When you live in a small apartment, studio, or home, the last thing you want is to overcrowd your space with clutter. Yes, it can be very easy to bring home and keep a lot of souvenirs, products, and other items, but organizing your things and keeping everything in order is another thing. What some people might not realize is that it can actually cost you to keep something rather than to throw or donate it. It is taking some valuable space after all!
It’s always good to declutter and re-organize your home every few months, but it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. So today, we’re breaking down some tried and tested tips to help you sort out your things and get your home looking even more beautiful and welcoming than before.
1. Start gradually
What a lot of people do when they make up their minds to declutter their homes is that they try to accomplish too much at one time. They go through their entire house and are overwhelmed by all the items they have to go through or the time it takes to go through everything. It’s best to start slow. Carve out 5 minutes of your day and start with one section of your home and then slowly cover other areas in the next few days. That way you won’t feel like the act of decluttering is a burden but more of a routine.
2. Get help from a friend
Whether it’s your roommate, a family member, your partner, or a friend, it’s always best to get someone else to help you declutter. They can provide an outsider’s opinion of your space and what needs to go and stay, and can also be a pair of helping hands when you’re moving or throwing things away.
3. Categorize your things
To help keep structure when decluttering, it’s a good idea to categorize your belongings and other household items into one of the four categories: keep, re-locate (to another part of the house), give away or donate, and throw away. Segregate your items into boxes or use post it notes to mark which items are sorted into which category.
4. Ask yourself a list of questions to help you make up your mind
If you’re having a hard time categorizing your items, you can ask yourself a few simple questions: Do I need it? Do I love it? And following Marie Kondo’s popular saying, “Does it spark joy?” If you answer yes to one of those questions, then that means that item is a keeper. If not, you can segregate it in the give away or throw away pile.
5. Follow the one-in one-out rule
If you prefer a stricter approach when it comes to decluttering, you can follow the one-in one-out rule. This means that for every new item you buy/bring into your home, one item must either be thrown out or given away.
6. Apply the 90-day rule
Another rule you can apply to your home is the 90-day rule. This rule is particularly helpful when it comes to items in your kitchen, bathroom, and closet. Basically, you have to keep track of everything you use within a 90-day period. You can mark items you used in your kitchen and bathroom with colorful pieces of tape and donate everything else that isn’t marked at the end of 90 days. If you’re following this rule for your closet, you can mark your hangers or place all the clothes you’ve used during the 90 days on one side of your closet. If 90 days seem a bit short for you, you can extend this period to 6 months maximum.
7. Limit yourself
Is there any particular item that you have plenty of? Do you have plenty of shoes? What about jars? Plates? Cooking pans? Papers lying all over the house? Try to set a limit for each category. For example, you can set a limit to 10 pairs of shoes, 5 jars, 4 cooking pans, and 3 folders or drawers for paper. Setting limits will help you get rid of the excess supply you need but are probably just a bit hesitant to let go of.
8. Double check expiration dates
Look in your kitchen and bathroom for items that may have expired and throw them out. You know the toiletries you keep on the bathroom shelf? How long have they been there? All the lotions and potions on your vanity table – are they still okay? The same goes for items in your pantry and kitchen as well.
9. Maximize your storage space
Hong Kong is the land of small living spaces, so that means maximizing the most out of your space. Can you attach a floating shelf to your wall? Maybe you can opt to buy a coffee table with two shelves instead of one? What about a TV cabinet that also serves as a bookshelf or an extendable dining table? There are many dual purpose products out there and many creative ideas you can do to make the most out of the space you’re living in. You can browse through Føerni’s online catalog and check out items like the Josette Industrial Coffee Table or the Vilhelm Industrial Solid Wood TV Cabinet for some samples.
10. Take before and after photos
There’s nothing better than the feeling of satisfaction after a job well done. Make sure to document what you’re decluttering – whether it’s a small space in your home or a large room – to help keep you motivated and to share your accomplishments with your family and friends!