Get your house in order with this decluttering plan

Well, all you have to do is bin everything you thought you knew about organising and follow Shira Gill’s revolutionary clutter-clearing plan…
PHOTOGRAPHS: VIVIAN JOHNSON AND MADELINE HARPER

decluttering plan

There’s a common misconception that sorting out your home is all about making labels and filing.

Here’s a secret: getting your home in order is much less about organising things and much more about clarifying your life values and priorities. Once you’ve worked out your specific needs and goals, you can get started on creating a well-thought-out home. To help you– and every room in your house– achieve your vision, follow these simple five steps…

The decluttering plan

  1. CLARIFY

The first and most important step to creating your ideal home is answering some fun and meaty questions (below) geared towards working out what you want and need from it.

Without this step, we’re just moving piles of stuff around! You need to consider what specific functions certain rooms need to serve and what items you need to store in them, as well as how the space can support your bigger goals.

THE QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK YOURSELF

  • What do you want to create space for?
  • What do you want more of and less of?
  • What new results do you want to create in your life and your home?
  • What is your primary motivation for making a change right now?
  • When it comes to editing and organising your home, what benefits are you most excited about and why?

2. EDIT

Relocate items that don’t belong in a room. Look at everything that remains with fresh eyes, keeping only the things that are useful and add value to your home and life. Remove excess furniture and décor that doesn’t reflect your aesthetic.

decluttering plan

3. ORGANISE

The key to an organised space is that all items are grouped in categories by type and each item or category is assigned a clear and intuitive home. Simple. Or at least it will be when you gather all the materials you need – baskets, hooks, jars, storage boxes, etc– to keep your space clutter-free.

4. ELEVATE

Now you need to establish how you want your space to feel: warm and cosy, calm and inviting, or sleek and stylish? If it’s a living space, for example, do you want it to be bright and airy or do you prefer a more textured look? Jot down colour, style and décor preferences.

Once you are clear about how you want to use these spaces and exactly how you want them to look and feel, it will be easier to get the results you desire. And don’t forget to upgrade decorative details such as lamps, plants, art, ceramics or mirrors to support your vision for each area.

5. MAINTAIN

Your home is a force that shapes your daily life and little things make a big difference. So make your bed, clear surfaces, put items where they belong each day. Perhaps have an ‘outbox’ in each room for putting items that need recycling or throwing away. Do small things every day – such as sorting out your sock drawer– that feel good and move you towards the life you want.

Transformation is made up of small, consistent actions. Stay the course, put in the work and I promise you’ll reap the rewards in the form of increased happiness and decreased stress.

decluttering plan

‘RESET’ YOUR SPACE EVERY DAY

A few minutes spent tidying up area worthwhile investment in yourself and your home. Before you go to bed, move coffee mugs, neaten up piles of books, fluff the sofa cushions and put bits and bobs such as remote controls away in, for example, a lidded box.

KEEP THINGS WHERE THEY BELONG

The biggest problem with dining tables? The accumulation of items that don’t belong there– such as hairbrushes, bills, homework. The quickest solution? Get yourself a ‘relocation bin’, and regularly round up all those hair bows, old magazines, art projects and misplaced bits of Lego then return them to their proper home.

decluttering plan

This is an edited extract from Minimalista by Shira Gill (Octopus,£25). To order a copy for £21.25 until 23 January go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £20

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