9 Decluttering Hacks To Make Life Easier

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Clutter has a massive effect on our stress levels. 

If you walk into a cluttered room, it will instantly raise your cortisol levels, the stress hormone. 

No wonder that, when you look around your home, you feel stressed when you’re surrounded by clutter, toys, clothes, and laundry that needs to be done.

And it’s not because you’re being lazy, but rather because you’re trying to manage too much.

Today I want to share with you some life-changing decluttering hacks that will help you get your home into a more clutter-free zone. 

Let’s make it your most organized year yet and hopefully, the calmest one you’ve ever had as well.

I have a few tricks to share with you, tricks that I have learned in my past year of decluttering and minimising our home, so let’s get started.

9 Decluttering Hacks that Will Change Your Home

9 Decluttering hacks to make this your most organised year yet

Feel free to keep reading below or watch the video:

1. The “one-in-one-out” rule

I find this rule to be super helpful: “one in, one out”. 

You can apply it to anything. 

We sometimes apply it to toys, but most of all, I apply it to my wardrobe. Whenever I’m buying a new sweater for example.

I just got a new jumper from Zara. Actually, it was new just to me, as I got it second-hand on Vinted. I wanted a nice stripy jumper in my wardrobe. So when I bought this new jumper, I went into my wardrobe and asked myself, “Okay, what are some old jumpers that I don’t like anymore or I just don’t wear that much?”. 

And I simply donated those, but you can sell them if you prefer.

Even if you declutter your home and you feel like now it’s in a good state, but you keep up the shopping habits (which I was guilty of too, don’t feel bad)..

If you don’t change your shopping habits, the clutter will just start piling up again.

If you think about how many things you bring into your home every single week. 

That might be quite a big amount of stuff. Your kids bring things from school, you shop for things, and maybe your partner does that too. 

And if you don’t have the same amount of stuff going out each week, then it’s just simple maths: things are going to pile up.

But the “one in, one out” rule is of massive help as it helps prevent the clutter from building up again.

2. The “Whenever you go north” rule

This is another rule that’s proven to be really helpful. 

This is something that my husband didn’t really used to do, but now he’s picked it up as well, without me nagging him. And now my son started picking it up as well.

And because everyone started to contribute a tiny bit more, it just made my whole life easier. Actually, not just my life, but our life as a family in general. 

I read about this a long time ago, I can’t even remember where. But the rule goes like this: whenever you go north, you take with you something that belongs north. 

“What the heck does that mean?”

For example, if I’m going upstairs and I see on the living room floor a toy that belongs upstairs, I’m going to take that toy with me. I’m going there anyway, I could just as well return the toy to its place.

If I’m going into the kitchen, I’m going to look around the living room and see if there are any mugs or plates that need to go in the kitchen. I’ll grab them and take them with me. 

This is something that becomes a habit. It’s something that you just do without even thinking about it, like brushing your teeth every night. 

And it’s impressive that such a simple habit makes such a huge difference. But it’s all these little habits that make a big difference in your home.

3. The Inbox

I’ve mentioned this before because having an inbox is super helpful. It can be anything really that you can use close to your front door or your living area, a place where you can put things when you come into that space. 

Just think of the things that you come in with, they can be quite a few!

For example, I find that it helps to have a letter holder at the entrance. When we get any mail, I will simply put it in there. Then, when I get a chance, I can go through it. 

We also have a basket under the TV where my son can put his drawings and papers from school and everything that he comes in with (those can be quite a few!). 

I go through more of these systems in my blog post about 9 systems to help change your home.

4. The Outbox

This is a similar system to the Inbox one, just in the opposite direction. It’s for taking things out of your house.

As I wrote above, if you bring a lot of things in and not a lot of them go out, things are just going to pile on. 

The antidote? 

An outbox.

It can be as simple as a basket in the under-stairs cupboard. 

That’s what we have, and we use it to throw in things we no longer need or use: toys we realise we want to donate, clothes we don’t wear anymore, or kids’ clothes they’ve outgrown. 

Anything that I notice I want to get rid of, I will put it in the ‘outbox’. 

If I leave an item we no longer need where it is, I’m going to forget it there. 

But putting it in an outbox shows a clear intention that it needs to go.

Then, whenever I have a trip into town, I will go into the outbox, grab whatever is in there, and just take it to a charity shop or to textile recycling.

5. A system for getting things out of your house

This one goes hand in hand with the outbox.

Try to do a bit of research in your local area and think of places where you can take things that you don’t need anymore. 

I often get messages from people saying, “I have all these things I want to get rid of, but I don’t know what to do with them.” 

We want to avoid stuff lingering around. You want to get things out of your house as soon as possible, not just put them in a pile to donate someday. 

There are a few places I use to get rid of stuff.

