If you follow me over on Insta, you’ll know that one of my 2017 new year resolutions is to reduce the clutter in my house. It’s like my nesting phase has come early and I am determined to only have items in my home that we love and need before the new baby comes in May!
The items to be disposed of need to have lived in the house for a while (catalogues, newsletters and the occasional drawings don’t necessarily count unless they have been kept for a long period of time) and they don’t necessarily go in the bin. We have made countless trips to our local charity bins and many other items have been given to family or friends we know will make good use of them.
Here are some of the tips and benefits I have come across so far:
- Dispose of 10 items a day: this whole idea was to help me not feel overwhelmed by the daunting task. I am not limited to 10 items and sometimes if I remove 20 or more things, I count that for the following day. It has helped me take this challenge in bite sized pieces and to helps me avoid spending hours trying to clean a section with the end result of me leaving a bigger mess once complete. Sometimes I clean a bathroom drawer while the kids are in the shower, a kitchen cupboard while dinner is cooking or even the a shelf while the kids get ready for bed. It also ensures our bin isn’t overflowing come bin night!
- Introduced capsule wardrobes for the children: I have loved having a capsule wardrobe for over 2 years now (my Winter and Autumn wardrobes for 2016 can be found here and here), where I only have about 37 items in my seasonal closet. I have since done the same for my two children. They are the grateful recipients of great hand me downs so by going through what they have before the season starts, I know exactly what they need and don’t need. I have consequently curbed the amount of money I’ve spent on kids’ clothing which means less items in the house. Win-win!
- Reduced my shopping habit: Because I am consciously trying to reduce the amount of stuff in our house, I am more reluctant to bring more into it. Therefore, I am a lot more picky when buying things and when I do, I make sure we need it and I truly love it.
- Ensure everything has a home: Reading Marie Kondo’s book has really changed the way I live (you can click here to see how she has helped me reorganise my drawers!). One of her great suggestions is that everything in your house needs a home i.e. a designated space for it to live. Not only does that mean you will always know where to store it and where to find it, but it also means that it belongs. Often I have items that I like, don’t really like but for some reason, want to keep. If I can’t find an appropriate home for it, then I know it’s time to let it go.
- Re-evaluate the toys and books for my children: I have always wanted to be clever with my storage solutions and was keen to have a living room with toys out of sight. We got rid of 98% of our DVDs and now use our TV cabinet as toy storage. Each child has a 40cm x 25cm box filled with a few activity and reading books as well as educational and fun toys that encourage imaginary play. I did this with my children so they chose what they wanted and removed what they didn’t. I am yet to do their bedroom but I will use a similar strategy. I have, however, re-done their Montessori shelf in the spare room which I will share shortly!
I am still learning through this process but I feel so much lighter and happier even though I’ve only done a small percentage of our house. Because I do things in bite sized pieces, I know exactly which area I want to tackle next and how to do it. It’s great feeling that you can conquer a challenge you have wanted to do for years… and feel like you can actually achieve it too!