Cleaning. It’s a bonafide first world problem that requires a certain level of motivation that many don’t naturally possess. Let’s be honest, when given the choice between doing the dishes and going for beers with boys, is it even a question? However, there comes a time in every man’s life when physically and metaphorically ‘decluttering’ your life is a necessity.
If you’re tired of living in squalor and frantically scrubbing the dishes before your mates or your mum drop by, Read on to pick up some organisational advice on how to best declutter your pad.
#1 Find A Starting Point
As with any task we’d rather not be doing, the hardest thing about decluttering is knowing where to start. Take the guesswork out of it and start with a single shelf (bookshelf, display case etc.). Remove everything from the shelf and clear away any dust and grime before replacing the items thoughtfully. Remove items whose only purpose is to collect dust and position the remaining ones neatly. Decluttering isn’t all about throwing things away; a tidy and neatly arranged home can have the same effect.
#2 Timing Is Everything
Nobody is suggesting you set aside a whole day or, worse yet, an entire weekend to decluttering and organising your pad. Procrastination is prevalent when dedicating too much time to one task, so set a timer for 15-20 minute intervals and do as much as you can in that space of time. Do your best to accomplish more work during each interval, and try to set decluttering P.Bs each time.
#3 Streamline Cords & Wires
Wires and gadgets are as common in a bachelor pad as gold medals and girls in Usain Bolt’s house. Keep gadgets together and out of the way by storing them in one area of the room. There are plenty of simple housing units that hide cords safely and neatly.
#4 Keep Paper In Check
Perhaps the most common cause of clutter is paper. Bills, receipts, junk mail and other scraps of paper are all culprits that can pile up before you know it. Assemble a simple filing system (forget large, cumbersome filing cabinets your dad used to use) to keep important documents together and out of the way. An expanding pocket folder system is generally big enough for household paperwork. Always open mail straight away and file anything important immediately, discarding the rest.
#5 Out Of The Closet
Do you still have your under-14s football jersey decaying in the back of your wardrobe? Say ‘NO’ to sentimentality and empty your wardrobe and drawers of their contents. Place clothes in either a ‘Keep’, ‘Maybe’ and ‘Chuck’ piles. Abide by the three-month rule and cull the ‘maybe’ box every three months. Throw out anything stained or generally in disrepair and drop the rest in your local charity bin. If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. If you hesitate for more than 30 seconds, get rid of it.
#6 Become A Minimalist
Channel your inner Spartan and consider a minimalist interior design. Minimalism is growing in popularity and you’ll be surprised how addictive it is to rid yourself of useless or unnecessary possessions. Just be careful you don’t go overboard and end up sleeping on a yoga mat and eating of paper plates. Keep things simple, streamlined and symmetrical and stick to the basics.
#7 Follow Through
It isn’t good enough to fill a garbage bag with clothes for Vinnie’s and call it a day. Follow through and complete each task. For example, throw out rubbish immediately and deliver clothes to the charity bin on the same day. The longer you leave these things lying around, the more likely they are to become clutter again.
#8 Keep Flat Surfaces Clear & Clean
Flat surfaces like the dining table, kitchen bench and coffee table have a tendency to attract clutter. A simple way to slay this dilemma is to dedicate five minutes each night before bed clearing away and wiping down all the flat surfaces you can see.
#9 Secret Storage
Furniture that doubles as hidden storage is useful when entertaining because it allows you to quickly rid the surrounding space of any crap lying around. Multifunctional couches are popular, as are large storage ottomans, both offering a stack of built-in compartments. Consider using an antique trunk as your coffee table and keep magazines, pillows and gaming controls tucked inside when not in use.
#10 Magazines & Books
Unless you own a priceless Playboy collection, throw out magazines that are more than three months old. For books, donate anything you have already read and get rid of those useless coffee table books you think make you look ‘cultured’ or smart. Books attract dust and mites so only keep publications that are important to you, or those you know you will read again.