People often marvel at my rearranging, clutter clearing, storage solutions, recycling and fabulous finds. Well not all people as Big Welsh often returns from a trip and gingerly asks where things are. I’m not really a hoarder but I do enjoy changing my mind, rearranging furniture, having a clear out, a day to declutter, a life laundry. I’m often asked how to do it, how to be ruthless and how to keep things.
Find the time
Don’t think you can sort a room out in half an hour, a drawer maybe but once you start you’ve got to finish. Half measures is only a waste of time and you’ll end up making more piles of panic! Plan it and then don’t get led astray, or plan on a day when a strong but kind friend (like me!) can come round and help!
4 Bags/4 boxes
1 each for Keep, Bin, Sell or Charity. Think long and hard about it. Actually don’t, the longer you think about it the longer you will form an attachment. Just think of 4 bags/4 boxes, select a bag/box and put it away, bin it or let it go. A good day to do this is the day before the bin men arrive just incase you fall into temptation!
Use it or lose it
Do you actually use everything in your house? If you don’t then be prepared to find a new home for it! Do you really need 17 serving dishes, 6 extra egg cups over the 19 you already have and don’t use? If it’s high up on a shelf and you have to wash it before you use it then chances are you don’t use it regularly. Take a good long look at all you own and be critical, if you can’t be critical then call me. I’ll happily help you!
Don’t be romantic
That’s rich coming from me but it’s true! Don’t hold onto that piece of paper, card, piece of clothing, broken piece of jewellery just because your heart is ruling your head.
If you can’t let a piece of paper or card go then scan it in and make a book of memories – there’s lots of companies that offer a photo book service.
Why not turn old clothing into something fabulous? I turned old jumpers into lavender hearts that scented my drawers and wardrobes. Now my children are all that much bigger and I am totally not ever going to have any more babies I have a pile of clothes that are going to be made into bunting and a patchwork blanket – I’m not keeping clothes I’m preserving memories!
Either sell it yourself via eBay, car boots, local selling sites or find an eBay trading assistant to do it for you. There’s also the second hand /vintage / thrift shops. Mum and her friend were always going to places like The Stock Exchange in Sunninghill to sell on their wardrobe cast offs or pick up something nearly new!
Same goes for furniture and household items, Pedlars Place is one of my favourites.
With the money you’ve made you can save it for a rainy day!
I’m not suggesting for one minute you upcycle or pass children off as mannequins for a shop but they come with a whole load of tatt and nonsense that it’s sometimes hard to think straight. Over the summer holidays we redecorated their bedrooms which required lots of preparation beforehand. Did we use the time to go through every last box of keepsakes? No we bunged them in a box and shoved them in a storage unit. Now I’m looking at boxes that have been untouched since August.
Looking isn’t going to help but sorting is and when it’s done, it’s done!
Choices. Oh the choices. 4 bags/4 boxes is a hard one as my youngest will give a justification that would make a barrister or MP take her on for speech writing so I’ll have to work with her. Groan. But we do have a plan.
Books that are on the keep pile can be lent to friends, those that aren’t are given to charity, our chosen charity is First Days run by our friend Emma. Books that are knackered are either given to crafty friends or taken to the tip.
Clothes are always hard to get rid of! I’ve tried the “let’s try clothes on to see if they fit” which is akin to pulling teeth, just be ruthless! If they don’t fit, if they’re 2 sizes too small or they don’t wear them then get rid!
I regularly look at toys on the floor and grimace! If you’re tidying up toys and there’s a bit missing, it’s broken or it no longer resembles what it should then either improvise or bin it. Don’t be sentimental about a spinning top that doesn’t spin.
And then it’s done
Give the room a good clean, pop some flowers in a vase, move something around to give a real sense of change and enjoy the change of scenery!