Almost exactly one month ago, I got cracking on a second phase of our serious de-cluttering project and I’m pleased to say, it’s going well.
When we moved here two years ago, we needed two removal trucks and five men to cart all our possessions in. It took me the best part of a month to pack up our old house and I filled over 100 removal boxes. That’s just way too much stuff for any family.
I’m determined we’re going to live only with what we need and use from now on and this is how I’m doing it:
I’m looking afresh at our stuff and selling or giving away anything long-forgotten or simply not used. So far this week I have sold a freezer, a 56-bottle wine rack, a toddler’s balance bike and our spare buggy. I have £100 in my pocket as a result. Less stuff, more cash. It’s a win : win.
I’m implementing a strict(ish) one in one out policy - I honestly felt a little sick when I realised just how much of a conspicuous consumer I have been over the years. We have amassed so much stuff. So from now on. it’s a one-in-one-out rule. And so far, it’s working. I can talk myself out of any potential impulse buy now, just by reminding myself that I have something similar / the same / just as useful at home already.
I’m de-cluttering little and often. My wardrobe is now compact and my clothes stash fits into the space allocated to it (one wardrobe and half a double chest of drawers). I stood over my husband as he did the same to his enormous t-shirt pile and now we only have what we can store. It feels better. We’re not there yet with his stuff - coats especially have got out of control - but we’re getting there.
If it doesn’t fit in the space, it needs editing. DVDs and CDs, books, cutlery, crockery, glasses, the mug drawer. They’ve all succumbed to a good sorting in the last few weeks and the excess is either being sold, given away or recycled. It feels good to open a cupboard, look at a shelf and know that what’s there is there because I want it to be.
I’m focusing on minimalist mantras. I’ll never be a minimalist, but I’m sure as damn it going to rid ourselves of at least half our stuff and take a considered and contented approach to what remains. I don’t need 42 wine glasses. I need 8 at most. I definitely don’t need 6 Breton striped tops, two artificial Christmas trees, six spare dining chairs or a two-tier changing table.
I’ve got a little test when editing. Did I know I had it? Have I used it in the last year? Will I care if I don’t have it anymore? If the answer to these three questions is a resounding ‘no’, out it goes. Some stuff I sell, some I donate, other stuff I’m boxing up ready for a mammoth car boot sale in the spring. I must admit I prefer to lose it immediately rather than store it to lose later, but at least I’m making a nice neat pile of the storage boxes.
So there you go. How I’m de-cluttering. I’m no expert but I do have one tip to pass on. De-clutter under all the beds first. You wouldn’t believe the ongoing satisfaction of seeing nothing under any of our beds any more. It makes each room seem bigger, it even makes me feel lighter and brighter and it spurs me on to do the same to other areas too. Honestly, try it!