When it comes to a de-clutter, I’m a big fan. There are two types of people in this world: hoarders and purgers. Which are you? I’m a chronic chucker. I chuck things out sometimes because it’s easier than mending them or putting them away. Then I get in so much trouble from my husband, who is a constant ‘keeper’ of things and won’t let me throw anything out.
My dear friend Brooke Howden, happens to be a de-cluttering professional. She tells us how we can strike a harmonious balance between doing the once a year clean and the on-going maintenance. Read on to garner her delightfully refreshing advice.
When Tess kindly invited me to publish some helpful hints about ‘spring de-cluttering’, I of course said absolutely! But I don’t actually believe spring or summer is the best time for the common good of deep clean. The truth is, it works best when not just saved for once a year.
This essentially means you focus on the top 3 spots that clutter accumulates.
Although it can seem like a HUGE job, one of the best first things you can do is pull out everything from every kitchen cupboard. (I’m talking everything!). From here, clean the cupboard and place the items back in – but before you do, hold that item in your hand and ask yourself: “Is this used on a weekly basis and does it make me happy?”.
It’s quite strange to ask yourself if a dinner plate makes you happy but alas, if you’re holding a cracked plate that you have held onto for 15 years and it isn’t really reflecting where you are now and who you want to be, it is time to get rid of it!
Give yourself permission to only have linen and towels that are a colour and texture that give you satisfaction. Peter Walshe – my absolute de-clutter guru advises – two sets of sheets per bed. Now I’m a linen lover from way back, so for me this was daunting, so I gave our bed three sets and kids two sets, which works magnificently.
I love my linen cupboard because every time I open it, nothing is displaced – it gives me a great sense of beauty, nurture and control.
Toys, books and clothes all pile-up. Often when I de-clutter a kid’s room for a client, the parents are holding onto baby stuff for the second bub or are emotionally attached to some items. Here’s the thing – you don’t need to save everything. Yes, popping baby stuff in a storage container is great for the former or latter, but I challenge you; open that container and I guarantee you could get rid of half of it!
So make yourself a cup of tea, pull out that container or open that cupboard and exert some quality control. I promise it will bring that space you crave in your kid’s room, which in turn makes space in your heart and mind for new and wonderful things.
Bringing together my top hints:
1.Forget the notion of a ‘spring clean” and substitute that with keeping your cupboards and home de-cluttered on a day to day basis.
2.Having a de-cluttering expert help does save you time and expedites the process of having to ‘do it all yourself’. That said if having a stranger go through your cupboards isn’t your thing, then it’s time to take control and make the time.
3.Home organisation is a lot like exercise; the same principals apply! You can have an expert get you started, tailor an exercise plan for you and you’re on your way…or you just get out there and jog one day! The trick is to commit to jogging weekly, rain, hail or shine (not just in spring).
4.Once done, your options are to sell or donate. There is more about ‘consciously’ donating on my Facebook page, which again brings a whole other level of satisfaction to your life.
5.We often don’t need as much as we think – we’re conditioned to be gatherers, but take back control of what you choose to gather and what you choose to let go of. This works not only with your dinner plates but also with your psyche too!
6.Re-organising and re-invigorating spaces, so they can be the best they can be (all year round) not only transforms a cupboard or a room, it actually transforms your life! In saying that, spring is a great time to open that cupboard and make a start!
Brooke Howden – Clutterless Cupboards