I have a guest post here from the lovely Lisa who dedicates her blog to decluttering and not having a house full of stuff you don’t use and don’t need! This is the kind of thing I really need to do so I thought what a perfect person to share her suggestions with me and my readers. I have far too much clutter and I am determined to be organised and get rid of it! So over to Lisa for her tips!
Easy decluttering to make your home relaxing
Too much visual stimulation does not help us relax. If you settle down on the sofa with a glass of wine but you are faced with bookshelves full of tat and a sideboard that is bursting, you are more likely to become anxious. Unless you drink all the wine which will only help in the short term!
The long term solution is to get rid of the clutter. The idea of this can be incredibly overwhelming, so much so that it is impossible to start. Don’t worry, there is an easy alternative to Marie Kondo that works just as well, if not better to reduce the amount of useless things you keep.
A little bit of preparation
Get a cardboard box and put it somewhere you will not miss it. Make it small enough to carry when it is full. It is important to keep the box visible so it reminds you to declutter.
Decide how you are going to get rid of the box when it is ready. Will you need to arrange transport? Can you drop it off to a charity shop on the way to somewhere else? Have the exit strategy ready.
Declutter the obvious first
In most homes we have some things that are valuable (this can be emotional value as well as financial). We have some things that are ugly but useful too. We also have things that don’t work well for us, that make us a little bit irritated and that we don’t like. Some of these things might make us feel bad too. I recently ditched a dress that I wore on the most awful date, I don’t need reminding of that!
Pick one place to start and change it regularly
Instead of piling all your clothes into a heap and going through them in one go try very small doses of decluttering. Aim for just 5 things a day and you will get rid of 1300 in a year just decluttering on weekdays! You could start with a shelf, a kitchen drawer or a cupboard. Just dip in and pick out the first five things that you notice are not doing you any favours.
Do I use it?
Do I like it?
Am I just keeping it because I think I should?
Am I saving it for the Zombie apocalypse?
Is it broken beyond repair?
Will someone else love it more than me?
Once you start to question your belongings, judging them for what they are, you will find it becomes such a habit it sneaks into your shopping thought processes too. I can look at lovely ornaments in a shop and picture them in my decluttering box in a month or two. It saves me loads of money because I’m simply buying less.
If you love it, keep it
No matter how bedraggled, ugly, broken or useless a thing is, if you love it, if it makes you happy, if it brings back great memories then keep it. Celebrate it, make a special place for it to be honoured.
Make it a habit
These little declutters only take 5 minutes. Most of us can find a moment when the kettle boils, or the bath is running to open a drawer and pick a few things out. Decluttering doesn’t have to add to the stress of having clutter.
If you like the idea of gentle decluttering and want to learn more please visit www.less-stuff.co.uk. It is run by Lisa Cole, who is a graphic and website designer living in Bristol. She has a teenage son and too many cats and is not a minimalist. Lisa has written a book that talks you through the process of easy decluttering too. The Elephants in the Room is all about coping with clutter when it is overwhelming and it is available on Amazon.
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