If it’s rubbish, broken or unusable, it will simply go to the tip. 

I know it might sound wasteful, but the waste was already created when we bought the product. There’s no point in keeping it in your house just because you’re afraid of throwing it away. If it can’t be used, you really do not need to keep it. You’re not doing yourself or your family any favour by keeping all that clutter around. 

If it’s something that is not necessarily broken but I can’t donate either, like old bedding, or old towels, I will take those to textile recycling. 

It might be worth looking in your local area for places where you can do this too. 

Some councils have this set up at the tip. I go to a nearby Dunelm as they have this big green box at the entrance where you can put all your textile recycling.

And then, for donations, for things that can still be used and I want to give away, I will either use our local Facebook group where I’ll sometimes put things for people to just come and collect, or I will take them to a charity shop in town. 

Charity shops are always a good place to give things like toys, clothes, or home decor that are in good condition.

9 Decluttering Hacks that Will Change Your Home

6. “The Floor is Lava” 

With this hack, I don’t just mean jumping on pillows around your house. I mean pretending like you’re not supposed to put anything on the floor because it’s lava.

The floor is one area in our homes that gets cluttered quite easily. And I find that once there are a few things on the floor, more of them will pile on. 

It’s just something that happens. 

For a while, I had a chair in my bedroom where things would get thrown around or on the floor. The thing is, it takes the same amount of time to just drop it on the floor as it takes to put it in the laundry basket or in the wardrobe. 

I used to put a piece of clothing somewhere on the floor or the chair if I had just worn it and it was still clean and wearable, like maybe jeans. I would do this because I felt like they couldn’t go back in the wardrobe as they weren’t ‘clean enough’. 

Nowadays, I put them back in the wardrobe. I have a place for them, on top of my dresser in my wardrobe. So I don’t put them necessarily in the drawer but I put them on top of the dresser. This way, they’re not on the floor constantly, and if they’re clean enough to be worn again,  they’re clean enough to go back in my wardrobe.

7. “The Table is Lava”

This is similar to the previous decluttering hack but applied to the tables in the house.

Tables and clear surfaces can get so easily cluttered with stuff. 

Yes, I know, we have tables to use them. 

But throughout the day or at the end of the day, I would go and have a look at our living room table and do “the table is lava”.

If there are papers that need to go in the recycling, I will do that. My son’s art papers will go into his art basket. 

I won’t leave papers on the table, and the same with the coffee table. 

Any flat surfaces you have are just “clutter magnets”, so they will simply attract stuff. 

So playing this game yourself or with your kids can be super helpful in keeping clear surfaces in your home and as little visual clutter as possible. 

Which brings me to my next hack.

8. Visual clutter is a real thing

You might think, “Oh, it’s not a big deal if there are a few papers or a few plates or mugs in the living room.” 

Well, it’s not, but at the same time, it might be. 

And it might be affecting you without realising it. 

When you look around, all that visual clutter can make you feel stressed and more anxious. It might make you feel like you can’t fully relax. 

That goes for clutter around your home, but also for things like excess decor or excess toys that you have out in the open. 

Anything that makes your room look cluttered will also affect how you feel when you are in that room. 

Did you know some studies show that sleeping in a cluttered bedroom affects the quality of your sleep? 

So it’s not just that we want a pretty room. It’s way more than that. 

A cluttered room is affecting your life, your health, and your mental state.

9. Focus on the “present-you” rather than the “future-you”

This is the last decluttering hack I have for you to help you have a clutter-free home: truly try to focus on the “present you”, right now, rather than the “future you” or a version of you that may or may not happen in the future. 

What this means is to give yourself permission to let go of any clothes that don’t fit you right now. 

Clothes that don’t make you feel good now. 

Clothes that maybe have holes in them (I used to have those in my wardrobe). 

Items that you don’t really like anymore. 

Clothes that you no longer wear even though you think they’re cute.

They can all go. 

Apply this to any other items too. 

For example, hobbies that you used to have but don’t do anymore, or hobbies you think your “future-you” will pick up or enjoy. If you’re not using them at the moment or plan on using them in the near future, there’s no point in keeping them. 

I find that keeping things for years and years in storage can make them degrade and sometimes get damaged or mouldy, depending on what they are. 

And it might be that somebody else could use those items in the meantime.

If you do find, in 5 years’ time, that you want to take up photography again or whatever it might be, then you can always go on eBay and buy a secondhand camera. 

You’re not saying goodbye forever to that hobby. 

You are just acknowledging that you’re not doing it right now, you don’t need those items now, and there’s no point in storing them. 

I hope this was helpful, and I hope this year is a clutter-free one for you. 

You’re on your way to a decluttered home and it will truly make a big difference. 

You’ve got this!

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