Thinking of organising your home? We spoke to Nathalie Ricaud, founder of Get Organised & Beyond, to get her professional step-by-step guide to getting even the messiest of homes in order.
Step 1: Start with your why
Before officially embarking on your decluttering journey, ask yourself what you want to achieve in the exercise. Do you want to save time and money? Are you working towards strengthening your relationship with your spouse? Does your objective involve becoming your children’s role model? Establishing a clear purpose on the get-go will give you the motivation to start strong and finish stronger.
Step 2: Research disposal options
Knowing that there are avenues to dispose of your stuff responsibly will prevent you from holding onto things that have outlived their purpose. Sell that expensive dress in an online marketplace and pass old children’s toys to a young, less privileged family. With over 50 avenues in Singapore to donate, recycle, sell, or swap various items, you can be sure that your old things will be in good hands.
Step 3: Come up with some ground rules
Before you even start touching your belongings, list out a series of rules and/or questions specific to the type of objects you’ll be decluttering. Doing so will help you decide which items to take or toss. By setting self-regulations upfront, you separate the decision from the action, making you more detached when going through the physical purge.
“Segregating old clothes in specific categories (work pants, leisure pants) instead of heaping them into one big pile makes it easier for you to narrow down which articles to take or toss.”
Step 4: Build your decluttering muscle
Unlike Japanese tidying superstar Marie Kondo who advocates discarding “all at once, intensely and completely,” start slow and small. Launching with items that require easy decisions helps build your decluttering confidence and provides opportunities to learn the benefits of living with less. Otherwise, you’ll likely have decision fatigue and may end up throwing in the towel halfway through the process. Remember: decluttering should be approached as a journey of self-discovery and an essential activity to live an organised life.
Step 5: Arrange your disposables in piles
When you purge unnecessary possessions, categorise them in multiple stacks instead of the typical two. Be systematic and separate what needs to be donated, given away, recycled, sold, and swapped. Otherwise, you’ll quickly lose track and re-start the process, leading you to doubt your previous decisions.
Step 6: Set a deadline
There’s that triumphant, accomplished feeling whenever you finally manage to chuck non-essential possessions out of your home. If you are currently selling something but no buyer is taking the bait by your deadline, donate or discard it. While we have the best intentions down pat, we don’t always have the time to make them happen—and that’s OK. Just go with the next best option and move on!
This post was adapted from an article originally published in IdealHomes Vol. 12.