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Decluttering Tips from the Expert: Serenity Starts at Home

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the chaos in your living space? Perhaps you’ve made a resolution to organise and declutter your home this year, but you’re not sure where to start. In this guide, we’ll explore expert decluttering tips that go beyond the surface, helping you achieve a more organised and peaceful living environment.

Tips for Decluttering

  1. Plan Ahead for Success

The first step in any tips for decluttering is to plan ahead. It’s tempting to dive into cleaning headfirst, but being realistic and setting achievable goals is important. By planning, you’re more likely to establish habits that will keep your space organised in the long run. So, take a moment to imagine your decluttered space and set realistic goals to guide your efforts.

 

  1. Start With the Entryway

When unsure where to start, begin with your entryway. This space sets the tone for the rest of your home. Therefore, consider adding coat hooks or bins to arrange shoes, backpacks, and outerwear. This not only keeps the area organised but also makes it easier to maintain order in the long run. A clutter-free entryway welcomes you home with a sense of calm.

 

  1. Avoid Distractions: Valuable Tips for Decluttering

Decluttering Tips from the Expert: Serenity Starts at Home

Decluttering requires concentration, so avoid distractions. It’s easy to discover forgotten chores mid-sweep, but resist the urge to start another project. Stay focused on the task at hand, and you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make. Remember, maintaining a steady pace is essential for effective decluttering.

 

    1. Make Kitchen Cleaning a Daily Habit

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and consistent habits can keep it functional and clutter-free. So, before bedtime, take a few minutes to wipe down counters and start the dishwasher. Waking up to a clean kitchen sets a positive tone for the day ahead. Small, daily habits make a significant impact on maintaining an organised living space.

 

  1. Enlist an Assertive Friend: Decluttering Tips With Support

Decluttering becomes more manageable with a helping hand. Enlist the support of a friend, preferably someone professional or a decluttering home services, to help in making fast decisions. Their input can provide valuable decluttering tips and prevent indecision. Working together, you’re more likely to make progress without getting stuck.

 

  1. Basket for Kids’ Clutter: Taming the Toy Tide

Decluttering Tips from the Expert: Serenity Starts at Home

For parents dealing with the constant influx of toys and crafts, having a system in place is important. Hence, use fabric bins that blend with your decor and consider a storage unit. This not only keeps the clutter at bay but also teaches kids the importance of organisation from an early age.

 

  1. Hold Off on Colour-Coding Wardrobes: Function Over Aesthetics

While colour-coding wardrobes may be tempting for a uniform look, prioritise function over aesthetics. Sort clothing by season, then category, and finally, by colour. This method ensures that your space remains neat while making it easy to locate items. Overall, functionality should always take precedence in creating an organised wardrobe.

 

  1. Maximise Bathroom Space: Optimise Storage

Bathrooms, despite their size, have a lot to hold. So, ensure your under-sink storage is functional and make use of vertical space. Utilise shelves and organisers to keep toiletries in order. Maximising every inch of your bathroom helps maintain a clutter-free and functional space.

  1. Weigh Your Options: Thoughtful Decluttering Tips

Decluttering Tips from the Expert: Serenity Starts at Home

When decluttering, don’t rush the process. Take a rubbish bag to your wardrobe and evaluate each item thoughtfully. Consider reasons to keep or discard each item, helping you understand your true values. These mindful tips for decluttering prevents impulsive decisions and keeps your space clutter-free for the long haul.

 

  1. Avoid Dumping Grounds on Flat Surfaces: Daily Maintenance

Flat surfaces like dining and coffee tables often become dumping grounds for miscellaneous items. Combat this by taking a few minutes daily to put things away in their proper place. This simple habit ensures that when guests arrive, you’re not scrambling to hide keys or unread mail.

 

For additional expert decluttering tips, make sure to read on or tune in to the Radio Podcast featuring Bonnie Black. 

Transcript

Kelly:

How organised is your home? 

Well, we’re going to start organising our homes with the junk drawer first up. Bonnie Black is a professional organiser. She is the little miss organised. Bonnie is going to be here every fortnight to give you some inspiration for making life a little easier. Hello!

 

Bonnie Black:

Hi, Kelly. How are you?

 

Kelly:

Good. Did that ring some bells with you? Which drawer is it for you? Now, for me, it is about the third and the fourth drawers to be perfectly frank, that are full of stuff.

 

Bonnie Black:

Well, I have to tell you, I don’t actually have a junk drawer myself. 

