With increasing demands on our time and energy, we may find it difficult to keep our space clean and tidy. One way to help achieve this is regular decluttering, which involves getting rid of unwanted items that we no longer use or value.
On a basic level, the less we own, the easier it is to stay organised. But on a deeper level, decluttering isn’t simply about owning less. It is about only owning what we use, value, or enjoy.
The difficulty with decluttering is that it can feel overwhelming at first. If we picture the whole house, it can be easy for us to procrastinate — never finding the time to get started, or lacking the motivation to stay committed.
But help is at hand! Seven-day decluttering challenges have become popular for their manageable processes and finite timescales. This is partly because seven days of decluttering is enough time to make a genuine impact, without being so long that the process seems endless.
Remember – the aim is progress, not perfection! Don’t feel pressured to achieve all your cleaning and decluttering goals in a one-week session. Simply aim to get closer to achieving them and you are bound to be delighted with the results.
If you are ready to begin your decluttering journey in seven achievable steps, then read on!
Day 1: The Bedroom
The bedroom should be our sanctuary. It should feel airy, peaceful, and organised so that we can rest well and feel refreshed the next day.
When decluttering the bedroom, think about whether the items inside make you feel tranquil, safe, and ready to rest. If not, perhaps they would have a more appropriate home somewhere else in the house — or perhaps they can be got rid of altogether!
Some repeat ‘offenders’ that often make their way into the bedroom and should be decluttered are electronics, laundry, and distracting files and paperwork.
Bonus Tip: While you’re here, take a look at the setup of your bed itself and see how it could be optimised for better quality and more refreshing sleep.
For example, do you keep your phone, tablet, laptop, or TV nearby? It can be tempting to use these devices before bed, but the blue light they emit can disrupt your body’s process for preparing for sleep, so put them elsewhere whenever possible.
And what about your mattress? Is it comfortable and suitable for your requirements? For instance, if you have issues with back pain you may be best served by replacing your regular mattress with one from a specialist supplier such as Qipendi.
Day 2: The Kitchen
Many people feel their kitchen is too cramped, but decluttering it can help you achieve a more spacious feeling no matter how modest the size of the room. Consider getting rid of duplicate items or making some extra cash by selling gadgets you have never got around to using.
A helpful decluttering rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used something in 6 months or longer, it’s time to get rid!
Day 3: The Lounge
This is often an area of high ‘traffic’ and activity in the house, meaning items like toys, books, DVDs, and more can be left lying around.
Smart storage solutions – such as boxes and baskets – can be essential for quick and easy tidying. Declutter the rest and throw out anything that’s unneeded or unused.
Day 4: The Bathroom
Toiletries and beauty supplies can often accumulate in the bathroom. Be sure to check their use-by date and consider getting rid of items that are not essential.
Towels can have a better home in a utility room, for example, with just a few left for regular use. Cleaning supplies could perhaps also be stored under the sink or out of view for a more spacious, tidy effect.
Day 5: Children’s Bedrooms/Spare Rooms
On Day 5, you can tackle any additional bedrooms or guest rooms. This may involve storing items (such as extra sheets and bedding) away safely, or giving away toys that have been outgrown or forgotten.
If you’re living with housemates or a family, don’t forget to get them involved too!
Day 6: Entrances and Exits/Hallways
It is amazing how many coats, shoes, hats, and other accessories can be left right by the front door and never properly stored.
Decluttering entrances and exits such as doors and hallways can often be overlooked, but this is a crucial step. How much better will you feel when walking into your home, if the first thing you see is a tidy, spacious area?
Invest in sturdy hangers for coats, consider a rack or cabinet for shoes, and store away items that are not appropriate for the season.
Day 7: Storage/Garage/Loft Space
Although storage areas can sometimes be the most overwhelming part of the decluttering process, the final day can be a good time to do them. You will now have gathered enough momentum and motivation on the previous days to push through it!
Be ruthless. Gather items to be sold, donated, recycled, or binned, and look for tidy storage solutions for the rest.
Now, have you obediently worked through our seven-day challenge? Congratulations — you’re clutter-free!