Too much stuff? How to declutter

Professional organiser Natalie Jane has an easy plan to declutter even the messiest home.
NZ House & Garden

Professional organiser Natalie Jane has an easy plan to declutter even the messiest home.

Drowning in stuff? Professional organiser Natalie Jane offers a 10-step plan to declutter your home.

1. Identify areas you want to attack and make a list starting with your worst clutter spot. (A list is motivating because you can cross things off.)

2. Lock in the time and put it in your diary.

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3. Having trouble getting started? Just do one drawer at a time or promise yourself you'll do just 10 minutes a day for the next five days.

4. You'll need cleaning stuff, rubbish bags and at least five boxes – marked keep, throw away, charity, recycle and relocate (for things that should be in a different place).

5. Start sorting in an orderly fashion, shelf by shelf, from top to bottom.

6. Be brave about getting rid of things. Ask yourself: "Do I love it? Do I use it? Do I need it?" If you can't answer yes to any of these it's time to let it go. If you struggle with this, you may need a "thinking box" – after a couple of months you may feel happy to part with items.

7. Immediately get rid of rubbish and recycling and put items to be given away in the car for delivery next time you're out.

8. Reorganise in a way that makes sense to you and your family. Helpful rules: like with like; put items in labelled containers (then everyone will know where to find batteries, for example); use dividers in drawers; put frequently used items in accessible spots, things that are used less can go up high.

9. Set up systems to stop things collapsing back into chaos. For example, if you like to organise your paperwork at the bench, not in the office, set up a system in the kitchen that will work for you.

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10. Persist. You need to keep decluttering and tidying regularly to keep things under control.

For more information visit Natalie's website www.beorganised.co.nz

This story first featured in the October 2014 issue of NZ House & Garden. For more like this, visit  nzhouseandgarden.co.nz or subscribe at mags4gifts.co.nz.

 - NZ House & Garden

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