How to de-clutter?

Did you see the programme on TV recently about tidying and storage, with that chap from Location, Location? