“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” – William Morris
What Is Clutter?
Is it time to Declutter your space?? What is this funny word, Clutter, what does it mean?? What do you consider clutter?? For me, clutter is anything that is lying around, without a home or untidy stuff. One definition of clutter is =
“Anything that you keep around your space that does not add value to your life”
Did you know that clutter is actually bad for your health –
- It causes stress and can lead to depression
- Accident hazard – read this scary article
- Pest infestation risk
- Can be a cause of embarrassment
Decluttering is about letting go of history, its about removing from your space all the things that you are no longer in love with, use and are causing you unnecessary stress, cleaning tasks and generally crowding your space.
It can seem daunting, looking around and wondering where to start. Every journey, every task, every achievement starts at the beginning with the first step and very often baby steps at that. Start with 1 drawer, 1 cupboard, 1 corner or 1 room. Set realistic goals, you do not want to get halfway through, get overwhelmed, give up and make your space even more cluttered.
Ready To Declutter, Let’s Get Started
Get five boxes or bags. Everything you are about to declutter fits into one of these five boxes –
- Box 1 is the donation box,
- Box 2 is the recycle box,
- Box 3 is the throw it out box.
- Box 4 is the sell it box
- Box 5 is the keep it box (you can find a new home for these items later)
There are things you should get rid of right now without even thinking about it. Go and round up all theses things –
- Old mobiles, games consoles and all those untouched gadgets – sell them
- That box of bits you are saving to repair one day realistically it’s never going to happen so – throw it away
- Expired food, medicines, toiletries, that bag of snacks your pets will not touch – throw it away
- That box of cables and wires, you have no idea what any of them do anyway – throw that box away
- Unused and duplicate kitchen utensils – how many whisks do you actually need/use?? – donate them
- The collection of odd mugs & plates lurking at the back of the cupboard because your new matching set that you use is at the front of that cupboard – donate them
- Old and unused sports equipment – donate it
- That huge pile of magazines and newspapers you have had stacked up for the last 10 years – recycle them
- Old & Unused towels, bedding and linens. You already have a stack of old towels for the pets anyway – recycle them
- Don’t forget to tackle the bottom of the pet toy box for unloved unplayed with toys – donate them
Just by tackling some or all of the above you will be amazed at how far down the road you already are. You can now declutter your 1 drawer, cupboard, room or space using some or all of these Really Useful tips –
- Do I Love it or can I live without it?
- Do I use it? Set yourself a strict time limit here, I use 12 months. If I have not touched it for a year – out it goes!
- Does it work and if so is it useful?
- Does it fit into my space?
- Am I keeping it for sentimental reasons?
- Why do I even own this, where did it come from? No idea – out it goes!
- How many of these do I need/use?
- When in doubt, throw it out!
Then there is the sentimental clutter to consider which requires more thought and can be harder to deal with –
- That huge pile of art your children brought home from nursery every day when they were small. Select just one or two to keep
- Take photos of sentimental items and write the details on the back of the photo and keep these in a box together
- Ask a friend to help you. They will not have the same sentimentality about an item as you do
- Don’t declutter your partner’s, housemate, children and family members clutter without their participation. They may have very different thoughts about what they consider to be clutter
Now you are really rolling with your Declutter. Once you have finished your 1 drawer, cupboard or room put the ‘donation and recycling’ boxes in the car now and drop them off next trip out. Put the ‘throw it out’ box in the bin now. Put the ‘sell it’ box on the kitchen table and get listing them on the internet selling sites today. Put the ‘keep it’ box in another room, you can deal with that when you get to that room – you are keeping it anyway.
Above all, once you are done, no matter how small the task was, be pleased and proud of what you have achieved.
The Next Step
Now you have achieved your declutter and regained control of your space, what next?
- Do a weekly sweep – last weeks newspapers, that broken gadget. Deal with them now!
- Resist the urge to impulse buy – put down that very nice china mug – you do not need it!
- Buy only what you love and cannot live without – that china mug is not it!!
- Implement a one in one out policy – if you really cannot live without the china mug it must replace an existing one!
You will notice that I have not mentioned the unmentionable; decluttering our wardrobes. Aghhhhhh! Now there’s a scary thought but be warned We Will be tackling the decluttering of the wardrobes, just not today.
Enjoy your newly decluttered space you just regained