When it comes to decluttering, I am full of decluttering ideas so here are a few I can share with you to help you on your decluttering way.
Firstly, when it comes to decluttering your entire life, on a permanent basis, you need to be prepared to change your mindset and your spending habits, and that’s a tall order for some of us. But here’s what I think.
I am ‘not’ my stuff, and my ‘stuff’ does not define me. Also, I want to feel free and able to move easily at any time. Life is for living and to be weighed down by unnecessary clutter is a waste of your energy and your time! I want my life to be streamlined, with a place for everything and everything in its place. A clean and tidy home that reflects my calm mind. Not only that I hate to clutter up the world with my discarded stuff, but I also just hate waste, so buying mindfully with a view to keeping hold of the item I purchase, is key.
We may all be full of decluttering ideas, but clutter can be overwhelming, not comforting. It can be confusing too; losing things, causing confusion as you search for something you swear you bought last week. Life was never meant to be this frenetic and if nothing else, your home should reflect you. I always ask myself why I am keeping something, especially if it’s not used or if I have numerous copies of that ‘thing.’ I always keep what I like the best and the rest can be donated.
To get started, put like with like, so you can see what you have got. That way, you can create a list of what needs to be gone through. This is not always possible but breaking down the ‘declutter’ section by section is best. I like to start in a hallway; the main entrance into the home and then take it room by room.
Get yourself ready before you start, bin bags and bags for charity plus a bag for recycling to be taken outside and put into your bins. Set aside a time of day to get started.
I also like a bag where items destined for other areas can be used to transport. And remember to jot down your decluttering ideas if any come to you along the way!
Amongst many of my decluttering ideas, I do love an orderly wardrobe.
When I started my decluttering journey, I found it hard to get my head around the fact that I did not need so many clothes! It took me many years to think that less is more. But now I cannot go back and have very few clothes; however, the clothes I have are great and I love them. There is nothing that does not fit me or makes me feel anything less than confident. If I raise a quizzical brow every time I reach for an item, I hold the item in my mind as a potential donation. If I have struggle with a particular item, I will wear it and dependent on how I felt in it, it’s a quick decision at the end of the day; it either stays or goes. Having my colours and style done helped keep me on track with regards to what suits me and I very rarely, if ever, make a buying mistake when it comes to clothes. Just recently I have met a lady who can sell my clothes through for me too on a 50/50 basis. E-bay or Vinted are the best sites to use when it comes to selling clothes.
If you are clinging onto products and make up from the past; please don’t.
They harbour germs and you really don’t want a make-up or lotion causing a reaction to your skin. Mascaras should be kept for a minimum of 6 months only. I often skim through my lipsticks and ask myself if I would buy it now. If it’s a no it goes straight into the bin, the same applies to beauty products purchased in error. I only have what I use and nothing more. My life is easier for it, so much more streamlined, and no more rooting around my make up drawer for a long-lost lipstick. The bonus is I get ready so quickly too; no faffing around in the bathroom for me! One of my favourite decluttering ideas, is to buy beauty caddies which organise your beauty collection in such a way that it just looks more tempting and easier to navigate your way around.
I only ever keep non-fiction/reference books.
Anything else is donated to charity. I like to think of someone else reading the book with a smile on their face. If I know the ending, it’s not being kept. I don’t need a spoiler alert! One of my top decluttering ideas, is to photograph I have loved and put it into an album on my phone. Then if a friend is asking for a recommendation, I can look at my phone and have a ready-made ‘library’ of suggested books on tap.
This is my favourite.
We are all suckers for a kitchen utensil, especially if we are fans of Lakeland (like me). I often go in there (or at least I used to) for one thing and come out with gadgets I never thought I needed! Now I just work with exactly what I need and in fact, prefer to think about what Grandma would do back in the day? Grandma did not have numerous gadgets; she worked with what she had, and her food always tasted divine! Not only that, but she also worked with fresh food, straight out of the garden.
Contrary to popular opinion you don’t need as much as paperwork as you think you need.
In fact, only a year’s worth of bank statements is necessary and utility bills, and the like can be stripped right back. I always ask myself what I would take if there were a fire and I know straight off it’s the file marked IMPORTANT. Shred everything you don’t need and keep only that which you do. I like to use a good old-fashioned filing cabinet with each file labelled. Labelling your paperwork is key and creating a sense of order.
General Decluttering Ideas
Believe it or not, even if you have a lot of stuff, there are some general rules which can help your home look less cluttered.
- Put like with like, so books with books kitchen stuff separated into a particular drawer, etc.
- Put colour together, grouping colours together makes things look better and more organised
- Label up drawers and containers, that way you can see what is in your cupboard and there is no wastage or a sense of unease as you open a cupboard door, trying to find the spice you knew you purchased 6 months previously
- Grouping things together is good. Displaying things per category works well, particularly if you combine it with colour-matching. I like to group candles together and plants too. It really does create a sense of calm and even if you have ‘too much stuff’ having it looking orderly really does help