Managing Home Clutter – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reduce stress this Summer

Play dates, summer camps, holidays, work deadlines, family engagements and lots of other competing responsibilities can cause lots of stress in our daily lives. Add the build up of clutter around you and you can name another cause of stress.  Research shows that clutter can be a hidden stress factor both at home and work. Our aim is simple, reduce reuse or recycle your excess stuff in order to reduce stress and increase spare time. No more moving old and once useful stuff from one location to another therefore more time for you and your family.

Research by Lloyd’s TSB suggests homes are now packed to the roof with clutter. The most cluttered room in the house is the main bedroom, followed by spare bedrooms with generation x aged between 35 and 44 hoarding the most. Why is this?

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle
Reduce – Reuse – Recycle

In Ireland a 2015 study found that on average two in five Irish adults (38%) consider themselves to be hoarders, meaning more clutter (Source: Empathy Research)  Further research commissioned by NESTA outlined 58% of respondents found it hard to get rid of their possessions.

The National Association of Professional Organizations shows there is a direct correlation between productivity and clutter. Productivity declines when clutter and chaos rise. Piles of paper, unorganised kitchen space or play rooms, old receipts, bills and paperwork stuffed in boxes or drawers will take over your home over a period of time.

Reduce clutter

Clutter is anything we have gathered or collected but have not yet processed or dealt with. Examples include unread books, old electronic equipment, files which have not been filed properly; clothes thrown on the floor, stuff that you no longer need, want or use but you still possess. Remember, clutter is not usually confined to one area can be spread across you home.

Floor Plan

What to do?

Before anything else, make a simple plan with specific and simple goals that will reduce your frustration and stress.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you start decluttering your home:

  • Make a map or plan of all the rooms and areas with clutter  you want to tackle.
  • Give each space a grade based on the severity of the clutter. For example, on a scale of 1 – 5 (5 being the most cluttered), a particularly messy room or garage area would get a 5. This will help you prioritise your time.
  • Do one room at a time.
  • Set finish dates for each area of your clean-up. Be sure to pick dates that are real so you don’t get annoyed.
  • Plan time to work on specific areas which may take longer like a garden shed or attic.
  • Plan for days you might need help with lifting on moving items.

As you go through the rooms in your house, you will need a system for sorting the items you find. You can create your own method, or you can use boxes as a route to sorting clutter. This method forces you to make a decision item by item, so you don’t end up with a bigger mess than the one you started with.

So find three or four large boxes or storage bins (any type). Label each of them up as follows, 1. Keep, 2. Remove  3. Store. These solution applies to the all physical space you spend your time in on a day-to-day basis: your home, workspace and the car.

Declutter with Boxes
Declutter with Boxes

Once the stuff is in boxes you can decide what you want to do with the items for removal. We have a list of some solutions of which might work for you.

10  things which work! 

  1. Sell stuff online, e.g. Ebay, Done Deal or Adverts.
  2. Repurpose old stuff with some DIY and help from friends.
  3. Donate to charity or community organisations.
  4. Use items or ask someone else if they can use the items.
  5. Gift your items to friends or colleague with an interest in them.
  6. Share items free for reuse. Go online or find an exchange network.
  7. Don’t hold onto items once they have made the box.
  8. Recycle all old electrical, electronic and battery operated items.
  9. Moving forward, recycle stuff immediately when used or end of life.
  10. Recycle one day at a time and don’t let the clutter start again.

If you have not used, needed or loved an item in a year or more you most likely don’t need it so let go, recycle it.  If you have worn out or broken items that you haven’t fixed, recycle all.

If you feel guilty at throwing an item away, consider gifting or donating ( based on the condition). This can boost your energy and self-esteem, in addition to getting rid of your clutter.

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning not for profit social enterprise providing a collection and drop off service for all types of waste electrical, electronic and metal items. During 2016 Recycle IT offered drop off and collection services to 100,000 homes and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE which includes thousands of computers, cables, monitors, microwaves and TV’s.

The Recycle IT electrical community collection service is provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT are supported by Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow.

Recycle IT - Pakman Award Winner 2016
Recycle IT – Pakman Award Winner 2016
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