Published: 09:00, 12 October 2017
If you have limited time or energy to make a dent in your clutter, then set yourself just 60 minutes to achieve one key task – with a motivational playlist to spur you on.
Remember that decluttering is all about editing first and organising second, so keep focused on your end goal as you make decisions about what stays and what goes.
Here are three common clutter culprits that you could tackle in an hour, says Hannah Young from Revive Your Space.
1. Create a stationery station
Gather all your stationery items from around the house together in one place – dig to the back of your junk drawer and check under your desk for any runaways. Throw away unusable items and pop things you’ve never used into a charity bag.
Now grab some takeaway tubs from your kitchen to sort what’s left, putting like with like. Assess and cull again, putting excess items in that charity bag.
Find a suitable box, drawer or organiser to store your remaining items in the place where you will use them. If you need a stationery station in two places, such as downstairs and upstairs, that’s fine – just make sure you’ve got suitable storage to keep everything tidy and easy to access.
Take note of what you’ve over-bought: Maybe you’re a sucker for a pretty notebook or lovely pens? Perhaps you see yourself writing a daily journal or maybe doodling some witty cartoons?
Give yourself the challenge of putting this dream into action within the week and try to make it a positive habit in the next month.
Pop a note in your diary for a month’s time and then, if you haven’t put that goal into action, it’s time to pass those items to the charity shop.
2. Rethink your living room
Have you ever given consideration to how you use and want to use your living room? Find a piece of paper and take five minutes of your 60 to write down the answer to a few questions, including who uses the room, what it is currently used for and what you would like the room to be used for.
Tackle clutter item by item: Make a list of any living-room clutter that needs to be reduced, such as books, children’s toys, DVDs or magazines.
It’s unlikely you’ll have time to sort all of these out in 60 minutes, so instead, schedule another hour in your diary and deal with each category of items separately. This exercise should give you a clearer goal as you get down to declutter.
Start by making a pile of things that don’t belong in the space at all – these can be re-homed in the last five minutes of your session.
Then begin sorting one of your categories, for example children’s toys. If you find there are a lot of them in your living room, think carefully about designating specific storage to house them, as it’s clear they are being used often in the space.
Assess the layout: Once you’ve removed day-to-day mess from your living room, you should have a clear walkway that will save you having to hop over obstacles.
Allocate storage for items that have to stay, such as magazines, favourite toys and remote controls, to help you limit what you have in the room and enable you to find things easily.
To create a sense of order in the rest of the room, try to introduce symmetrical elements, such as pairs of candles and standard lamps.
3. Boot your hallway into shape
Gather together all hats, gloves scarves and coats. Discard as much as possible, to take to the charity shop. Keep accessories with matching colour schemes that complement each other, and try to retain coats that are multi-functional as you’ll wear them more than single-occasion ones.
Temporarily sort your items into shoe boxes until you have time to buy suitable storage. At a later date, you can shop for attractive baskets, shelves or hanging pockets.
Personalise your storage: Designate a hook and basket to each person in your house. If you have young children, it can be fun to label their storage to encourage personal responsibility for tidying their possessions.
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