Hello again ! Last time I talked about clutter and what it is and how it can affect us. Today I am going to write about how to start to clear this clutter to help you lead a more simpler life. There are so many experts on decluttering and I certainly am no expert. I have just found a way of sorting out my own clutter in a pain free and easy way.
Firstly choose the room you want to start your decluttering. You may want to start in the room that has the most clutter which is what I did as I wanted to try and see results straight away as I thought this would encourage me to continue.
So you have chosen your first room, so now choose an area within that room to start your declutter. It may be a drawer, or the bottom of a wardrobe, or the top of a table which is used as a dumping ground. Whatever you choose it is important not to deviate from this area. It is easy to get distracted when decluttering. I know this as I have frequently done it !
Next take four boxes or carrier bags and mentally label them – Keep, Sell, Charity and Bin.
Keep is obviously your pile of possessions which you absolutely couldn’t be without. As you pick each item up, look at it and really think about what the item means to you. Do you need it ? And I mean NEED it ! For instance if it is a charger for your current mobile phone then obviously its a keeper, but if its a charger for an old phone that you no longer use or possess then it’s definitely not worth keeping.
Sell are your items that you genuinely no longer want or need but have some value in the current marketplace. It is said that all of us have about £1000 – £2000 worth of items in the house that we no longer need or use which is staggering. Think about if you sold your unwanted items for that much money ! That’s a holiday. Just think of the benefits of this decluttering ! You get a great holiday free of charge AND your home will be clutter free. That’s a real incentive to start your decluttering process right now. From the proceeds from my sale of my first declutter a few months ago I actually booked myself and my husband a weekend away in a nice hotel and it felt so good to know that it hadn’t cost me anything. You can sell your clutter on Ebay or why not do a car boot sale. My daughter did a car boot sale for her wedding fund and made £190 in just four hours and came back home to a clutter free house ! I shall do a blog post on selling on Ebay in the near future as I actually have a business selling on Ebay so I have lots of great tips for you.
Charity are the items that are in good condition but you have no wish or desire to sell them for your own profit. Or it could be that the items will not be of much value at a car boot sale or on Ebay. Although I have an Ebay shop I still send items to the charity shop when I don’t think it is worth listing them on Ebay. Charity shops always welcome donations and I always try donate to the smaller, less known charity shops who perhaps don’t receive as much publicity as the more popular ones.
Bin is the pile of clutter that is the most obvious and easiest to sort. These will be items that are old, worn or in need of drastic repair. Do not linger over clothes that have been sat waiting for repair for the last six months. Trust me. If you haven’t repaired them yet then it’s not likely you will do now. If you have old magazines waiting for you to read them just stop and have a look at the date. If it’s older than two months then bin it. I found a magazine once that was nearly a year old and it was still unread. If it breaks your heart to throw them in the recycling bin then donate them to your local doctors surgery or hospital where they will be put to good use.
Next grab your phone or a stop watch and set a timer for thirty minutes. Yes ! You will be working against the clock. I found I frequently failed at decluttering as I kept getting distracted from the job and I could spend hours sat on the floor looking through old photos. Hours had passed and I had achieved nothing in terms of getting rid of the clutter. You will be working non stop against the clock with no breaks or pause for breath. I find setting a short time of thirty minutes meant that I wasn’t overwhelmed and spending all day looking through my clutter. Spending all day decluttering is very demoralising and not an efficient way to work. So set your timer now and begin. And once the timer goes off when your thirty minutes is up, then finish what you are doing and make the area tidy once more. I think this way you achieve little steps towards complete decluttering without getting bogged down in it. You can return to your declutter area later after you have had some leisure time but once again only make it for thirty minutes each time.
There are two words that I use to help me on my way to a successful declutter. BE RUTHLESS. If you really want to declutter and have a simpler life then you have to be absolutely ruthless. We all have those items that we keep ‘just in case we might need them later’ ! You know the ones ! Well my advice is, if you do happen to need them at some future point in your life then it is easier to go out and buy the item. And you won’t have wasted storing those unused items for years on end gathering dust and cluttering up your personal space.
The kitchen is a big clutter zone. Look in your cupboards at all those gadgets that you bought years ago. The pasta maker, the juicer, the steamer, the bread maker. We all have them gathering dust at the back of the cupboard. If you genuinely don’t use them then get rid of them. They are serving no purpose in your life except to gather dust and make your kitchen cluttered.
Books are another item that many people hold onto. I am particularly guilty of this as I love books and I have a wonderful big bookcase in my home. However many of my books had been sat there years. I had read them once and then saved them in the hope I might re read them. Hand on heart there are very few books that I actually re read except for my beloved Agatha Christie collection which is so precious to me I will never part with it. When I had cleared out these excess books it felt wonderful to see uncluttered bookshelves and my treasured Agatha Christie books take pride of place now I can see them !
Another simple way to declutter is a method favoured by my husband. Yes, even my husband has some good ideas sometimes !
WHEN YOU BUY SOMETHING NEW, THROW OUT SOMETHING OLD.
So when you come home from a day shopping with a new pair of shoes, instead of adding to your ever growing collection, simply choose an old pair of shoes to throw out. This is a really easy method of simple decluttering as you hardly notice the loss of one item AND it is so easy and quick to do.
So there are a few ideas to help you declutter and achieve a simpler life. The main point about decluttering is to be honest with yourself and to be ruthless. Of course you must hang onto to your treasured possessions, your photographs, your children’s birth certificates, the locket that your grandma gave you, but it’s time to let go of the excess clutter that doesn’t make you happy or has no real value in your life. The benefits of decluttering are truly staggering. You will feel less stressed, healthier and there will be less to clean or organise !
Please let me know how you get on and if you have already decluttered have you any tips to share with my readers.
Until next time my dear friends.