Make 2022 Clutter-free If It Can’t Be Covid-free

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Written By Tracey Markos

New Year’s resolutions come and go. Declutter your home, and it will be the gift that keeps giving. 

2022 has begun, but there is a Groundhog Day feeling in the air. Again, the news is filled with Covid numbers, and advice is coming from all directions.

Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT Tests) are the new “toilet paper shortage of 2020”.  The past couple of years has shown us that our home is our haven. It’s our safe workplace and our safe place to relax and refresh.

How our home makes us feel is under our control, and the right feeling can be achieved on any budget. In general, the more elbow grease you throw into a  situation, the fewer dollars you must spend.

Here are some simple guidelines  

Review and reduce – Be brutal.

How many people live in your home? How many sheets and towels do you really need? If there are two of you, I bet you use the same 4-6 towels. Whether you’re choosing by colour, quality, or purpose – be honest. The excess should be culled. A few can go to the laundry for pets or spills, but the rest should be donated to your local animal shelter or recycled.  

Again as for sheets, pillow slips and quilt covers, be ruthless. If you only have a queen-sized bed, get rid of any other size bed linen. The maximum number of sets you need should be three per bed – two sets for summer and one for the depths of winter if you like a nice warm flannelette sheet. Now, try this ‘review and reduce rule’ to every cupboard from the kitchen to the bathroom to the bedroom. 

TIP – Think of your cupboards as real estate; every centimetre has a value. Regularly used items live in the high-value areas, and Christmas stuff lives in the low-value areas.

Let’s start at the very beginning.

Take it all out. Everything. One cupboard at a time. It doesn’t matter where you start – just start. As each cupboard gets reviewed, reduced, cleaned, and repacked, you will feel a sense of achievement that will energise you for the next one.  

If you choose the pantry first, make sure you have garbage bags at the ready. Recycle wherever possible. Wash out bottles and flatten cardboard. It may seem like you are throwing out a lot but were you ever going to eat it? If you must replace things, there is a greater chance you will use them now that your cupboard is organised and accessible.

TIP – When it comes to new storage containers for the fridge, pantry and linen press, don’t buy anything until you know what you need and what will fit.

Different shapes for different spaces.  

When the repacking phase begins, try different ways of folding or packaging. Move shelves up or down if they are adjustable. Keep similar items together.

Some towels store nicely folded but sometimes rolling is better. Would storing the sheets and pillowcases in one package make it easier at changeover time? Can you store hand towels in your bathroom and clear space in your linen cupboard? This will be a work in progress, so don’t lose heart if your first attempt needs tweaking.

TIP – Take a trip to IKEA and look at the storage solutions they offer for every situation. Enjoy a yummy, budget-friendly lunch and relax.

Decluttering is not a challenge; it’s a lifestyle choice.

Slow and steady is fine… and preferable.