So for anyone thats been reading my blog and is still around….thank you!!
I kind of went a little off track earlier this year when my health was suffering. I’m not sorry that I spoke about my issues and struggles on here …. I just feel it’s time for me to re-focus and get back to basics and the original goal. As the title of my blog suggests, that means trying to simplify my life.
There are lots of areas of our lives that we can look at simplifying, with the intention of trying to make our lives easier. Our routines, calendars, meals and finances are all things that will potentially help. But for me, the initial step has to be decluttering and simplifying my home.
The stress of mess, constant tidying, sorting and that heart sink moment when you walk into a room at the amount of just “stuff” overwhelms you, that’s what I’m talking about. Now I’m nowhere near the type of hoarder that you see on TV and I know my home appears tidy. However, we have so much stuff that we just don’t need! It might be in cupboards, wardrobe shelves, the garage or the shed, but it’s definitely there. It stresses me and I just feel the need for us to simply own what we need, use and enjoy, but nothing more.
As we all know there are lots of different ways to approach decluttering. Marie Kondo has been the most recent inspiration for many people, with both her book The Life changing Magic of Tidying Up and her subsequent Netflix Documentary series, there is no doubt that she has hit on a method that works for many people. Indeed, I did try her method with my clothes a year or two ago, and it was amazingly easy to hold an item and know that it did/didn’t bring me joy.
For me though the thought of using her method throughout the house feels too overwhelming. I’ve done lots of reading around the subject of decluttering and have taken the main themes that seem to come up. These are my ideas as to how to approach it:
My Top 10 Useful Tips when Decluttering!
- Don’t bring any new items (except essentials) into the house whilst decluttering. This is key for me, as I really need to stop impulse buying and buying things I just don’t need! Leo Babauta suggests starting a 30 day list. When you’re tempted to buy something, put it on the list, with the date that you added it. Then make it a rule that you cannot buy anything until it has been on the list for 30 days. I have a real issue with impulse buying …. so am planning to implement this.
- Schedule time into your calendar to spend decluttering. I know that if I don’t plan it, it just won’t get done. There’s always other things I should be doing, like housework, scrolling Facebook, ironing … you know how it is.
- Decide how long a session of decluttering will last and stick to it. Now I know that a whole day of decluttering just won’t work for me. There’s too much else that I also have to fit into each day and it stresses me more when I can’t get those things done. I’m aiming for sessions lasting up to 3 hours. I think I’ll have had enough by then!
- Set a timer. I find it really helps to use a timer, makes it more fun and helps you focus!
- Use the 3 box/bag method. Have 3 separate boxes or bags to put your items – one to donate, one to throw out and one to keep.
- Schedule in regular trips to the charity shop and the tip. Otherwise the rubbish will just accumulate elsewhere in the house for months ….. I do believe that I still have stuff in my garage that I sorted out ages ago.
- Ask yourself questions about each item to help decide. There’s obviously the Marie Kondo question “does it spark joy?” Basically though the simple questions that seem to help are : Do you use it regularly? Do you love it or does it enhance your life in some way? Have you used it in the last 12 months? Have you got space in your home for it?
- Give everything a specific home. Obviously this is the key to maintaining an organised, tidy home in the longer term.
- Keep flat surfaces clear. I know that this impacts hugely! The clean look is wonderful and encourages you to stop dumping things just for now. Once you start to put any items on a clear surface, they begin to breed!!
- One in – one out. When you bring a new item into your home, get rid of at least one similar item … maybe more! This helps to keep control of how many items are in your home.
So the first thing I need to do is schedule time to make a start! I know weekdays are difficult as I am so exhausted, and use the time after work to keep up with regular chores, so it’ll need to be at the weekend. I figure one 3 hour block at the weekend is achievable!
The next decision is where in the house to start? I think I’ll tackle our bedroom, as I have already made some progress there. My sons’ room is the one that bothers me most, but I’ll leave that for a later time! That feels a bit too daunting!!