Do you have room to breathe? Country living doesn’t stop many of us from being busy, busy, busy and stressed, stressed, stressed.* We don’t smell the roses, let alone take time for friends and family or go for walks across the fields, on the beach or in the mountains.
If you declutter and simplify your home, would it really help and make your life easier?
In a word, yes.
And it might do a few other things too.
[* It’s the same for town and city living, of course.]
Declutter and simplify and you’ll have more time
Having time is one of the greatest luxuries today. It’s become a precious commodity and it flies, whether you’re having fun or not.
When you’ve simplified your house a little or a lot, you’ll have time for other things. You’ll be able to spend time on things you want to do, without being in a perpetual rush. You might even have time for a big rush that you won’t forget at Rib Ride or Zip World!
You’ll be able to just get to the beach or out for a walk without forgetting something – dog lead, keys, phone.
And the day-to-day routine of (select and add as appropriate) animals, garden, school, shopping, work and perhaps hospital visits will be simply easier. Easier sounds good to me.
You’ll feel much better
Like many people who’ve decluttered and simplified their home, you’ll feel so much better. This is what they say.
I feel more in control of my own life now.
I feel calmer. I’m not so stressed.
The house is cleaner because there isn’t so much stuff.
I’ve saved money because I don’t buy duplicates any more. I know where everything is. And I’ve found money too!
I enjoy what I’ve got because I can actually see it clearly now.
Declutter and simplify and you’ll have more space and more choice
When you’ve decluttered, there’s going to be less mess and more space. How wonderful to be able to find what you want!
And, strangely, having fewer things seems to offer more choice. That’s more choice in what you do with your time, your money, your life!
If things aren’t going right for you, don’t add things. Instead of adding things, you could try taking things away. People say that this helps them to focus on what’s really important.
You’re convinced? What next?
It is worthwhile to take the time to declutter and simplify your home. Or, indeed, anywhere you live.
You know what’s actually in your house, your office, your car – and where it is.
No more buying things you’ve already got. You’ll stop thinking that thing is somewhere but where on earth is it?
You have a warm heart when you give things away, pass things on to charity or recycle.
Helping you see and appreciate your special things.
You have space – floor space, hanging space, space on shelves, space in the airing cupboard, space on the landing, space in the shed, space in the garage, space in the office … You get the idea.
There is room to think your thoughts.
Everyday life runs more smoothly. It’s so much easier.
There is calm.
It seems you have more time.
You find you have more money, or less money going out.
You can respond to unexpected events.
Somehow you feel so much lighter.
You’re able to move forward with your life. You feel more optimistic.
Making a start with decluttering
How do you make a start with decluttering? The short answer is however it suits you, because if it suits you then you will carry on doing it. The key to successful decluttering is to be aware of clutter and to keep at it!
Some people like to declutter all in one go, following the celebrity declutterer Marie Kondo. (She emphasises what to keep, what ‘sparks joy’, rather than what to discard.)
Another way is to declutter a bit at a time. Some people do this whenever they’ve got a moment or five minutes or half an hour.
Then there is the challenge way. Some people set themselves a challenge – decluttering 10 things every day, for example. Or just one thing every day. That’s 365 things in a year!
It’s perfectly possible to declutter on your own but it’s OK to ask for help! Working with a professional organiser and declutterer helps enormously because they keep things moving and make the process fun and productive.
Read on for some tips and tricks to help you declutter successfully.
Boxes help you declutter successfully
Set out four boxes.
Box 1 is for things you want to keep but which belong somewhere else in the house. You know, those slippers in the garage that should be in the bedroom, the toothbrush that lives in the bathroom but has ended up in the kitchen, the homework under the chair that should really be in someone’s room.
After that, there’s Box 2 for things to be mended. Be realistic about this. Do you still need this item? Are you able to mend it and – the crunch question – will you ever do it?
Box 3 is for things you no longer need that you can give to people or organisations who would appreciate them and make good use of them. For instance, someone might love your 1980s cardigans because they love ‘vintage’ clothes. Similarly, a charity shop could sell those ornaments you don’t like. That sort of thing.
Finally, Box 4 (or perhaps a bin bag) is for those broken or useless things whose time is up. The broken cardboard box that can no longer hold anything at all. An old crisp packet. The jammed stapler that hasn’t worked for years and will never work again. Old newspaper cuttings.
Categories help you declutter successfully
Sort items into categories so that all similar things are together. Work on just one category at a time, using your keep/mend/give/throw away boxes.
Here are some examples of categories. And a few questions which might help you decide what to do.
All the little black dresses. Which ones do I love? Which ones don’t I like very much? Do they fit? Are any the same?
The crime fiction. Will I read any of these books again? Did some frighten me too much to finish? Are there any duplicates?
All the plastic storage boxes. Do they have lids? And do they fit? Are there lids without boxes? It’s likely that one or two are stained or even smell.
The children’s jumpers. Do they still fit the children? Are they in reasonable condition? Maybe there are jumpers that nobody will ever wear.
The garden tools. Are any broken beyond repair or downright dangerous? Are there any you don’t use at all and can never envisage using? Could a specialist charity make better use of them than you?
