Its that time of year; new beginnings, prep for winter and officially ‘declutter’ season. There is Spring (obvs) but really Autumn is a perfect opportunity to declutter before the cold weather hits and you’re inside more of the time.
This is not a purge though. A home is not devoid of personality and things which make us happy. It IS however beneficial to think mindfully. Whats is the first thing you see when you walk in your living room? There are some tried and tested ways to declutter and sort your home; one box for bin, one for keep and one for charity, but here are some other suggestions to help you sort and/or save items around the house..
Remote controls & gadgets. My pet hate – why so many, why so ruddy UGLY?? Come ON tech companies who bring us TVs so we can watch fab box sets all winter, make them more aesthetically pleasing! Until then, get them in a basket or box of some kind. I like the selection from H&M and this lovely one from House at John Lewis. Not expensive and so easy to hide those hideous remotes away from sight and helping clear the surfaces.
Piles of magazines with a ‘good article’ in and recipes we will ‘definitely have a go at one day’ needn’t take up space and should have their own special place. I call it, ‘the bin’! Joking apart, set a side an afternoon or evening and tear, tear, tear out anything useful (book suggestions, websites you want to look at, aforementioned recipes, and interiors pages for inspiration etc and asterisk the important bit, or you may forget altogether. A box file or some cool magazine files can store these pages away by type and you can recycle ALL the rest.
Use your phone; its smart (and small). Avoid any extra paper, menus, forms, invoices and shopping lists layering up your desk or coffee table. Take PICTURES of them with your phone (upload to your laptop or cloud storage if really important; or email them to yourself) thus avoiding any extra papers cluttering up the place. You can use your phones ‘notes’ to write shopping lists or schedules or Christmas lists. Take pictures of presents you intend to buy from gift catalogues and seasonal brochures that we are mysteriously on the mailing list for hundreds of, and then chuck them all in the recycling box with a smile. There are even apps which can help with decluttering. Try ‘Declutter Your Life’ for starters.
Make use of what you have. Its an oldie but goodie – but asking yourself ‘do I really need it?’ is just as relevant when starting to declutter as it is when buying in the first place. Chances are you may not NEED it if it is new. Or you can re-purpose it if it is old. Old fairy cake tins are great spray painted and put in a bedroom drawer for earrings and other bits of jewellery. They’re also great in an office drawer for staples and paperclips. No-one can see it so it doesn’t have to be part of your room’s overall style or vibe. Glue jam jar lids to the underside of shelves in a cupboard, then screw the jars into the lids; great for coins, receipts, batteries or small tape rolls.
If you are finding this all a bit tricky, fear not. My final tip is to allow yourself a ‘tat box’ – I have one, but only one. Limit yourself to keeping tiny, crappy bits (if you must) to this box only. Declutter that drawer, side table, home office and handbag. Ideal for your library card, tiny screwdrivers, that funny radiator key, rubber bands and other guff that we all have. If you restrict your miscellaneous items to this one zone, they are easier to find and not creating chaos elsewhere in your home. Clutter attracts clutter.
So that’s my 5 top tips for declutter season, all easily done in a weekend or over a few evenings so you can really enjoy your home.