This time of year, brings about a feeling of starting again and renewing. People making plans to lose weight, trying their best to save money and evaluating bills. It's also a perfect time to have a good clear out of old items and clutter in general. Have you noticed how good it feels when you sit in a tidy room as opposed to a mess? I was one for tidying the main mess, but then the drawers would be bursting with junk - have you seen the Michael McIntyre man drawer sketch? Hilarious, but I had three!
I would be proud that my bedroom looked tidy, only to open the wardrobe and cupboards to see all of my clothes had put each other on, the clothes hangers had jumped to the floor in a joint suicide mission and my socks had joined Plenty Of Feet.com looking for their better halves. Let's not forget to mention the dark places of the house, that make everyone shudder like - dare I say it - under the bed or gulp.... *insert scary violin music* behind the sofa.
A good tidy up is great for the mind, body and soul. It helps you feel cleansed, organised and ready to take on the world - or at the very least you won't stub your toe trying to manoeuvre around your mess and that's always a bonus. Whether you're a hoarder and have a house full of years’ worth of 'things that will come in one day', or a normally quite tidy person who's let the innards of the house stay up after midnight and poured water on them for good measure, then this blog post is for you.
Get rid of the large things first. I'm talking odd pieces of furniture that one day you are going to shabby chic - trust me you're not. You would have done it by now if you were going to. It's one thing scrolling through Pinterest thinking you will take all these great projects on, but be realistic. If something has been sitting around waiting to be used for more than six months then chances are, it won't get used and you may as well give it to someone who will. Give your local charity shop a call and they will come and pick your larger items up, or put them on any selling site if you don't want to part with it for free.
The awesome gadget that seemed a bargain at the time, that quite frankly hasn't seen the light of day since you turned a courgette into spaghetti. Get rid of it, if it hasn't been touched since the year before last, chances are it won't get used at all. I'm a great believer in re-using and recycling, so if you can't make use of it give it to someone who will. Don't just throw it away. If you have too many pots and pans why not try and grow yourself a little herb garden, using them as plant pots? If you're limited for space outdoors, then stick them on a shelving unit and grow upwards.
If your clothes don't fit you get rid of them, don't wait until they fit again. If you have had them longer than your children, tear them up for rags. If they don't bring a smile to your face when you wear them, get some that do. Have a swap day with your friends, where you all bring things you don't want and pick something that you like to take instead.
Each thing you own should have a purpose. What do you do with it? Is it useful? Does it bring you joy? How often do you use it? Ask yourself these things as you clear out your house. If you are unsure, then make a note of it and see how much you use it over the next six months. If you have a lot of stuff that holds sentimental value, then why not get a plastic storage tub and put it all together and out of the way, that way it won't get lost or broken.
If you have lots of letters lying around in a drawer that don't get thrown out, because you might need them again, file them. Get some plastic wallets and a ring binder file and keep all your household bills together. You could even have different sections for each adult, or one for the car, how about putting all instruction manuals in there too. The more organised you are the easier things are to find.
Make it a regular job to keep on top of clutter and you will feel happier in a calm environment, where you can pinpoint exactly where everything is. Don't try to tackle it all at once as this will put you off. One job at a time, one drawer at a time if you must, but do it thoroughly and completely. Once you have finished the job, get rid of anything you don't want straight away. The last thing you want to do is have a pile of stuff that's waiting to go to the charity shop, that multiplies each day, until eventually, all you have done is moved your junk into one corner of the house.
Make use of storage containers and boxes that fit neatly into drawers and cupboards. Sort out your make-up bag. If you only use one lip gloss all the time, but own six, have three palettes of nude eyeshadow that just happen to be thirty different shades - but let's face it they look the same on, surely, it's time to downsize? Be strict but not ruthless, if you really don't want to throw it out, then don't. Just stop buying things you know you won't use in future, call it a lesson learned.
Be sure to know when it's time to let go of something. It's a very liberating experience to de-clutter. Give it a go.