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The decluttering process: It always feels like such a mammoth task. I seem to be stuck in a constant loop between amassing clutter and decluttering, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. It can often feel like a never ending process.
I’ve always been a messy kind of person. My bedroom floor is never clear and I have always had far too much stuff than necessary. But this is changing…
A couple of years ago I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever* and just fell in love with the concept.
I know I will never have the perfect KonMari home; I have a husband who likes to keep things and doesn’t necessarily enjoy tidying, and a two year old daughter who creates a whirlwind of mess as soon as she enters the room. But I am making a start with the things I can control. My own belongings.
The other KonMari book Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying* has been my bible in sorting my wardrobe. At first I did laugh at the idea of asking myself if each of belonging’s ‘sparked joy’, and there are still some items that I have kept that don’t necessarily make me joyful (a plain white t-shirt, as an example. No joy, but I wear it under jumpers so need to keep it). Storing my t-shirts and tops in a drawer horizontally rather than stacking them actually has changed my life! I used fold and stack which resulted almost every day in the entire pile becoming a mess as I reached to the bottom to pick out the one for that day. I also wear far more of my clothes as I am now actually able to see them!
My most recent purge was just last week and I spent a total of 6 hours focusing on just my shoes and clothes. I always start with clothing and accessories, as these seem to be the things I needlessly buy most.
The process itself is relatively simple. Marie Kondo would have you pick up each individual item and think about how it makes you feel. Does it ‘Spark Joy’? I don’t quite go that far. The moment I lay my eyes on an item I know whether I need/love it or not.
This is the best way I find to declutter but you do need to be a little ruthless and honest with yourself. I used to be queen of ‘…but I might fit into these jeans again’ or ‘…but I really do need a luminous yellow pleated 80’s fancy dress tutu that I haven’t worn since University!’ Needless to say, eventually, I managed to let go.
- Decide on the category you are going to focus on.
- Pile EVERYTHING you own in that category together in one place. (I always use my bed. That way I can’t go to sleep until it’s all done!)
- Remove items that are broken/unusable/faded/don’t fit into a Charity or Bin pile
- Remove items that you forgot you owned or haven’t used/worn in the past year (or 6 months).
- Remove all items you don’t love and/or need
- Look at your ‘Keep’ pile. Be honest with yourself and repeat steps 3-5. I bet you’ll remove at least 5 more items.
- Arrange your storage and tidy away all items to keep
- Bag up other piles and take them to the bin or charity shop as soon as possible. Don’t give yourself a chance to change your mind!
‘Why should I bother? It seems like a lot of effort.’
I won’t lie. It is.
Decluttering your entire life takes up a lot of time and effort. But it is so worth it.
Every time I drop off my bags to the charity shops and see the extra space appearing in my home I literally feel lighter. Just try one category (I always find clothes the best place to start, as does the guru Marie Kondo). You won’t regret it.
Benefits of Decluttering
- Decluttering makes you happier – I feel so much happier and healthier when my things are all in order. When my home is a mess, my anxiety peaks and I feel out of control.
- Decluttering means less time spent tidying and cleaning – More stuff = more mess = more to tidy.
- Decluttering allows you to see what you’ve got – When you’ve got less stuff and you are storing it correctly you can actually see what you’ve got. Which means you know what you need so you don’t have to keep buying unnecessary items which in turn…
- Decluttering makes you spend less money – You can see what you’ve got so you know what you need and no longer need to spend without purpose.
- Decluttering could make you money – You can sell unwanted items on eBay and make back some of the money spent on them
- Decluttering helps charity – You can donate most used items to a charity shop, as long as they are still in a decent condition.
- Decluttering makes moving house easier – A very likely option for us at the moment. I hate packing at the best of times, let alone when it’s a load of stuff I don’t really want!
- Decluttering makes you appreciate what you’ve got – You’ve gotten rid of goodness knows how many belongings during the process so when you’re finished you are only surrounded by things you truly want and love.
I really hope you found this useful and has brought you one step closer to making a start on your decluttering journey!
I look forward to enjoying it with you!