Does the feeling that you need to declutter pop into your mind sometimes? But somehow your thoughts and will power just slip and slide away to all the other stuff you have to do?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you didn’t have to do all that work? I mean, there’s just SO MUCH that needs to be done right? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have the magical results you see in those decluttering TV shows in the time you watched the show from the comfort of your couch.
If you’re REALLY determined to have those results, you can. And you don’t have to deal with overwhelming amounts of stuff, you don’t have to spend mega-bucks on a crew and you don’t have to show the world your dirty laundry.
Look at the upcoming year: 365 days. 12 months. 56 weeks. You could do ANYTHING in that time, couldn’t you? Lose some weight, start a garden, save for something special. Do you think someone could renovate a house in year? Do you reckon someone could declutter an entire house in a year?
Just imagine if you had a charity truck arrive at your door to take away stuff every 3 months. That’s 4 truck loads.
Just imagine if you took two boxes of decluttered stuff to a local charity shop, every week of the year. That’s 112 boxes!
If you took 4 boxes each week that’s 224 boxes of stuff that have GONE from your house!
Doesn’t that sound AMAZING?!
So let’s break it down into 12 months. You can break it down even more too, if you like. But we can start with the first month, then each month work on a different room, or category of stuff. You can choose to do one or all of them. What ever works for you.
Let’s look at…
Bit of a funny month this one. In NZ and Australia it’s a holiday month. In colder climes, everyone’s back to work. Either way in most homes it’s the month after Christmas & New Year celebrations. At some point you’re going to have to put away the decorations and special china and deal with the fall out of all that fun. So here are a few things to declutter, that will make your life a whole lot easier next year, and in the next couple of months too.
If you haven’t already, this is a great time to declutter decorations you don’t like, or broken ones, lights that don’t work (add them to your ewaste box) and anything that’s festive that’s no longer needed.
Now you know how much you have left, take the time to store them well. Your future Christmas self will be so grateful when you don’t have to untangle things. Check out Google to see the many, many, MANY webpages on the subject. (Don’t forget ziplock bags, of all sizes, they’re very handy.)
Ahhh leftovers. Depending on how much you actually had left over, you might be coming to the end of them. Which means that you now have a bunch of useful containers because you’ve already done all the lid-matching work. Yay! Before you toss them back into their drawer or cupboard, pull out all the other container bits and do a bit more matching. Then, store them tidily and recycle any random bits.
And you know that massive platter at the back of the cupboard? Did it come in handy? And the entire set of fancy cutlery that you only use on special occasions? Yes, that’s great! No? You might want to think about donating them too.
You know that dress you tried on but decided against wearing? For the last three years? Or the itchy matching reindeer jumpers that your kids refuse to wear or have grown out of? Cute they may be, but out they must go. If they’re still good (No pilling, stains or stretched out bits) donate them, they might make someone else very happy AND raise money for a charity. How generous and fabulous are you?!
Unwanted gifts. Sigh. This is a bit of a sensitive one, but you know what you’re dealing with. Divide and conquer the pile of stuff:
Regift: There will be things you can regift – but be careful, make a note of who gave it to you on the item. A little bit of removable masking tape is good for this. Add easy things to your gift store for future emergency gift giving. If this collection is getting out of hand you might want to do a bit of decluttering!
Donate: Especially if there’s just TOO MANY GIFTS! You’ll know which gifts your kids love and which were ripped open and tossed aside. You’ll also know which gifts were token gifts, that just made the giver feel good. Donate. Now’s good (but call the charity shop first.)
Sell. Be very careful here. You never know if the gift giver might be watching…
One in one out. Even if the gifts were wanted they’re just adding to the volume of stuff in your home. One in one out doesn’t mean you have to remove the older but exact same thing from your home. It means you need to manage the space you have. So you get a great gift, let’s say it’s an Air Fryer. It’ll make your life a whole lot easier if the space it best fits isn’t occupied with a dusty, unused Popcorn Maker that’s really hard to clean/an Electric Crepe maker that’s too heavy…etc.
If you have a gift-giving person in your life who is super sensitive and always likes to see you using the gifts you give them… it’s a good idea to have a chat with them beforehand. Tactfully and lovingly explain what’s preferable. It might feel hard to do, but it’s going to make a big difference to your future self, instead of stuffing gifts you hate into a huge box in the attic. What a waste. Or having to use things you loathe. Life is too short!
Liz The Tidy Lady