6 tips on how to clear out and organise your home

Do I really need twelve pairs of jeans to be happy? It’s something you’ve probably noticed many times before: You own many things that you never use. Things are accumulating fast, but parting with them is difficult. It’s time to make space for new things: new furniture, new decorations, new memories. Here are six tips to help you:

Woman taking time to organise her home

Tip #1: Keep it quick – just 5 minutes a day

But I don’t have time to clear out old things! Of course, clearing out old clutter takes time, but afterwards you’ll feel better and have space for new things. One quick and easy solution is to set a timer for five minutes every day and just get to work. Create a category (for example: shoes, jeans or books), put everything in a pile and sort out what you no longer need.

Tip #2: Start a challenge

It’s easier to do things together? Then find a friend who also wants to clear out their home. Start a 30-day challenge and compete to see who gets the most done. Organise and clear out a different area of the home every day. Keep yourselves motivated with photos and funny anecdotes about the things you find. As you’ll see, the month will pass by quickly, and then you’ll have room for new memories.

Woman organising clothes
Woman organising kitchen counter

Tip #3: One in, one out

Do you find it difficult to part with things, and it’s slowly but surely turning into a passion for collecting? Then you should live by the motto “one in, one out”. Whenever you bring a new item into your home, an old one has to go. The idea behind this is simple but effective: it prevents you from hoarding things. What’s more, it forces to you consider whether you really want to replace the items that you love so dearly. Unloved items, on the other hand, you can let go and replace them with things you really want.

Tip #4: Think in drawers

When you sort out items, create three piles: “keep”, “keep with reservation” and “don’t keep”. Then you can put each of the items you want to sort out onto one of these three piles. Pick up the item and think about whether you need it or not. Items that you are not sure about end up in the “keep with reservation” pile. You can put things from the “keep” pile back in your home and throw away the things from the “don’t keep” pile.

Tip #5: Keep with reservation

The “keep with reservation” category is a tough one because the items in this pile tend to end up back in your home before you know it. It’s really hard to get rid of the soft toy your best friend gave you – even if it doesn’t suit your taste at all. A box in the cellar might make it easier for you to make a decision here. You can put items you keep under reservation in this box for a period of six months. If you miss one of the items, you can simply retrieve it. If you don’t, you can dispose of it after the six months.

Sorting into boxes

Tip #6: Where should you put the items you sort out?

Here you can apply a rule of three again: give away, sell, throw away. Perhaps a good friend would be delighted with your favourite old sofa and your mother with a rarely used baking dish? If the items are still in good condition, selling them or taking them to a flea market is an option. Defective items should be disposed of properly.