Whether it’s due to bad habits, a spouse who’s a hoarder, or a busy lifestyle, ‘stuff’ just seems to pile up no matter how hard we try to stay organised. Here’s how to declutter your home…stress-free.

If you are fortunate to have a big home, you might not notice it immediately – until you finally run out of space. Clutter can clog the smooth workings of any home and cause any amount of stress and hassle in the household.

Clearing out stuff need not provoke anxiety – and what’s more, it can also deliver a reduction in your insurance premiums. Follow these steps to declutter your space in a low-stress way:

1. Start with the big stuff

It can be overwhelming to go through all the stuff that you have accumulated over the years. To reduce anxiety, take a logical approach from the beginning. Start with the biggest items, because these will free up the most space. It is much easier to start with things such as furniture and paintings and work from there.

2. Get rid of the gear that you no longer use

Avoid keeping a ‘junk room’, which can quickly get out of hand. While you may have a spare room, a storage area or space in the garage, it can be put to much better use if kept decluttered (and selling those unused items can raise a bit of cash, too). Give some thought to the space you have and then decide how you can use it.

3. How often do I use this item?

Always ask yourself this question – it will be a good indicator of whether it can be tossed or not. If regularly used, there’s no need to get rid of it. Start with the easier, bigger things and save the harder decisions for the end of the process, once you’ve built some momentum.

4. Keep the bigger picture in mind

Everyone is different, but if you find yourself becoming sentimental, there are tricks to save space without that feeling of throwing away memories. Ask the question – “Is there a more compact way that I can save the memory?” For example, take a photograph, or keep a piece of a bedding or clothing item as a keepsake. Another solution could be giving the item to a close friend or family member who has a use for it.

5. Go through your memorabilia often

In the same way that you don’t keep a dining room table which has fallen into disuse, you can also discard photographs and other keepsakes if they are tucked away, untouched, in a box somewhere. If you have saved memorabilia, go through it often and ask yourself, “Is this stuff still meaningful?”

If you have photographs in a box, it would be more useful to scan and save them to a digital photo frame. Remember that while keeping things for sentimental reasons is worthwhile, those which are tucked away, unseen in the back of cupboards, are not adding any value.

Decluttering your home need not be stressful, but instead can be liberating and can contribute to feeling more calm and comfortable in your own space.

Or as Albert Einstein said: “Three rules of work: out of clutter find simplicity, from discord find harmony, in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

By Nthabiseng Moloi, MiWay head of marketing.

Article credit: http://www.all4women.co.za/490570/home-garden/household-tips/5-tips-to-declutter-your-home-the-stress-free-way