Bin it, toss, or it keeps it: How to be ruthless when decluttering

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We all want a clean and tidy house, but sometimes getting it can be hard. A nice orderly home, with no clutter, can bring calmness to our lives, so sometimes the sheer amount of stuff we accumulate can make that a forlorn dream.

With many people now working from home, and the new year has just passed, many of us will have the drive move make sure our homes are orderly and neat. 

While we may aspire to a clutter-free house, are we really prepared to do what it takes to have one?

To carry out a really proper decluttering, you need to be ruthless. Here’s how:

Being decisive

Decluttering involves deciding to do one of three things with any particular item – bin it, give it away or keep it. Reaching this decision should take no more than five minutes. 

Ask yourself a series of questions and consider your answers before deciding what to do with them.

Have I used it in the last year?

This can be especially relevant for items of clothing but works for lots of other stuff. Anything that hasn’t been used in the last year is simply taking up space. 

Does it still serve a purpose?

Can you remember why you bought the item in the first place? Is that still the reason why you are holding on to it, or has it outlived its purpose? If something isn’t being used and has served its purpose, it’s time to say goodbye.

Does it have sentimental value?

This is where most decluttering runs aground. Something may no longer be useful but may have a lot of sentimental value. However, you can still be ruthless here. If it evokes a memory, then take a picture or write about it in a journal. Hold onto a few of these types of items, but not too many.

Once you have sorted out your clutter, you need to decide the fate of all your items. Here are your options:

Bin it

Make sure you dispose of it properly. For smaller items that can be binned at home, dispose of them in the correct bin. Most materials can be recycled nowadays, and if you’re not sure, you can check online with your local authority. 

For larger items, take them along to your local amenity site, where you can dispose of general waste, timber, metal and electrical good.

Give it away

Most charity shops will accept donations of clothes, books, jewelry, toys and even small furniture items. If you plan on bringing larger items for donations, you should phone ahead to find out if they will take them. 

There are also various websites and Facebook pages where you can advertise items you are giving away for free.

Sell it

You can sell household items in good condition on Gumtree or eBay sites, while sites such as Music Magpie will buy items such as DVDs, CDs, games, and small electronics such as phones or tablets.

Could you keep it?

If you decide to hold onto certain items, ask yourself where you will keep them. If you can’t find storage solutions for all the items you wish to keep, they will continue to clutter up your house. 

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