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7 New year clean out tips

According to Japanese tradition “Removing the dirt from the old year” creates a clean state of mind to welcome the New Year, and invites prosperity in the year to come” says Cynthia Ewer, author of Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Organized.

Before you start decluttering, read on for some clear out tips:

1. Before you get organised, get rid!

Start by tackling the rooms that have become the biggest dumping grounds. You know the usual suspects: the study, the spare room, the dining room etc. Use your New Year cleaning buzz to be as ruthless as possible. Divide things into recycling, charity shop, give away and finally ‘for the bin’.

Try to resist the urge to just chuck stuff out. Most things can be recycled these days. If you have old clothes or shoes that are too worn out for the charity shop, there are plenty of recycling options for them too.

2. Put things in storage

If you have stuff that you don’t need right now, or just can’t bear to part with, then putting them away might help with the decluttering. Invest in some strong clear plastic boxes with sealable lids. As well as making your stuff easy to store and find at a later date, the plastic will also help protect them from dust and dampness.

If you’ve got bigger pieces of furniture you might want to consider putting them in storage. However before you store stuff, ask yourself, will I really use this again? Or am I being overly sentimental? If so, let it go!

3. Set yourself a cleaning challenge

You might be filled with enthusiasm at the start of your clear out, but if you try to do too much at once you’ll get overwhelmed. Instead, break it down into rooms and set yourself weekly goals over the next month. Writing a list of what needs to be done will help keep you focused and in turn less likely to give up.

Reward yourself each time you’ve completed one of your tasks.

4. Have a deep clean

Now that you’ve decluttered and got rid of all junk it’s time for a proper deep clean. This will probably require a fair bit of motivation but afterwards you will feel great! Asides from having a spotless home and tackling all those cleaning jobs, you will feel calmer and less stressed.

According to the Flylady blog, start off by cleaning your sink as it will give you a ‘sense of accomplishment’ that will help motivate you to keep going.

5. Rearrange the furniture

After you’ve finished cleaning, start to look at ways to improve the layout of your rooms. Rearranging your furniture can give your room a whole new look.  Again it’s advisable to do one room at a time. You don’t want to end up with pieces of furniture all over the place and get overwhelmed.

6. Invest in some new furniture

In case you didn’t already notice, rearranging the furniture is sure to remind you what could do with replacing. Has the broken armrest on the sofa been driving you mad? Has the mattress on your bed seen better days? And how about some new storage to help keep your newly organised home that way!

7. Make a plan to keep to keep the clutter down

Now that you’ve put in all the hard work decluttering your home, don’t let the clutter start to build again! Make a list of your clutter weaknesses; paperwork, magazines, clothes and then look at ways to change your habits.

Maybe you need to invest in a file to organise your bills, buy less magazines or clothes. Whatever it is, make some new rules. For example, for every new item of clothing you buy you must get rid of one.

By creating new habits, you’ll not only keep the clutter down, you’ll also feel better!

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