It’s all too easy for our homes to get cluttered. We all collect, store and hoard items that we can easily live without. In fact, the Choosi Clutter report found that 73% of Australian households were cluttered with unwanted or unused possessions. But by understanding some of the common causes of clutter, you can help minimize your pile-up, make better use of your space and lower those stress levels. Read on to find out how.
Four common clutter causes and how to kick them
Letting go is hard to do. According to the Choosi Clutter report, sentimental attachment accounts for 39% of clutter in Australian homes. And while there’s no doubt those family photos should be cherished forever, there are likely a few holiday mementos or childhood toys that you could definitely survive without. Ask yourself how upset you’d really be if you lost that old box of keepsakes in the attic — you might find that all you really need to keep a hold of are the memories themselves.
We’re all guilty of indulging in a little retail therapy now and again. That recreational shopping habit, however, is most likely standing between you and a beautifully clutter-free home. In fact, Choosi found that materialism accounts for half of our clutter, and 11% of Australians identify as shopaholics. The next time you hit the stores, try mindful shopping. Walk away from that impulse purchase and give yourself an hour to think it over. Chances are, you’ll decide you don’t really need that shiny new handbag or gadget after all.
The festive season
The average Aussie spends AUD $963 on gifts during each festive season, and receives $620 worth of unwanted gifts each year. That’s a whopping AUD4.4 billion of unused clutter lying in the nation’s homes. Next year, why not try setting a spending limit in your family instead?
And if you’ve received something you’re never going to use — and you can’t face asking your friend or relative for the receipt — don’t just chuck it in the spare room to collect dust. Why not re-gift your present or donate it to charity — you’ll cut your clutter while making someone else happy in the process.
Why a clutter-free home is a happy home
Clutter can cause stress, household tensions and arguments in relationships. Maybe you’re constantly running late because you can never find your keys or phone underneath all those never-worn clothes. Perhaps that pile of unopened mail on the kitchen counter is a daily reminder of a job not done. Or maybe too much stuff — just like too many options — is making decision-making difficult.
A minimalist home is a much more relaxing and productive environment to live and work in. Fewer belongings mean fewer things to stress over, and fewer distractions too. Plus, a decluttered home is much easier to clean. Taking a minimalist approach to your home can both help you relax when you need to and focus when the occasion calls for it too.
Four easy clutter cures anyone can try
It’s no surprise, then, that over a third of Aussies are eager to declutter their homes. But it’s a task that’s easier said than done. Not knowing what to get rid of — and then actually finding the time and motivation to dispose of it — are just a few of the barriers keeping us from reaching our decluttering goals. Thankfully, here are four easy solutions for change that almost everyone can implement.
Nothing motivates like cash, and decluttering can be a great way to make some quick and easy money. In fact, the estimated financial value of clutter in the Australian home is AUD6,623. Get your unused items on eBay, or hold a good old-fashioned yard sale. If you can’t decide whether to keep or chuck an item, then have a look online and see how much you could make from selling it. Once your clutter starts bringing in the dollars, it’ll be a whole lot easier to say goodbye to it.
If you can’t face throwing your cherished belongings in the bin, then why not give them to someone else to enjoy instead? Donating to charity is a win-win solution to your clutter problem. You’ll get a cleaner home and closet, as well as the satisfaction of knowing your beloved possessions are being used and appreciated by someone else. Plus, you won’t be contributing to any landfills either.
Spring clean it
Spring has long been synonymous with a seasonal deep clean, so it’s the perfect time to take the plunge and purge that clutter. Research shows that over a third of Australians are most likely to declutter their home during this season, so take advantage of the milder weather and longer days to give your home — and your mind — a much-needed refresh.
If you’re still not quite ready to depart with your items, then try organizing them instead. It can help to clear a little space and give you back a sense of control. Invest in a functional home storage solution and create a designated place for gadgets, bags, toys, music, movies and keepsakes. As for paperwork, get into the habit of filing any mail as soon as it comes in.