Over on my YouTube channel I have done a “Decluttering” the house series. Basically, I had been wanting to declutter for a long time and thought it would be a good incentive to film myself doing this. You know the whole adding pressure to make sure you actually complete the task? So here is why and how I decluttered our family home in 2017.
Why a Declutter?
To give you a bit of background into our “living status”, Steve and I moved into our house almost six years ago. It was just the two of us, a cat and a rabbit. We were renting and enjoyed the convenience of being only a five minute drive away from Steve’s work. Our plan at the time (if we even had one), was that it wasn’t our forever home but should see us out for a year or two.
Our family then grew as we had our son, Charlie. The landlord was wanting to sell the house so we saw this as a perfect opportunity to buy and get onto the property ladder. Over the years we made home improvements such as fitting a new bathroom and replacing the windows and doors. As well as the other things like redecorating (a few times).
When we found out we were pregnant with baby number two (Phoebe) in early 2016, we panicked and thought we needed to move straight away. Our house was a small two bed terrace, not enough room for a family of four. However, the day before the house was due to be put on the market I rang and cancelled. It just didn’t feel like the right time and as much as we needed the space, we weren’t ready to leave the house that held so many memories for us. We split the master bedroom to make an extra bedroom for our new arrival and stuck where we were.
So here we are. Two years on from that and still in our (little) family home. One of our goals for this year is to move. While we will miss living in this house, we are now ready to move on. But in the meantime, we are finding ourselves buried deep in toys, paperwork and just “stuff”. In an already small home, the clutter was getting on top of me and that is why I decided a good declutter was in order.
How I Decluttered The House
After feeling quite overwhelmed at the task ahead, the best approach was to tackle it a room at a time. I made myself a strict guideline of: if we hadn’t used something for the last six months it was either going to be thrown out or stored away properly in the loft. Being ruthless was key to this.
The room I started with was our master bedroom. There was so much stuff that we had collected over the years and for some reason never got rid of. Even ridiculous things like old receipts and paper umbrellas. (For some reason we had loads of these?) So I had my roll of bin liners in one hand and duster in the other and got to work. It took a full day and a half and to see the results you can watch my vlog here. Once I got going, it was surprisingly easy and just so nice to be able to see the floor and have space to move around. It immediately made me excited to do the other rooms and I felt the benefits straight away.
Throwing out the fourth pair of pyjamas that I really didn’t need was actually very satisfying. Sorting through clothes I hadn’t worn in years but kept just in case I would fit them again was also quite easy. I found I had put off doing it for so long because I thought it would be too hard. But it really wasn’t and I since haven’t missed anything.
If you are interested in seeing how the other rooms went, you can watch the Vlogs by following the links below:
How Has It Changed Our Lives?
As I previously mentioned, we are still hoping to move this year. Decluttering didn’t make our house any bigger but it did make it more of a liveable space. We can find things easier now and everything has a place. I find I have a clearer mind and it has helped me be more organised. The cleaning gets done more because I don’t have to move a mountain of toys to hoover under. I am a calmer person because our living space is less cluttered. Above all, it has meant we enjoy being in our home as opposed to dreading coming in and being faced by mess. Maybe we shouldn’t have let it get so bad but I think this can inevitably happen when you have young children.
My top tips for decluttering are:
- Do one room at a time and give yourself the time to do it properly. It can take longer than you think so don’t try to cram it all in one go.
- Be ruthless and honest with yourself while you are doing it: do you really need to keep all those toys from Kinder Eggs?
- Invest in some proper storage boxes so the items you are keeping can be stored properly.
- Donate your unwanted clothes/bric-a-brac to charity and feel good about getting rid of your unwanted stuff.
- Take unwanted toys and books to a local toddler group or pre-school.
- Once you have decluttered, don’t fall back into bad habits. Make this the start of a new, clutter free home.
Let me know if you are planning a declutter of your home. If you have done one already how did you get on and have you managed to keep it up?