A new year is upon us and I don’t know about you, but I always feel motivated to make some resolutions about how the next 12 months will look. I think about the things I want to do, the plans I want to make and the goals I want to achieve.
One thing I know for sure is that I want to spend less time organising and cleaning my home and more time enjoying living in it. I want to be able to do a quick tidy up here and there when required and that’s about all. The best way to achieve this is to do a good declutter to get rid of any unnecessary items.
Declutter by selling online
Whilst I usually discourage people from doing this, over the last couple of days I have sold quite a number of things online. I had been collecting some items that I thought were valuable and piling them in a corner until I had the energy to do something with them. Now there’s the trap. As the pile grew, so did my feelings of stress and overwhelm. I knew that before long I was going to need to take some action but just looking at the pile made me feel so tired.
It sat there for far longer than I would normally allow but I am pleased to say it is all sorted now. Happily, the holidays did a little something to kick start my motivation and I spent 15 minutes going through it. Some things went straight out to the car for donating. They didn’t seem quite so valuable when I had to photograph, comment and post about them online. I felt that the best thing to do was to just get rid of them.
Then I set about taking photos of the other things and getting them up at a reasonable price so that they would head out the door sooner rather than later. I learnt to my dismay that I had severely undervalued one item (47 inquiries later and I was still waiting on the first person to come and pick it up) but I think I did quite well with all the rest.
Why do I tell you this story? It’s because I could have easily found a home for all of these items somewhere in my house. After all, they had been there for some time already. All of them had some value and it would have been easy to decide to just keep them. What it would have entailed however was a whole lot of organising. I would have needed to move pictures to hang up a wall clock, shuffle things to find a place for a lamp, squeeze together the clothes in the wardrobe to put back a jacket that rarely gets worn. To be honest, none of that would have been worth it.
You can’t organise clutter!
The thing that happens when you try to organise your clutter is that you spend hours doing it and the house doesn’t look any different. You still have the same amount of stuff crammed into the same amount of space but now that you’ve ‘organised it’ you probably don’t remember where any of it is located.
The biggest message to take away here is that there is nothing to be gained from trying to organise clutter. If something no longer has a useful purpose in our home either because our tastes have changed, we don’t have the room for it or the kids have outgrown it, to keep that item does not make sense. Yes, my son was unhappy that the lamp he associates with his childhood has gone out the door but I would rather it go to a home where it can be looked at and enjoyed than to spend another year walking around it as it sits on the floor of the spare room. I choose to declutter instead.
You can only organise your way out of a mess for so long. Eventually you need to own less stuff, simple as that.
So, now it’s time to declutter.
Do you hate living in clutter but don’t know what to get rid of?
Here is a good place to begin. These things tend to have less sentimental value and so as a result are easier to send out the door.
- Clothes not worn in the last 6 months- (Check out this post for more ideas)
- Excess Christmas decor
- Old charging cables and out of date tech
- Manuals for items no longer owned
- Magazines older than 1 month
- Towels and bedding. Two sets for each person in the house are ample.
- Blankets and pillows (Check out this post for more ideas)
- Old vitamins and medication (Check out this post for more ideas)
- Cd’s and DVD’s. Now that Spotify and Netflix exist, most of these have become obsolete.
- Recipe books you don’t use
- Friendless socks
- Pens that don’t work
- Storage containers. The more you declutter, the less of these you need.
- Old receipts and mail (Check out this post for more ideas)
- Greeting cards
- Broken appliances
- The junk drawer
- Old Books
Start small and remember that this is not a race. This is you taking control of your home and your life.
Make time in your schedule to tackle each item one at a time. Don’t wait until you find the time, you and I both know that that will never happen. Get out your diary and schedule it in now. (Read the 15 minute rule for more ideas on getting things done)