The decluttering process can be difficult, emotional and time consuming. Or it can be easy, laid back and quick!
Here are 10 items to which you might be able to say a cheerful ‘cheerio’ – today!
- Old towels. Many of us hold on to towels which are scratchy, threadbare or stained. Not to mention too numerous for our household. I say that we all deserve to have the pleasure of soft, thick towels which are not ‘just a little bit too small’ If you’re looking for somewhere to donate your own towels, contact your local pet sanctuary or hospital.
- Excessive Pens. Okay, so it’s really annoying when you can’t find one when you want one. But most households contain far more pens than will ever be used before the ink dries out. The key here is to have a designated spot (or spots) in the house where pens ‘live’. Contain them in an open Tupperware if in a drawer to stop them rolling around. Bin any pens which are dry or lidless – then streamline down to a sensible number. Freecycle is a good place to donate your pens.
- Manuals. Psychologically, I can understand why people struggle to get rid of these. If an item were to break down surely you would need the instructions? But the truth is, hardly anyone refers back to these and storing them requires a whole box file. That’s a lot of space for something you’re barely going to touch again. As a compromise, I suggest making a simple excel spreadsheet and noting the serial numbers of devices. That way – if you need the manual you can easily find it online.
- Plastic Bags. Since the 5p charge came into effect, people seem to hoard these all the more. Who doesn’t dedicate a whole section of a kitchen cupboard to the things? I advise decluttering down to the maximum you will ever need for a supermarket shop – lose the flimsy ones and keep only the ‘bags for life’ or similar. If you have a car, make a rule to keep empty bags in the boot to minimise the risk of forgetting to take them with you. Tesco car parks have a bin where you can recycle plastic bags.
- Popcorn/ice cream/bread/yogurt maker. Of course there are exceptions but generally the size of these items vs frequency of use don’t warrant storing them. Kitchen space is precious and surfaces should be kept as clear as possible so consider whether shop bought alternatives to these foods will do. Or perhaps you could borrow a gadget when needed.
- Items with ‘negative energy’. Things which make us feel bad in some way, whether it’s an upsetting memory or an overwhelmingly negative emotion such as anger or sadness or fear. It’s important to surround ourselves with possessions that only add value and if they don’t, let them go with confidence.
- Excessive crockery and cutlery. The human tendency is to delay washing up a dirty item and instead fetch a new one from the cupboard. But the dirty mug or bowl will still need to be dealt with at some point! So we can make more work for ourselves when we keep too much. Declutter down to the maximum number you would need if you had house guests. But don’t worry about keeping enough for a party – that’s what the hired or disposable versions are for. Better still, get your guests to ‘bring their own bowl’
- Partly burnt down candles. I’m a big ‘use up’ person. Burn those candles all the way down! If you have half burnt candles in the back of the cupboard, chances are you will never burn them. People sometimes procrastinate over throwing them away because they aim to scrape out the wax and recycle or reuse the holder. Great in theory but unlikely to happen due to most people’s busy lives. Use the whole candle or chuck it.
- Tupperware. This is bulky and a challenge to store so get rid of any that you don’t use. My top tips are firstly to avoid keeping old margarine or ice cream tubs as these will leak and don’t do the job. Invest in a set whereby the containers neatly fit into each other. The lids can then be stored in an old CD rack/toast rack or something similar.
- Old make-up. It’s worth remembering the rule that liquid products only last 6 months and non-liquid – a year. It’s common for make-up to lurk around for years and even a decade. Bear in mind that many of the cheaper brands are made in the same factories as more expensive ones so you really don’t need to spend a fortune on make-up – replace it frequently.
Wow, I feel so much lighter just by writing that 😉
Thanks so much for reading,
A Tidy Mind