Declutter With These Simple Tips
I’m a self confessed neat freak and decluttering is a regular occurrence in our house. Every few months I go through each room and ruthlessly get rid of things we don’t use. This is a team effort with the munchkins and Mr Y’s presence being required. Lucky them! Seriously though, it’s their stuff too so I don’t see why I should be the only one keeping on top of it. The question ‘Is nothing sacred to you?’ has come from Mr Y’s mouth more than once but I am unrepentant.
It literally feels like I can breathe easier without unnecessary stuff in our home. The rest of my family always look slightly fraught by the end of a clear out while I’m on cloud nine. Actually, I’m not that bad and never get rid of anything the kids are still really attached to. I also have to confess to a cupboard of shame in which I stock pile my favourite cosmetics to the point where I will be hiding in a bunker still applying a weekly face mask 5 years after the apocalypse. I’m an enthusiastic de-clutterer but no expert which is why I was so excited to speak to home organisation professional Shelina from Decluttr Me. Shelina says that decluttering is a habit like any other and can be established in 30 days even if, historically, you’ve been a bit of a hoarder!
Shelina suggests starting with a small area which doesn’t include sentimental items such as a kitchen cupboard. You should get rid of expired food, broken and unused items and organise the space so that it’s easier to use in future. Keep decluttering to short but frequent bursts to avoid getting overwhelmed, bored or frustrated.
Wardrobes are tricky, especially for women who might have worn several different sizes over the years and may be hoping that their smaller clothes might one day fit again. Shelina says that if it doesn’t fit, it’s broken, you don’t like it any more or it’s gone out of fashion then just get rid of it. It doesn’t matter how much it cost if it never sees the light of day! If you’ve been organised enough to sell your items then reward yourself by buying something that you love. Try keeping a bag in your closet which you can put any unused items into as you come across them and then get rid of it once it’s full.
Children’s rooms are another difficult area as they will probably claim to be deeply attached to all 132 of their soft toys (despite never touching them). However, from experience I can say that they quickly get used to organising their belongings and donating their old toys to charity, both of which are important life lessons. If we do sell anything my three get to keep the money which also helps motivate them! Shelina suggests separating toys in to boxes based on type, age or gender depending on what works best in your home. Children will actually play more with their toys if they can easily access a few at a time, rather than just emptying out entire cupboards and sitting surrounded by mess.
Most make up and toiletries have an expiry date once open so avoid keeping 11 half used foundations for years on end. Let’s face it, who has time for contouring anyway?! DVDs, CD’s and other outdated tech need to go. They are taking up space, gathering dust and most definitely do not count as decorative items. Sheds and garages are often nothing but clutter enablers. Holding on to items from ‘another life’ in a different country is a trap that lots of expats fall in to. Chances are, if you ever need those items again then you’ll be buying new anyway.
In the words of 19th century designer William Morris ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’. Once you start you’ll never look back!