Tuesday, 12 April 2016

6 Never Fail Decluttering Tips!

Hi Honeys
I hope you're having a great start to the new week, I can't believe we're a third of the way through 2016 already! Time is flying past again, just like last year :)

Hubby has taken this week off work, as have I, and we're using this week to have another mammoth clear out session.  Eventually we'll manage to make our home look the way we want it to but it's a process and I feel so lucky to have Hubby on board and helping.  

I thought today I'd share a few rules we're using to help us unload our mountains of no longer relevant and definitely no longer loved or wanted stuff...
Six Never Fail Declutter Tips

Six Never Fails DeCluttering Tips

1. Plan first - It's very tempting to roll up our sleeves and dive right in and this can absolutely be the way to go if a room has started to resemble a jumble sale with every available surface piled high with stuff :)  This can be especially true of rooms which might not be used every day, such as guest rooms and, if you're blessed with one, garages or basements. Unused spaces seem to act as a magnet for stuff :/

Most clutter is just the result of not being able to complete the task at hand.  We get distracted by the phone ringing or the doorbell and that pile of clean laundry stays on the middle landing or the kitchen counter because we never get around to finishing the task we'd started, that of moving it to it's designated home.  This is the easiest type of clutter to deal with, just complete the putting it all away part :)

Long term clutter (such as boxes stored in an attic or loft, their contents a complete mystery because who knows when they were packed?) is usually best dealt with a box at a time.  Completing that box before opening another to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

When decluttering/organizing a whole  room though it really does pay to plan out your space first honeys. This can help you to visualize how the finished room will look and lets you create a plan of action.  You can see the post where we planned out Hubby's home office/den by creating zones here.
Home Office/Den

2. Start with the easy stuff:  A mountain of Tupperware is so much easier to deal with dispassionately and throw away than sentimental items so why not be kind to yourself and set yourself up for successful decluttering by clearing all of the non-emotional stuff first?
Kitchen Cabinet Declutter

3. Let go of your "Just in case..." items: We all have things we're keeping "just in case..."  It's been my experience though honeys that if I ever need one of these "just in case..." items (and I've kept waaaaay too many things "just in case..." in my time :) that I can't usually find it!  So I go out and buy another one.  Maddening!  

Your home should reflect your life as it is now.  In this moment.  That's not to say you shouldn't have treasures, momentos, items such as yearbooks, photographs, diplomas, things that make you smile but these items are not clutter and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! They are your life's story. They're you.  A £2 umbrella you're hanging onto in case your main brolly breaks though is not!  

Likewise, when decluttering your closets its tempting to hang on to clothes, maybe once loved but no longer relevant.  Again, I'm not saying throw away your wedding dress (they'll pry mine from my cold, dead hands... or I'll see someone I love wear it on her special day and it will then become hers... either is good for me :)  I'm talking about clothes that no longer fit or that you'd no longer wear, love or would even buy if you saw them again while shopping.

For example honeys, I trained as a paralegal and used to work in offices so I owned suits, blouses, dresses, all very professional and all very irrelevant to my life as it is now.  Also, as a result of developing RA, my mobility was quite severely restricted and there's now more of me to love so they didn't fit anymore. Should I keep them to preserve the memories of my former power suit life? Of course not!

Those clothes were immaculate though, having been carefully stored in garment bags (they were expensive after all) and far better they should be used by someone who would, I hoped, love and care for them as well as I had, so off to Barnados they went and I got closet space :)  

4. Just because an item was expensive you don't have to hang on to it:  This also ties into my previous point.  Yes, those suits had been expensive but I'd love for them to be used, not left hanging in a closet never seeing daylight and the fact that they could help a very worthy charity is a bonus too.  
The argument usually goes along the lines of "but we spent .... £/$ on this item.... and that's the point honeys. That money is already spent.  Maybe you can recoup some of this money by selling the items and if you can do this you certainly should.  These items have, for a time, been a blessing in your life but if that time has passed you can and should give yourself permission to release them. If you can recoup any of your original investment wouldn't it be fun to put this money towards something relevant to your present life?  Maybe a home improvement project you're hoping to carry out or a treat for the kids (or furbabies :)    

Hubby and I have a huge collection of movie memorabilia, magazines etc and we're planning on having the biggest clear out.  Our collection has taken over our home and it's just not as much fun as it was.  Again, better these items go someplace they'll be appreciated because at this point in our lives Hubby and I are in complete agreement that we'd like the stuff-less space more :)
5. Always repeat your sweep: Recently, after chatting on twitter to dear blogging friends Leah and Yvonne (hello honeys, huggles xx) about the Kon Mari method of organizing, I decided as an experiment to re-visit one of my previously organized projects.  I took out a drawer from our dresser (one storing some of my jammies and nighties), emptied it and using Marie Kondo's method of holding each item individually and keeping it only if it "sparked joy" or in my case made me smile :) Less than fifteen minutes later I had a previously very full drawer that was now over a third empty! There might be something to this Kon Mari method after all honeys :) 

My point is that even though you've completed an area such as a drawer, a closet, a kitchen cabinet, if you go back to it some time later you might surprise yourself and declutter even more :)

6. Listen and trust your inner self: When I heard about Marie Kondo's method of only keeping an item if it "sparked joy" I immediately "got it."  For quite some time I've been using an inner "clench." What I mean is that if I hold an item and feel an inner pain, a sharp intake of breath, at the thought of parting with the item, then it's going nowhere.

Here's the thing though honeys, it's happening so rarely now and the things it does happen with are very important to me.  They're genuine treasures, like a pebble found for me by Hubby on the beach down the Ayrshire coast back in our courting days :)   Trust your inner voice dear ones, she/he won't let you down x

Well, today's project is to work on our guest room/craft room honeys and Hubby's just made me a cup of tea (thank you sweetheart x) so I'd better have my cuppa and get back to work again. I'll be back tomorrow with a post on how not to RE-clutter while shopping :) What are your never fail decluttering tips honeys?

Till then dear ones, smile lots and hug even more,  huggles always xxx

4 comments:

  1. This is an amazing posst Rosie and I'll be using some of these tips myself! Big hugs. xxx

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    1. Leah! Hello honey x I'm so sorry I missed your comment! I swear I'm buttoned up backwards just recently :/ My RA is acting up and I'm not coping very well but I'll be fine, it will burn itself out eventually and move on to somewhere else. Right now it's in the joints of my hands & fingers. Thank you for visiting honey, you always make me smile, sending heaps and heaps of huggles always xxx

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  2. Wise tips and I should certainly pay attention. This point.. 3. Let go of your "Just in case..." items: We all have things we're keeping "just in case..."
    My house is filled with things I MAY need one day.. sigh

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    1. Hi Yvonne x I'm starting to feel as if I'm fighting a losing battle honey :/ I throw out so much stuff and then open another cupboard and feel like I'm at the very start again :/ It's so annoying that I'm finding doubles of things. So many things bought "just in case" or because the first one has gone bust and I can't find the spare so we buy another one! I could slap myself silly! At least Barnados & Oxfam can be helped by my daftness :) Do you remember the series "Bewitched" I adored that programme and I have to admit to wishing I could just wiggle my nose like Samantha and have the house organized like Ikea :) Hopefully someday I'll have finished the last cupboard in the house and emptied the last long forgotten box :) Have a fab weekend honey, sending millions of hugs xxx

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