Sunday, 26 February 2017

My Tips For Decluttering

In the last twelve months my husband & I have moved house, and had the arrival of a new addition to our family to prepare for, so we've had our fair share of big house clearouts to do! Having lived in our previous property for over five years, these were never a regular thing for us, and we soon came to pay for it when moving day approached! I'm now a firm believer that we should be doing this on a much more regular basis, just to keep on top of things and ensure we don't end up with just so much unwanted clutter again! I've actually come to enjoy a good clearout - it's quite a therapeutic experience, and seeing just how much more space you have in your home afterwards is great. Here are my top tips that I've learned to do when approaching decluttering your home.

Plan to tackle manageable sections at a time If you're facing a major clearout like we were, looking at the job as one whole can be quite daunting and can really put you off doing it. Give yourself plenty of time, and split the job into manageable sections, like a room a day, or splitting items into categories. If you end up on a roll and tackling more than one section a day then that's great, but if you have a schedule you know you can stick to put in place, you're more likely to finish the job.

Look at it positively As I previously mentioned, having a big clearout can actually be a positive experience. Look at the bigger picture, and how you'll feel once the job is done, rather than how dull the task may be at the time. Looking at a clean and tidy home will make you feel much better, and will feel very rewarding. As they say - tidy space, tidy mind.

Don't hang on to things "just in case" Unless we're talking about those Christmas decs and jumpers that you're only realistically going to pull out every December, then I would go with the rule of if you've not used it in the last six months, do you really need to hold onto it? Surely if you've not used it in the last six months, you're not likely to again any time soon, so unless you have a really good reason for hanging on, then it's time to let it go. You never know, you may be able to find a home for it where it will get more love.

Switch to digital When we moved we had an absolute tonne of CDs and DVDs, most of which we hadn't listened to/watched in a long time. We had just bought them at a time when we liked the music of film, and just left them on the shelf when we'd got our use out of them. I managed to cut down our stash massively by taking out any impulse purchases, or films and bands we just didn't favour anymore. But, one thing I will be doing more of in the future to cut these down is to download songs and films that I want to listen to or watch, then once I have, I can decide if I want to keep them or simply delete them, rather than having the physical discs to clear out.

Try clothes on regularly Another thing I personally had a lot of was clothes. My husband & I had two wardrobes and some under bed storage, and the majority of it was taken up by me - and it was overflowing! A mammoth trying on session later concluded that I was hanging onto a lot of stuff that either didn't fit me anymore or just simply didn't suit me. I can't remember how many black bags we had for charity - I'm pretty sure it was close to double figures! Trying on my clothes is something I now do much more regularly, just to keep on top of what items I actually need to add to my wardrobe, rather than just aimlessly wandering round the shops, adding things to my basket that aren't going to get good use.

Stick to expiry dates I know for a lot of us beauty lovers, this can be a tricky one! When we find a product we love, we just don't want to part with it, no matter how long we've had it for. But it's important for our skin etc, that we don't apply products that are well past their expiry date - and what's the point in keeping it if we can't use it? You can use this article as a guide if you're unsure, but there should also be guidance on the product packaging itself, with the number of months written inside a little pot symbol. It's also a really good idea to check your kitchen cupboards regularly and chuck anything away that has gone out of date, or is likely to before you get round to using it - we found things from 2011 in ours last year, not good!

Buy a shredder This may sound really sad, but buying a shredder is one of the best home purchases we made since moving in together. You'll soon accumulate a lot of paperwork, some of which you need to keep hold of and some you most definitely don't. But it's important to still keep your identity safe, so anything you don't need that holds personal information should really be shredded rather than simply thrown away, We have a file with all of our important documents in, and a tin that I keep card receipts etc in. Every now & again I will go through both and shred anything we don't need to keep anymore to make room for new documents we need.

Sell what can be sold Knowing you could potentially make some money from having a good clearout is a good motivator, as you can use it to reward yourself at the end, or put towards a big essential purchase. The CDs & DVDs a mentioned previously were all taken by Music Magpie, and I've sold quite a lot of items on eBay, as well as currently holding a blog sale. There are plenty of other ways to make money from your unwanted goods too, including more online sites to sell from, as well as car boots and garage sales. We've been using the money we've made to make some baby purchases, as well as keeping some aside for when I am living off just maternity pay.

Invest in good storage Don't get too carried away and buy far too much, as that kind of defeats the object and you may end up holding onto more stuff than you need to, simply because it still fits! Have a look at what you have left after your clearout, and buy some good storage items to hold everything you need, and that still fits well in your home. That way, everything will have its own place, and your home will look neat and tidy.

Make this a seasonal thing This fits really well especially when it comes to clearing out your clothes, as you can assess your needs as you switch your clothing around to suit the time of year. But there's nothing stopping you from expanding this further than your wardrobe, and having a full home inspection to see if there's anything else that can be tossed out at the same time, just to keep on top of things. I've found this now works really well for me and stops me from holding onto things I don't need for too long.

Do you have any more decluttering tips?

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