 

Kelly:

What? 

 

Bonnie Black:

I know. But that’s giving hope to people. There’s a solution out there and it does work. We often find in people’s homes, the first drawer can be the junk drawer, but often it’s the third or the fourth drawer as well.

 

Kelly:

The first drawer makes no sense because that’s where your knives and your forks are. 

 

Bonnie Black:

I know you’d think it would be the most organised one, but especially if you’ve got kids or you’ve had little kids, it’s full of those plastic kid’s spoons or the dispensers for the Nurofen and the Panadol, and nobody really knows where to put those things. So, when we’re doing a kitchen, we always start with that drawer because that’s the one that’s the least emotional. 

 

Kelly:

Where do you put all those little Nurofen things? I know what you’re talking about. The ones where you have to measure it out to give your child the right dose, all those things.

 

Bonnie Black:

Usually, you put it with the Nurofen and the Panadol, and that’s generally not in the top drawer, is it? 

 

Kelly:

No, it’s in the fridge for me. It might be the best idea.

 

Bonnie Black:

Yeah, so having a medicine spot. 

 

Kelly:

Fancy that.

 

Bonnie Black:

Yeah, I know.

It’s a revolutionary idea, right?

 

Kelly:

It certainly is. The junk drawer isn’t just the kitchen, though, is it the junk drawer? I have junk drawers as well in my study. I have a bedroom so much I’ve got junk. Well, I’ve got a junk cupboard, but we’ll get to that later. But let’s just stay with that. So, it can be anywhere. Can it? The kitchen, the office, bedside drawers, people. We have a lot of little bits and pieces of stuff.

 

Bonnie Black:

Yeah, we do. We don’t really know which place to put things in, so we just scoop it into a drawer and think, oh, we’ll deal with that later. Later never comes, of course, so it can be any room.

 

Kelly:

And is the reason we have one because we think we will use it or because it actually is useful? Because when I think about it, I don’t actually go to that third drawer.

 

Bonnie Black:

Very often. 

 

Kelly:

I avoid it like the plague, in fact, because it scares me a little.

 

Bonnie Black:

Yeah, well, that’s why we call it the drawer of doom, because it’s scary going in there. You might not ever come out again.

 

Kelly:

What have you found in people’s junk drawers or drawers of doom? 

 

Bonnie Black:

Lots of things. You can get anything from all those little bits of the extra bits of cutlery and so plastic things that were used when you had little kids and the Nurofen dispensers and all that thing to rubber bands to batteries to anything little that people haven’t given a home somewhere. It just all goes in there. 

 

Kelly:

What’s the solution then for cleaning up?

 

Bonnie Black:

Look, finding a place for everything, that saying a place for everything and everything in its place, it rings true for a reason. People talk about that being a little bit too OCD or a little bit too anal, but that’s actually what works. If you had a place for all your batteries to go, if you had a place for all your medicine to go, if you had a pen holder where all your pens where to go, you wouldn’t actually have a junk drawer.

 

Kelly:

You’d have a spot for everything. 

 

Bonnie Black:

Yeah.

 

Kelly:

Isn’t that just a whole lot more spots for more stuff? Are you actually addressing the issue when you do that?

 

Bonnie Black:

Well, I guess the thing is if you’re creating, say, a battery box, you’re giving yourself a boundary. So once that battery box is full or getting too close to being full, then you say, Right, no more can fit in here, so we have to do a cull. The same thing has to happen with pens. People tend to think that, oh, my pen holder is full, so I’ll just chuck this one down in the drawer. How many pens do you use at one time? One.

 

Kelly:

One.

 

Bonnie Black:

And generally speaking, we’ve got our favourites. It’s that Pareto principle, the 80-20 rule. We have always got those couples that we will go back to. They’re our fallbacks. So why are we keeping the pens that we got from the hotel or from the exhibition? Yeah, they’re useful, but you don’t need it. So why don’t you pass it on to someone who will actually use it like a charity.

 

Kelly:

Bonnie, I just want to know, in your kitchen, do you have your utensils hanging down where you can get them, or are they in a drawer? 

 

Bonnie Black:

They’re in a drawer because I don’t like too much visual clutter. It creates too much mental clutter.

 

Kelly:

Right. You’re never coming to my house.

 

Bonnie Black:

Look, some people can hang the hanging utensils really beautifully, but really, if you’re a minimalist, that’s the only time that it actually looks beautiful as well as being functional. Most people who try to do the hanging utensils end up with 50 of them up there, and that just doesn’t tend to look so great. 

