It’s no surprise that I’m a lover of decluttering, in fact, I’ve spoken about it many times on this blog with giving my top tips & why it’s so important not to clutter your homes with junk; for the overall appearance as well as for your own mental health.
I’ve read the bible that is Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up’ although seem to have a slightly different strategy which seems to work for me. Although I wouldn’t say I’m quite on her scale (obsessed to the max…) I do genuinely enjoy clearing out cupboards, organising things into sections, donating unwanted/needed items & feeling almost ‘free‘ of clutter.
In a recent blog post that I wrote, which you can read here, I had somebody comment to say that I had offended her by saying that holding on to certain sentimental items was unnecessary. I deleted the comment does she have a point? What I actually meant was that holding on to a cinema ticket from when you saw Titanic back in 1998 with your one of your ex boyfriends or a dress that realistically you’ll never be able to fit into again (story of my life..) seems slightly absurd.
I’ve also been asked what I do with the countless paintings & drawings that my children bring home from nursery & no doubt met with horrified faces to say that they go to live in the recycling bin after bedtime. Some of the good or special ones are kept in a ‘memory box’ however keeping/displaying 493467327 pieces of paper with felt tip pen squiggles all over it would require a room to themselves.
Now, I completely understand why decluttering may not appeal to some. If you’re the type of person that loves being surrounded by objects & struggles to let go, all the way up to the ‘hoarding’ stage then by all means go ahead.
However personally, decluttering makes me feel good. It gives me a buzz to know I’m being productive, giving to those less fortunate & making my house tidier. I feel weighed down by a stuffed drawer full of useless objects.
But where do you draw the line?
Marie Kondo states that when decluttering, you should hold an item in your hands & if it doesn’t instantly ‘spark joy‘ then it should be chucked. But what about a frying pan which has seen better days but is pretty essential in everyday life.
Women who struggle with too much stuff in their homes are more likely to feel stressed, tired & depressed. In his (also bestselling) book, trend forecaster James Wallman calls the problem “Stuffocation”.
As a generation, we are massively in the ‘throw away society’ category, in fact, items such as phones are now only designed to go on for a few years until the next model comes out & with nothing wrong with said phone, we are all over the upgrade like a tramp on chips.
So, I’ve come up with my top ways to ease this & to hopefully offend less people who feel like me telling people that keeping shoes with holes in is ludicrous –
- Pass it on – read the book or watched the DVD? Pass it on to a friend/family immediately. It never technically becomes ‘clutter’ so you aren’t decluttering plus you get brownie points from said friend who will hopefully love it & pass it on again.
- Upcycle – got a piece of furniture that you think needs to go to the tip? It’s amazing what a lick of paint can do so get on the chalk paint bandwagon to give it a new lease of life as well as helping the environment.
- Just don’t buy it – this may sound like an obvious one but ultimately will save you from ever having to declutter in the first place. Just don’t buy it in the first place….if you see something that you love then instead of buying it, say to yourself that if you genuinely can’t stop thinking about it in say 2 weeks, you’ll go back & get it. You’ll find the vast majority of things were purely impulse & in turn £££.
- Appreciation – appreciate the value of what you do have, learn to fall in love with items & for them to ‘spark joy’ which in turn will mean you don’t go out & buy more.
- Say no – if you happen to be the receiver of point number 1 but genuinely have no interest in watching/reading/wearing/using said item, learn to say ‘No thank you’.