Life can be pretty tough sometimes, there always seems to be so much that needs to be done. The house gets in a mess so quickly but takes forever to get sorted; there are toys and clothes scattered around, there are little piles of paperwork in every room – you get the picture – normal, right?
Let’s just visualise a life without all the unnecessary stuff, both physical and psychological. There will be systems in place, you can find what you are looking for straight away, the house only takes a few minutes to get straightened out AND you have time for a cup of tea and to read a book now and again. “But How?” I hear you scream!
Declutter your life! Sounds simple doesn’t it! Well, I’m not gonna lie; it can be pretty hard at the beginning, but seriously – in the long run – it will be the best and most wonderful thing you could ever do for yourself and your family. I promise, and you can trust me – I do this for a living!
Now, you might have read about decluttering in magazines, or even picked up some of the books out there – all very useful. So, let’s get practical – let’s actually do it!
- Start in the room that causes the most stress – it’s the kick start and motivation you need to carry on with the rest of the house
- If there is no particular space that it causing more stress than others, just pick a spot – or start in the airing cupboard!
- Start with some ‘quick wins’ – that’s why the airing cupboard is a good place to start. Everyone I have ever worked with has too many towels and too much bed linen – get rid of everything you don’t need and fold neatly the stuff you are keeping. It’s quick, it looks great straight away and you can do some good by donating what you don’t need to a homeless shelter. Stuff in less good condition can go to the animal shelter.
- Is it age appropriate? Is it broken? Are there pieces missing?
- Do they actually play with it, when, how often, how long since the last time and how likely in the future?
Kids’ art work
- Take photos: make a photo book – get rid of the original
- Use a digital photo frame
- Cut up and make one mosaic out of 20 pictures!
- Use to make cards and wrapping paper for family
- The maximum time you need anything for tax purposes is 7 years, so anything older – straight in the recycling/shredder
- Junk mail – bin – and cancel as much as possible (catalogues, etc.)
- Old training notes – are they still up to date? Re-read them then get rid or scan and store electronically
- Go paperless – change your banking and utilities to on-line accounts only
- Get a good filing system in place – once something is renewed (insurance, etc.), throw out the old
- Does it fit? Is it stained/button missing/holes in?
- Do I feel good in it – when was the last time I wore it?
- Am I likely to wear it in the future/does it go with anything else I own?
- Have I read and will I read it again? Did I enjoy it?
- Will I ever read it?
- For non-fiction – is the information still relevant/in date? Legal and academic books may contain old and incorrect information
- Get a kindle!
Remember the golden rule, it must be your mantra from now on: everything needs a home! If it has a home, it goes back there when you are finished, and when you need it you know exactly where it is.
Things without a home are clutter.
People often get into a pickle when they are feeling a little down about themselves. Lack of confidence following a relationship breakdown or having a baby can spill over into your home very quickly and having the motivation to tackle it just doesn’t come easily.
Give yourself positive messages – you deserve to have a lovely home that you feel comfortable and relaxed in and that you want to invite people to visit. You deserve to wear clothes that make you feel and look amazing.
Saving things ‘for best’ is a big mistake – it means that you are telling yourself you don’t deserve to feel your best every day – a very negative message.
All this physical clutter in our lives turns to mental clutter in our minds. It feels physically heavy to carry around every day, sometimes waking us up at 3 am because you have forgotten something. It can also seep into your work life making you late, disorganised, stressed and emotional.
Long before I got into Professional Decluttering I went through my own journey of decluttering our home, loft, garage and life. Things had crept up on me since having the children and we just had too many toys, clothes in different sizes, tuppaware… the list goes on. But, going through everything methodically, and getting rid of so much, meant that I went from feeling like we needed a bigger house to feeling satisfied. More than anything, I feel very grateful and humble: what we have is enough. We don’t ‘need’ anything more in our lives and we can really focus more on activities and having fun as a family. This is the message I want to spread: ‘stuff’ doesn’t really mean anything in the end – our memories are built on experiences and relationships – so value yourself and others over any physical items and let’s teach the next generation to consume less and love more!
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