help them, help you, and help to maintain social distancing measures.
Lots of areas are going to be used frequently at the moment, so creating a hot desk box for all of your work things will make it easy at mealtimes. You can put all of your work-related things in this box and then put it away in a cupboard when you’re not working. This helps bring some separation between work time and family time and leaves your mindless distracted.
Whatever route you take to decluttering your home during the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to talk to other people about what you are doing and what they are. They might know about a local trading group where you can trade some of your things or even local donation centers that are in need. Friends and family will also be able to help you declutter your mind by talking about the things you are concerned about. After all, the old saying of “a problem shared is a problem halved” is so true in these tough times.