By Helena Zachariassen, Home and Lifestyle Editor
Welcome to part 2 of 22 things to declutter in 2022! I hope Part 1 inspired you to start with at least one of the tasks. If not, what held you back? I would love to hear in the comments and help you in any way I possibly can!
In the past month, I’ve suffered from post-covid symptoms such as extreme fatigue and my focus has been totally off. Hence, I’ve been forced to declutter and redo my time management. And this my friends, has been a game-changer! Read more on that below.
Are you ready? I’ve made you 11 super easy decluttering tasks, most of them should be done in 15 mins or so (except the one-week time audit of course, which is totally optional).
Do you know how much time you spend on screens every day? Do you know how many hours per day you scroll randomly on social media? Or watch Netflix?
If you ever feel that you don’t have enough time I strongly suggest that you perform a TIME audit. What does that even mean? Open a blank spreadsheet and for one whole week write down everything that you do in 15 mins/30 mins time slots. You will be amazed at how much time you could actually save for more fun things! Per day you won’t need more than 15 mins to write down what you’ve spent your time on. This is the first step to changing your habits and creating a schedule you love and own.
#13 Fridge & freezer
Yeah. If you haven’t done this for a while, get your gloves on. Remove all of the contents of your fridge and do a deep clean. Toss expired stuff and those you haven’t touched for ages. Advanced level fridge organisation would be to get fridge bins to keep it all organised. Can be found on Amazon if you’re into that.
Check if your freezer need’s defrosting and if yes try to do it in winter when it’s below 0 outside. If you live in a warmer climate, just eat the contents, defrost, deep clean and you’re ready to go again.
#14 Water/drinking bottles
You cannot imagine how many water bottles the average person has. It’s one for work, one for your nightstand, one for sports practice, one for the bike, etc. Not to mention how many sponsored, free bottles people bring home from various events. Time to have a look through them and decide which ones are of good quality, being frequently used, which ones are maybe leaking, and which ones could be recycled.
#15 Vases & candle holders
You know more than well, which ones are your favourites and which ones never get picked. The ones furthest in the back of the cupboard would be far better off recycled or donated, right? If it’s designer stuff, or vintage, you can always try to sell them online.
Hand on your heart – do you keep batteries in one place or spread out in your home wherever you have a device needing spare batteries? Gather all your batteries, look through them, and from now on, keep all of them in one bin, separated by type. You will thank yourself next time you’re looking for that specific kind of tiny round battery.
#17 Junk drawer
This is my favourite to tidy! A random pile of this and that stuffed in your top entrance cupboard. Sounds familiar? Yeah, most people have a junk drawer for stuff they don’t know what to do with. Out of sight, out of mind! No more.
This time you will empty that junk drawer on the floor and declutter it all. Usually, 70-80% can be binned. The other 20-30% you can neatly organise by category in repurposed bins. If you want to check out my video on junk drawer organising, you can find it here.
This is a super easy one. Remove all you have on your nightstand, wipe it down and return only the things that are currently and frequently a) in use b) being read, or c) makes you smile. The rest does not belong there. The less visual clutter you see before falling asleep, the better you will be able to sleep.
#19 Mobile phone app subscriptions
How many times have you been charged for an app you didn’t want? You tried it out and then decided it wasn’t for you, but you forgot to cancel the subscription. Happened to me too, way too many times. Now is the time: go to your phone and pull up the subscriptions page and ruthlessly edit and cancel any unwanted subscriptions.
Whether your pantry is big or small, it’s often neglected and we tend to forget what we have unless it’s at eye level. Remove everything off one shelf at a time or one drawer at a time, depending on what your pantry looks like. Check expiration dates and let go of anything you don’t use or need and donate them to a neighbour. If you have already organised your items by category, you can declutter one category at a time. If not, this is your chance to reorganise your pantry and always know what you have in that category.
I hear you, no inbox can be decluttered in 15 mins. True. But we can get rid of a lot in 15 mins, if we do it on a regular basis! Unsubscribing is one of my favourite tasks. Another favourite is using the search function for that email address you just unsubscribed from and voilá, you just deleted 200 emails (or more) in 30 seconds!
#22 Towels & bed linen
Do you keep all of your linens and towels in one place? I highly recommend storing any items belonging to a similar category together. This way you always have a full overview of what you own. Don’t take your guest linen to the basement, you will forget about them unless they’re in frequent use! So, for this exercise bring them all to one place and check your linens and towels for holes, discoloration, and excessive wear and tear. If you’re an advanced declutterer, this can also be done each time you wash your linens instead of only once per year.
#23 Seasonal decorations
Whether it’s Easter, Christmas, Diwali, or any other seasonal holiday, I encourage you to declutter your existing decorations every time you bring them out and before hitting the shops to buy something new. This way they don’t accumulate uncontrollably. If they’re in good shape try donating the unwanted decorations, many places will gratefully accept this kind of donation.
Check your status quo, ie. bank statements, and make categories within budgeting. This will help you see exactly where your money goes, just like in the time exercise. This step equals the “power of the pile” in decluttering and is designed to shake you up a little. Tidy up your do’s and get rid of the don’ts. Any small daily/weekly expense can make a big difference (a daily takeaway coffee for 6+ CHF equals almost 2000 CHF/year!)
And finally, ask why before buying. Ask yourself whether a purchase is necessary and truly sparks joy! If you already started decluttering your belongings chances are your consumption habits have changed / will change forever.
Have you downloaded our free ebook – 21 Hidden Gems of Switzerland? If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to download it while planning your next Swiss Getaway.
To read posts from January, click here