The week between Christmas and New Year is such a perfect time to declutter your home. You could even make it a yearly event as if you are anything like me, the clutter fairy visits me regularly, and deposits all manner of things – everywhere.
I accept no responsibility for any of it, it just found its way into my home. Used batteries appear on my worktops, carrier bags reproduce under my sink, newspapers, and magazines that have interesting articles in, wait patiently to be read, when I have time, and ‘stuff’ just clutters my house, to the point where I’m sometimes tripping over it.
So if this resonates with you, time to get your decluttering head on, and sort your sh^* out. But it’s no exaggeration to say, you have to be in the mood, you cannot declutter half-heartedly otherwise it won’t work.
We’ve all read the lazy girls’ guide to decluttering, you know the one, you make 3 piles, bin it, bag it, put it back. One bag for the stuff that really is going to be chucked out, one for the charity shop, and a pile to keep. But really, does it ever work out as simple as that.
Just trying to declutter my makeup bag is a trauma, never mind the whole house. How many red lipsticks does a girl need, well the answer is, because there are so many shades of red, it’s really hard to decide which ones to keep. The same goes for nail varnishes, how many summer colours do you need, and how many winter colours. Decisions, decisions.
Imagine then the worst thing to tackle – the drawer where everything gets put, that does not have a legitimate home, so you know where it is. Yes, that’s right the kitchen drawer full of string, receipts, batteries ( the ones that actually do get moved from the worktop) stray earrings, chargers, leads, chewed-up dog toys, and takeaway menus. Every home has a drawer like this, trust me.
But for the declutter virgins, the ones who have never tackled decluttering before, here is all you need to know.
You need two bin bags, a space wherever you are to make a pile, a HUGE amount of focus, and a ruthless streak that is unstoppable.
Bag one is the absolute chucking it out bag. Socks without partners go in this bag, old supermarket receipts used train tickets, dried up mascara, lipsticks that are down to the stub, nail varnishes that you can’t get the lid off, tights with holes, knickers with no elastic. Are you getting the drift ?!
This bag is for the charity shop. This is for clothes that no longer fit you, that you haven’t worn in a year, that you really don’t like. Shoes that were an impulse buy, and don’t fit. Toiletries that are unopened, but you don’t like. Anything in fact that someone else might, or could use. Even if you don’t recycle your old bottles or milk cartons, do this to make a difference in someone else’s life. Your trash could be their treasure.
Please note, unlike some other decluttering guides, bag two is NOT going to be a bag you keep to sell on eBay, or do a car boot sale. Trust me, you never will. Just get rid of it straight away, once filled, put it in the boot of your car, and make a trip to your nearest charity shop depot. They rarely turn anyone away, unlike local shops which can sometimes become too full of donations. Once it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.
Saving a bag to do a car boot sale means the bag will still be inside your house and if you declutter in January, that means it’ll still be hanging around for another 4 months. Unless you are already a full-fledged eBay seller, you will find it all too much of a faff to list your items. Yes, out of sight, out of mind is the way forward!
THE PILE SPACE
The pile space is for things that are going to be put back tidily where they belong. The space is for clothes you wear regularly, and items you use virtually every day. It’s not a pile for ‘just in case’. Remember you are being ruthless here, it’s not time for sentiment, or keeping your lucky pants, just in case, simply because you got lucky in them – once.
Yes, when Twitter is down, it’s a great time to declutter.