By Misha Saul
Our homes are getting smaller and more expensive, but at the same time, our lives have never been busier! Simplifying your home clears the mind. It reduces waste, brings comfort, and allows you to focus on what is meaningful to you. So here are eight ways to declutter your home without breaking the bank.
The best way to declutter and make space is to get rid of what you no longer need. The best way to do that is to donate rather than contribute to waste. Whether it’s food, nursery items, work or casual clothes there are people in need who will benefit from your used or unwanted items. Ensure to check with your selected charity that they’re able to rehome or distribute your donation. Various charities have drop points around town or if you are unable to reach one, they may have volunteers who can collect your items from you.
2. Double duty
Your furniture can double as storage, and it doesn’t need to be modern or expensive. Trunks can double as coffee tables, book stands as bike stands, or vintage filing cabinets as end tables. You can buy or build a ‘zoo’, a basic wooden barred crate for the kids’ fluffy toys to live in.
3. Replace, don’t grow
Fix the items you have in your wardrobe. When you buy a new item, donate or discard the item it’s replacing. Be ruthless with this one – you don’t need more! This will also force you to go through your wardrobe and make the most of the items and space you have.
4. Fill a garbage bag
See how quickly you can fill a garbage bag with things to discard or donate. This applies equally to cleaning out your pantry or your wardrobe. Soon enough this is one trick that’ll run out of steam, but it’s a favourite to get things going.
5. Make every piece count
Your place won’t get bigger or cuter by filling it with furniture you don’t use. Ensure each item is fulfilling a purpose. Scale is crucial – each piece should be in proportion to one another. Lighter colours will make the space feel larger. Distinct pieces will confer character, so be selective!
6. Light, mirrors and windows
Natural light will make a space feel more open. Let light in through larger windows and use elegant mirrors to bounce light around. Furniture can help here too. For example, use a glass coffee tables instead of a wooden one. This also applies to the bathroom: choose a clear glass shower screen over a frosted-glass one.
7. Don’t turn your garage into a junkyard
Your garage can be used to maximise your home space for rotating seasonal clothes and decorations, recreational equipment and occasionally used items like snow and camping gear. Install overhead ceiling racks to hold these. And discard all the outdated and broken furniture and appliances that have collected over the years!
8. On-demand storage
Boxly collects, stores and redelivers your things. You can keep track of your belongings in your online account with photos and a written inventory. When you schedule a pick up, Boxly can also collect donated nursery items for St Kilda Mums or food and household items for Foodbank Victoria.
— Misha Saul is a co-founder of Boxly, a Melbourne based on-demand storage start-up helping people make space in their lives.