I know that some of my family and friends that have known me for a long time will be laughing even reading the title of this post. I used to be the Queen of Clutter. Seriously, I couldn’t throw anything away. I loved to hold onto things for sentimental value and ‘but I’ll probably use it int he future’ but it got to the point of sheer ridiculousness and I would find myself rummaging through shoe boxes of wristbands and ticket stubs trying to remember why I had held onto it all in the first place. We’ve moved four times in four years and each time we move I find myself cursing all the clutter than I have to move from one attic to the next. A couple of moves ago I decided enough was enough, it was time to get ruthless and I haven’t looked back ever since. Having Darcie and starting a family made me realise what the most important things in life are, and holding onto a lifetimes worth of junk really wasn’t adding any value to my life. I’ve extended this ruthlessness to many different areas of my life and house now and the result has been that I can now focus more on the people and things that are actually important. I’d recommend this type of detox to anyone so here are some of the things that I do to live a less cluttered life.
If you haven’t worn in it over a year, get rid. I actually go by more of a six month rule but I know that could be too ruthless for some people. Unless it is a highly sentimental item that you really want to hold onto (not just one that you feel you should!), if you haven’t worn it in a year then you’re unlikely to wear it again. The seasons have all been and gone and you haven’t found a time to wear it so let’s be real, you can’t love it that much. If an item of clothing doesn’t bring you any joy or it doesn’t make you feel good when you put it on, why are you keeping it? We get charity bags put through the door multiple times a week and I’m always leaving bags out for them to collect. It’s so easy to get rid of old clothes, you probably don’t even have to leave the house if you don’t want to!
We’re all guilty of hanging onto way too much paperwork, but if you actually go through it all every once in a while you’ll realise how much you don’t actually need. When I went through our documents folder I found a tenancy agreement from our first flat that we moved out of three years ago, bills for energy suppliers that we aren’t still with and just a multitude of useless or redundant information. You can recycle it, burn it or shred it, just get rid of it!
I’ve made it a habit to go through the fridge before we do our big food shop each month and make sure there are no out of date nasties lurking at the back. I do the same thing with our cupboards to see if there is anything that I’ve bought multiples of and not got on with, in which case I pass them on to anyone I think could make use of it or take it to a local food bank. If you hate tinned peaches or have no intention of eating that unopened packet of wholewheat couscous, there’s no reason to hang onto it. Make room for something new and donate it to a good cause.
I used to have so many ornaments and little nik naks that I’d picked up at some point in my 23 years. Lots of it I had because I always had, and I’d just never had a clear out. They sit around gathering dust and make cleaning so much more tedious. Some things I have now boxed up for sentimental reasons and other’s I donated to charity. Now the things that we have around our home are things we really love and there’s just generally more space.
For me, those are the biggest areas of clutter that I like to stay on top of. It’s all an ongoing process but I’m really enjoying having less stuff everywhere, it also helps when you have a toddler as there is less for her to find and break! If you liked this type of post them please let me know as I have a few other ideas for posts on decluttering.
What are your top decluttering tips?