When you think of wellness challenges, you may be expecting yoga, meditation and breathing exercises. But there are many different ways of taking care of our well-being – and decluttering your home really can be one of them!

Surprising as it may sound, studies have found that there are mental health benefits to decluttering, from reduced stress to increased focus. What’s more, tuning out the world as you carry out the (relatively) simple task of sorting through your stuff can give you an opportunity to relax.

It’s also about contributing to overall well-being on a wider scale. Once you’ve decluttered, donating any suitable items means we recycle the things that we no longer need.

Your donation can also make a difference to the local community – and you can donate all kinds of items! As part of our recent tennis racquets donation scheme at David Lloyd Clubs, for example, we restored 843 racquets donated by the public, and gave them to local community groups and schools.

It can be difficult to know where to start, but with the right action plan, you can clear space and re-home your things. Whether you dedicate a day, a couple of hours or a quick 30 minutes, make time to declutter your space this week.

Where: Firstly, consider where in your home you have an excess of items that you would like to reduce. Identify which rooms need sorting, and then which areas within each room to target. Perhaps it’s ‘that drawer’ in the kitchen, a rarely-opened bathroom cabinet, or an accumulation of things under the bed. It can help to list these areas from largest to smallest. Start with the biggest area to tackle and work your way through the list from there.

How: Gather boxes, bins, or bags to store the items. You might decide to divide the items by category, placing books in the boxes, clothes in the bags, and extras in the bins.

What: Decide which items feel right to keep, which to throw away, and which to donate. Unfortunately, not all items are fit to be rehomed, so take a moment to consider what may be in the right condition to donate.

Who: Look up the local charity shops in your area. It’s advisable to call them (or call in) first to see what they’re able to accept from you. Some shops may have an excess of stock, while others may be in need of specific items. There might be a clothing bank nearby or a children’s nursery that would willingly take your items off your hands.

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Words by Carlie Barlow