I know this might be a strange time of year to post but I’ve been on a quiet mission since last April to rid my home of clutter. With renovations *almost* done (I’ve sorted new old doors this week) I have a clearer picture of what I’ve needed to keep and what’s needed to go. There’s been no fancy or gimmicky method just a mix of boredom from tidying up the same things, common sense, and that classic William Morris quote – ” Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Some rooms had to be sorted as builders were arriving, other rooms were used as dumping areas for bits that didn’t have a home and other areas were just accumulations of stuff that you become blind to, today I thought I’d share some of the ways I’ve got things under control…
Set a deadline – the rooms in the roof had become dumping grounds for anything that we didn’t want to deal with when we moved in or be bothered to find a place for. Over two and a bit years a lot of stuff accumulated so we went in hard and cleared 90%, most went to the tip (mainly cardboard boxes and magazines), some to charity and the rest I sold at a bootsale. Having a deadline really got us moving and ever since I try and set myself deadlines to get a room complete.
Tackle small area’s at at time – with my time limited sometimes a full room sort out isn’t possible so I’ll focus on one area at a time – that could be a bookcase, drawer or most recently dressing table. I’ll chuck anything that should have been binned, sometimes I’ll move items to a new area and anything that I don’t love anymore I take to the charity shop. Doing a small amount on a regular basis makes a massive impact.
Bootsale Box – after the initial clear out I kept a bootsale box for anything that I didn’t need or love anymore. Having one place where I could keep everything I wanted to sell rather than having piles in every room made not only organising a bootsale much less time consuming but cleared the “not sure piles’ from each room. Last year I made over £100 and this year around £40 which I put towards items for the house that I loved and really wanted – this made me feel much less guilty about selling presents etc.
Do I love it, Do I need it? – my life has changed dramatically since we started our renovations and some items that were once useful are no longer so. Where I can I have reused, repurposed and recycled but where that doesn’t work I have sold or given away. I always ask “do I love it, do I need it” if not then it’s time to go.
Baskets – since dealing with all the main areas of clutter I’ve been trying to keep it at bay. For this I use baskets, I have them everywhere. For affordable baskets I have some of these from Homebase, they are ideal for toys and also having near a staircase where I chuck anything downstairs that needs to go upstairs (and vice versa) its saves endless trips up and down stairs as I take everything in one go. I love these baskets from Olli Ella, I have a few on top of my wardrobe where I keep out of season bits, I like having a few the same so it looks orderly. I also have Moroccan baskets which remind me of holidays where I keep project piles and also nappies (not in the same basket), I just discovered this great website that makes me want to buy even more!!
My house is by no means tidy or minimalist but having a good sort out has definitely cut down tidying up time and making me feel a little more prepared for the arrival for baby number two!