Donating and recycling your decluttered items
Recycling your unwanted items, by giving them away or donating them to a charity shop or taking them to your local recycling centre, gives you a lovely warm feeling.
Clothing and other items in good condition are welcomed by charity shops up and down the land. Many also accept clean rags if they are in a clearly marked bag. Always drop off your donations when the shop is open so they reach the right place. You could give to a charity which you support or drop donations off at a place which is easy to reach. Some charities have larger units on industrial estates or retail parks. Unopened food still in date can be given to food banks.
Depending on where you live, the waste collection service can make it easy to recycle your unwanted possessions. In other places it makes better sense to take things directly to the recycling centre. Check online what facilities your local authority provides.
Congratulations! Now you’ve decluttered successfully, what next?
What hard work! Well done! And what a great achievement! Above all, I hope you are basking in your newly decluttered environment and enjoying every moment.
Unfortunately, though, it’s all too easy for clutter to creep back into your life.
Stay alert to the dangers and be aware when clutter appears in your life. You know what to do then: put on your decluttering hat and shoes and get to it!
Uncluttered is a professional organising and decluttering service in North Wales. Our base is Parc Menai, just beside the Britannia Bridge on the Gwynedd side, so we’re ideally situated. It’s moments to Anglesey, just a short journey to Pen Llyn and Meirionnydd and not very far along the coast to Conwy, Denbighshire and beyond.
We are also happy to work further afield. Recent clients have been in Dorset and London. Get in touch for a chat and let’s see what we can do. If we can’t help, we’ll certainly know someone who can!
I think I need help with sorting, clearing and organising stuff. Oh, and paperwork! Do you do this kind of decluttering in North Wales?
We certainly do, and we work further afield as well.
Getting professional help is a great step to take. That’s because we’ll help you to decide exactly what you’re aiming for, and we’ll work with you to get there. It makes it do-able. (And we won’t be shocked or judge you.)
What sort of jobs have you worked on?
Firstly, helping households run more smoothly. The old saying ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ really does makes a lot of sense. If you don’t take determined action to keep clutter under control, it has such a nasty way of building up. Yes, we’ve been there!
Then, moving house. Getting ready to move, managing to sell a house and then moving into a new place takes a lot of work. In short, we can help you make the most of your old property so it sells, and organise the new property so it’s easy to live in.
Bereavement touches all of us, and affects us in different ways. Often the best thing to do is to wait a little while, if you can. There’s such a lot to do, though, after a death in the family or the death of a friend. That’s why engaging an understanding professional organiser for some (or all) of what has to be done can help enormously.
And then there is, for example, paperwork, clothes, kitchens, garages and garden sheds, books and art collections … In other words, you name it and we can probably lend a hand with it!
What do you do with everything that’s decluttered?
It depends entirely on what the client wants, but most items are usually recycled at a recycling centre or a charity shop.
Do get in touch if you think we can help you
If you think we can help you with professional organising and decluttering in North Wales and further afield, do get in touch.
You’ll find our contact details under the ‘Contact’ tab.
Decluttering is just one word and it can offer you so many gifts. Amazing! I’m feeling festive and thinking about The Twelve Days of Christmas, so I’ll have a quick look at twelve gifts, but there are more. Let’s look at other gifts decluttering gives you another time.
Ready? Off we go …
Decluttering gives you knowledge, a warm heart …
1. Knowledge. You know what’s actually in your house, your office or your car. So no more buying things you’ve already got – they are somewhere but where? Like screwdrivers, sellotape, the other sock … And that’s just S in the alphabet.
2. A warm heart when you recycle or pass things on to charity. You don’t need them any more but charity shops do and their clients benefit. Recycling is good for us all. Help the love go round.
3. Appreciation of those special things you choose to keep. Don’t hide them away in a load of clutter. Give them room to be seen and to shine.
4. Space. As my art teacher used to say, look at the space in between things. It has value all of its own. Luxuriate in it!
Decluttering gives you thinking room, opportunity …
5. Thinking room to think your thoughts. When there’s clutter everywhere – or even just somewhere – it can be hard to find room to think your own wonderful thoughts.
6. Opportunity to organise things to suit your lifestyle. Everyone benefits when everyday life runs more smoothly. Everyday life running on fumes is hard work.
7. Calm. No more needy ‘stuff’ at home, chirruping that it needs attention. No need to think that you’ll sort it out one day. You’ve done it. (And decluttering is good at work, too.)
8. More time. What a luxury! How will you spend it? Looking after yourself is a good choice.
Decluttering gives you lightness, a springboard …
9. More money, or less money going out, at the very least. That’s because you make fewer last minute desperate purchases, you don’t buy duplicates and you’ve got more time to plan ahead.
10. You’re able to respond more easily to unexpected events. Whether it’s a lovely surprise or an emergency, you’ve got more in the tank.
11. Lightness. You’re no longer weighed down by all that clutter. That’s got to be good for your health.
12. A springboard to move forward. Where will it take you when you’re no longer held back by stuff?
Decluttering helps the world go round
I give presents to people I love and value, and to myself. It helps the world go round. Decluttering is a brilliant thing. It gives you so much, at this time of year and all through the year.