Here is my guide on how to clean and declutter your house fast.
Top reasons for wanting to declutter in a hurry include
- you want to sell and move to a new property
- you have visitors that you would like to impress with a lovely clean and organized home
- you are just fed up with looking a the mess in your home
- the mess in your home is just making you feel ill and depressed
- the amount of stuff in your home is a health and safety hazard
- you have been told by others like your local resident association or landlord to tidy up face being evicted.
- you may have a nasty pest infestation
Ok some of these reasons may be a bit extreme, but they are all great motivators for change..
Why Decluttering is so Hard?
Decluttering your home might seem like a simple and straightforward process on the surface. After all, you’re just throwing out junk, right?
Wrong. It’s a lot more than that.
To declutter a living space is about more than just tidying up the items lying around. You’ll need to discard belongings that you’ve held on to for years and which have held you back too.
This is a thoughtful and emotional process that should be undertaken with thought and care.
To effectively clean a home you absolutely need to declutter the home first. It’s a fact that you can’t clean and organize clutter. Any attempt will end in tears.
Below you’ll find a step-by-step process to declutter and clean your home so that you get the most out of this life-changing experience.
Make a Plan
It’s a major undertaking to declutter an entire house in one day. You’ll most probably not be able to do it. It’s better to declutter one room a day, or even one part of a room at a time.
The key to succeeding here is to be consistent with the decluttering. Even if it takes you weeks to declutter and clean your home, that is time well-spent.
So, make a plan and decide which room you’ll start with and which rooms you will move on to in consecutive order
Throw out the obvious items first
Once you start decluttering, you’ll first want to toss out the items that are clearly of no use to you.
These could be old CDs, expired cosmetics products, old batteries, magazines and books you don’t need, old school books, expired coupons, old bills, and so on.
It’s amazing how clutter builds up over time when you neglect to throw out the little bits of unwanted items
Ask yourself these 2 questions
Once the trash is cleared, you’ll discover that some items are of a ‘questionable’ nature.
What does that mean?
It means you no longer use these items, but you’re still clinging on to them for sentimental value or hoping that you might use them “in the future”. This is where the real decluttering process begins.
You’ll need to ask yourself 2 questions:
- Do I really need this?
- Where should I put it?
These 2 questions are the fundamentals of all decluttering. When you ask yourself if you truly need it, you’ll be discovering the emotional reason for holding on to the item.
What you’ll need to do then is to be grateful that the item brought you joy once upon a time, but now you’ll need to disconnect your emotions from the object and throw it away.
By letting go of the items, that no longer serve you, you’ll experience an emotional release.
Some things cost way more when we keep them.Neeraj Agnihotri, (Procrasdemon: The Artist’s Guide to Liberation From Procrastination)
After asking yourself the first question, you’ll probably rid yourself of a lot of emotionally-charged items. Then you’ll be left with stuff that’s too precious to discard.
These could be old photos of your kids, parents, etc. or old drawings your child did when they were young. Looking at these brings you joy and serves you.
Now you need to figure out how and where you’ll store these precious items. It’s best to use clear plastic airtight containers. This will allow you to know what’s in the box with just a glance.
Categorizing the Clutter
Once you’ve put all the clutter aside, you’ll want to sort it out into 3 or 4 categories.
You can decide which you wish to recycle, which you’ll throw away, and which you’ll either donate or sell (in a garage sale or an auction site).
Whatever the case, it’s best to get the items out of your house as soon as possible.
Once your home is decluttered, you should store the remaining items in your house systematically.
- Items that are used daily should generally be kept together.
- Small items may have a box of their own. For example, new batteries, pens, stationery, etc. may be kept in one box.
Tips for Cleaning Your Decluttered Home
It’s worth saying again that you can only really start cleaning your home once all the clutter has gone.
As you declutter you will find areas of your home opening up. This will give you space to get stuck in with some deep cleaning.
Areas you have not been able to reach like behind sofas become easier to access and clean.
I would recommend having a vacuum cleaner and duster close to hand as you declutter, in my experience clutter equals dust.
Only really have a good deep clean once the clutter has gone.
A deep clean usually involves.
- dusting all hard surfaces like shelves, skirting boards, and pictures. If the dust is thick these might need to be washed and dried.
- cleaning any windows and or mirrors
- vacuum upholstery
- vacuum all the walls and ceilings to get rid of dust and cobwebs
- wash throw pillow covers and throw blankets
- takedown and launder curtains if necessary
- vacuum and clean rooms without carpets
- rooms with carpets need a good deep vacuum, getting in all the edges and corners. For this, the furniture needs to be moved.
- don’t forget lampshades these get very dusty either vacuum or dust these.
- for bathrooms, showers and toilets give everything a good clean with a bathroom cleaner.
- scrub and clean your toilets, baths, and showers until they look new.
Make Your Home Beautiful
After you have completely cleaned and decluttered your home you will want it to look beautiful.
After all your efforts you just need to sit back and appreciate your gorgeous clean home.
- place vases full of foliage and flowers on shelves and tables.
- display a few key ornaments that you love on mantles, shelves, and tables.
- place pictures that you love on the walls.
To conclude, decluttering can be an emotional process and sensitive people may even find themselves crying and becoming emotional every now and then.
During times like these, be patient with yourself and understand that it’s time to let go of the item.
Start small and slowly but keep going declutter your home until it’s clean and tidy you most certainly won’t regret it.