Tis the season to declutter, but getting your home to look as good as you want it to can seem a bit, well, arduous, right? So meet the micro-decluttering - or ‘mini-decluttering’ - method, our new favorite fast-paced approach.
A bit like the 80/20 decluttering rule, it is all about scaling down the time you spend on tidying your home, breaking it down into small individual tasks that you can do throughout the week that require minimal effort.
This suits a lot of different people as we all lead busy lives and it can be easy to neglect the clutter in our homes. When we do this, it can easily build up and become overwhelming. Try to avoid this from happening by embracing the micro-decluttering technique.
Instead of trying to declutter your entire home or a room in one go, micro-decluttering encourages you to target one specific area that can be completed in a matter of minutes, which then becomes a daily habit.
How to micro-declutter
We consulted the expert, Di Ver Test from Di Is Organized to give us some top tips on how to micro-declutter in our own homes. Her quick and easy hacks are sure to make decluttering feel less daunting.
1. Set A Timer
Choose a specific amount of time, such as 10 or 15 minutes, and focus on decluttering within that time frame. This system helps prevent feeling overwhelmed and makes the task more manageable.
2. Designate Decluttering Spots
Place designated bins or baskets in different areas of your home for items that need to be donated, recycled, or put away. This makes it easy to declutter as you go about your daily activities.
3. Start a Weekly Challenge
Challenge yourself to declutter one item or area every week. This consistent, small effort can add up over time and contribute to a clutter-free environment. The 12 12 12 decluttering method is the sort of challenge that helps you make a game of the task.
4. Tackle High-traffic Areas First
Focus on decluttering areas that are frequently used, such as the entryway, kitchen counters, or bathroom surfaces. Keeping these spaces clear can significantly impact your overall sense of order.
Micro-decluttering is all about incorporating small, consistent efforts into your routine to maintain an organized and clutter-free space over time. You can make progress without feeling overwhelmed by breaking down the decluttering process into manageable tasks.
One of the main advantages of micro-decluttering as opposed to more traditional organizing methods is that it fits into busy schedules. Sarah Schier, Professional Organizer at Beautiful Life explains that ‘micro-decluttering accommodates the reality of our hectic lives. It's the perfect solution for professionals and parents who can spare only a little time each week’.
One of the best things about micro-decluttering is that you will receive almost instant gratification, as the miniature tasks won’t take very long at all, for example, tidying a bathroom vanity drawer. ‘Small, consistent efforts lead to lasting change. Micro-decluttering ensures that you're making steady progress without feeling the need for a massive time commitment. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by an entire room, micro-decluttering allows you to focus on specific areas, making the process more approachable and less intimidating’, says Sarah.
Where To Micro-declutter?
Start making your micro-decluttering to do list and be inspired by the below tasks that Sarah has outlined.
The kitchen junk drawer: Tackle that notorious kitchen junk drawer. Dispose of expired coupons, pens that don't work, and random items that have found their way in.
Closet shelf by shelf: Instead of attempting to declutter your entire closet in one go, focus on one shelf at a time. Evaluate clothes, shoes, or accessories, and donate or discard items you no longer need.
Desktop clear-out: Spend 10 minutes clearing your desktop or workspace. File away papers, recycle old notes, and wipe down the surface for a fresh start.
Bathroom cabinet blitz: Take on one shelf or section of your bathroom cabinet each week. Check for expired medications, empty containers, and products you no longer use.
Under-the-bed cleanse: Declutter the space under your bed by removing items that have accumulated over time. Store or donate things you don't need or use.
Tackle the Plastic Containers: Dive into the Containers cabinet. Match lids to bases, discard any that are worn or have lost their mates, and organize them for easy access.
Micro-decluttering success: Like most aspects of life, the key to success when it comes to micro-decluttering is being consistent. By incorporating micro-decluttering into your everyday life will keep clutter at bay and will leave you with a constant sense of pride and gratitude.
Consistently tidying small pockets of your home will contribute to the bigger picture and will leave you with a positive transformation in your living spaces.
Part of the issue with decluttering is the fear that by letting go you're losing something - and that can hold you back when you're trying to be fast paced. This book helps you reframe that belief and take a much more positive approach to getting your home in order.
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Becca Cullum-Green is a freelance interiors content creator and stylist. She fell in love with interiors when she landed her first job as an editorial assistant at a leading UK homes magazine fresh out of university. You can find her renovating her 19th-century cottage in the Suffolk countryside, consciously trying not to paint every wall with Farrow and Ball’s ‘Pitch Black’. Her signature style is a mix of modern design with traditional characteristics. She has previously worked for House Beautiful, Grand Designs, Good Housekeeping, Red, Good Homes and more.
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