Your 5-Step Guide to Decluttering

Decluttering can sometimes seem overwhelming, but now you can do it like a pro – in a few simple steps.

“I’ll keep this. Just in case!”
“Oh… this has too much sentimental value to toss!”
“I’ll use it someday. When? I don’t know. Someday!”

“I’d better not throw this away. I might need this some time down the road!”

If these sound familiar, welcome to the Packrat Club. We keep our stuff, and let them accumulate. Later, we realise that we have WAY too many things around the house, and the idea of clearing them up becomes more intimidating by the day. We keep putting our clean-up project off, and before we know it, it’s chaos that can’t seem to be put right – and we put it off even more.

Here at VEHS, we know your pain. We also know that decluttering tips are everywhere – and this digital clutter probably won’t help you in clearing the clutter at home. So, we’ve done the legwork and put together an easy-to-follow system to declutter your home easily. Really, it’s not as difficult as it may seem to be. Here goes!

Step 1: Start small
When you have been accumulating items for a long time, going through everything can be overwhelming. But it’s alright – you don’t have to declutter your entire home all at once, or within a short time. Try breaking up the task into bite-sized ones. For example, if decluttering an entire room is too daunting, try doing it for one side of the room – perhaps a few shelves or drawers. You’ll feel better with each area cleaned up, and better geared to tackle the next one!

Step 2: Eliminate the obvious trash
Remember how we used to target the easiest exam questions first, before going on to the more challenging ones? Try to do the same for your clutter – it’ll lighten your burden, AND give you the confidence to do more. For example, do you really need so many old textbooks? When was the last time you looked at them? Or, your plushies – do seriously need the really dirty looking and mouldy ones?

Step 3: Make “yes”, “no”, and “maybe” piles

Now that you’ve narrowed your stuff down to things that are useable, go further! We’re not going to make you make “yes” and “no” piles, because like we said, we’ve been there. Sort them out like this: things you definitely want, don’t want for sure, and things you are unsure of. This one should be easy, so go get ‘em!

Step 4: Conquer the “maybes”

Congratulations on getting that sorted – you’re now ready to move on to a task that might seem to be quite a challenge. But it isn’t, now that we’ve simplified it. Use these 10 questions to guide you along the way. They’re yes/no questions that get you thinking about how/when you may or may not really need the item.

If most of your answers are no, it just might be a sign that the item’s time with you is over. Or, if you REALLY want to be sure, put the “maybes’ in a box, and revisit them in a few months. These are just rough guidelines though (we’re not asking you to toss out a first-aid kit, or screwdrivers you haven’t used recently), so, do use some discretion when tossing your things out.

Step 5: Sell, donate, or give away some of the “nos”.

While some clutter should be binned or recycled without hesitation, some can find new life in another home. Perhaps, with the knowledge that your items are going to be put to be better use (and potentially earning you some extra cash in the process), you’ll feel happier and more motivated about freeing up space.

Cheers to your decluttering journey, and here’s to a more clutter-free home. Let us know if there are more tips you’d like to share!


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