Beating the Winter Clutter Bug

Six Ways to Use the Colder Months to get Organised

For many of us here in Sydney, winter is the season of clutter—not only do we have to pull out a pile of extra clothing to keep us cozy in the chilly air, but we also tend to spend much more time indoors. Rainy days are devoted to crafting and hobbies, children spread their toys around the house, and in no time at all, things get downright messy, necessitating a thorough clean-out once spring rolls around.

Sydney in the winter and house clutter don't have to go hand in hand, however; though many people don't realise it, winter is actually the perfect time to get organised. After all, who wants to spend beautiful sunny spring days indoors de-cluttering, when they could put being stuck indoors on miserable ones to productive use? Likewise, cleaning and organising during Sydney's cold season provide an ideal way to get indoor exercise, combating lethargy, and depression.

To kick-start your journey to a cleaner and happier home this winter, we've compiled the following six clutter-busting tips:

1. Start with your storage spaces:

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Many people begin by working on cleaning and de-clutting of their homes, then get frustrated when there is “nowhere to put things” and invariably give up. To avoid hitting this wall, start by cleaning out your storage spaces. Chances are good they are full of things you barely ever use, and which are perfectly replaceable.

2. Focus on one room at a time:

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There is no faster way to become overwhelmed (and create a massive mess!) than by trying to pull out and organise everything in your home in a sort of week-long spree. Instead, take things slowly and tackle problem areas one at a time.

3. Prune your winter wardrobe:

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Cast a critical on what you're actually wearing as you venture out into the chill each day, and which items you seldom use. Those you rarely wear should be donated—it will mean less to store away in the spring, and make winter wardrobe-related clutter less of an issue during the cold season.

4. Remember to organise the small spaces, too:

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Desk drawers, medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers and cupboards, and other “out of sight, out of mind” places are nesting grounds for needless clutter (dried-out markers, notepads long since disused after the advent of smartphones, half-working pens, mostly-empty bottles of lotion, and so on). Purge all of this useless junk and reorganise these small spaces more practically, storing items you actually use in them (cell phone chargers, adapter cords, etc.)

5. Go as paperless as possible:

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Bills, envelopes, and receipts are one of the greatest sources of preventable clutter there is, littering our desk surfaces, clogging our cabinets and drawers, and even seeping out onto tables and countertops. In the era of online banking, there's really no need for all this—you can pay bills and record expenditures online, and you can scan copies of old paper documents you do want to keep a record of, so that they are kept on your computer instead of in your desk drawers.

6. Get into clutter-free habits:

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Not only should you get rid of everything around the house that you're not using, try to avoid collecting new clutter as well. Eschew the practice of buying things you might use one day simply because they happen to be on sale, and learn to say “no” to hand-me-downs from friends and family (no matter how tempting it is to be presented with free things!) unless they truly are of practical value to you.

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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