 

Kelly:

How often should we be cleaning out our junk drawers?

 

Bonnie Black:

Oh, regularly, I think at least once a month.

 

Kelly:

I was hoping you were going to say once every four, five years. No, once a month.

 

Bonnie Black:

Oh, that’s really going to build up a mountain for you that long.

 

Kelly:

I’m sure there are people like me who put something new in the junk drawer and it’s a bit like you open it just a bit, shove it.

 

Bonnie Black:

In there, and put everything back on the floor. I bet it doesn’t pop out later.

 

Kelly:

In the middle of the night, you’re going to hear some creaking and everything goes. How can you organise these drawers then, if you’re going to do it properly? 

 

Bonnie Black:

Yeah, look, it’s okay for people to actually have miscellaneous drawers. It’s not about, oh, you shouldn’t have a drawer full of those random items. It’s about organising them properly. If you went to the discount shop near you and got a whole lot of those shallow baskets, colour-code them if you like, and put them in that drawer, then you can have a spot where your spare pens can go. Then you can have a spot for your batteries and your Nurofen dispenses or whatever it is, but it’s about assigning a home for things. So, a miscellaneous drawer is fine. Just don’t let it overflow and become a junk drawer.

 

Kelly:

All right. I cannot promise anything. With the old junk drawers, just one. Should we keep it to just one? As I say, I do have two. I’m not even making that up. I’ve got two and there’s overflow into other drawers. 

 

Bonnie Black:

Yeah. That’s the thing. Once we start breaching our boundaries, then it just sets us up for danger down the track. Setting those boundaries and saying, Right, I’m going to stick to it, and once this drawer is full, I’m going to do some maintenance work on it. I think it’s fine, as I said, to have a miscellaneous drawer, but don’t let it overflow into more draws or into the cupboard of doom or the room of doom.

 

Kelly:

Yes. Well, we’ll get to the room of doom later because I’m sure everyone has one. Well, some people have one of those, too. Now, I bought my husband a few years back now, a man tin. Actually, that’s what it’s called on the top. 

 

Bonnie Black:

A man tin.

 

Kelly:

A man tin. I’m sure he’s not the only one. I’m sure a lot of blokes do this, and maybe some women, too, where they just collect nuts and bolts and things. I don’t even know what they are, but it’s like, oh, no, put that in the man tin. That goes in the man tin. How much stuff can they keep that never gets used?

 

Bonnie Black:

I know, and this causes so much frustration for so many wives because those man tins overflow into drawers and into cupboards, and then all of a sudden you can’t find the garage bench.

 

Kelly:

Then it’s in your living room, on the bookshelf?

 

Bonnie Black:

Yes.

 

Kelly:

A screwdriver. Why? I’ve got a whole set of that thing actually on my bookshelf at home because there’s nowhere else to put it. 

 

Bonnie Black:

Yeah, sure. Once again, it’s about assigning it a home. Give your husband a spot where you can say, all right, this is your man, Tim, but once it’s full, you’ve got to do something about it, and it’s about sticking to those boundaries. 

 

Kelly:

All right. I’m going to have to get tough. 

 

Bonnie Black:

Yes, tough love.

 

Kelly:

We’ll see how we go. 

All right, so that is our duty for the next fortnight or one of our tasks. 

That’s better. One of the tasks. Homework, if you like. 

 

Bonnie Black:

One of the tasks, yeah.

 

Kelly:

That’s a good word. Homework for the next week. Get into the junk drawer. All right, I might do that.

 

Bonnie Black:

I might.

 

Kelly:

Facebook-live it just for the fun of it.

 

Bonnie Black:

That would be awesome. 

 

Kelly:

That would be scary because I’ll have to go through it first.

 

Bonnie Black:

No, we can’t show that one. Let’s get that out of there. 

 

Kelly:

That’s it might be giving too much away. All right, I’m on Facebook Live cleaning out the junk drawers, so just be ready for it when it happens. 

 

Bonnie Black:

Sounds good. 

 

Kelly:

Bonnie, thank you very much. What’s your website?

 

Bonnie Black:

www.littlehomeorganised.com.au

 

Conclusion

Transforming your home into an organised space is achievable with these expert decluttering tips and tricks. By planning ahead, maintaining daily habits, and enlisting support, you can conquer clutter and enjoy a serene living space. Remember, small steps lead to significant results, so start implementing these declutter tips today.

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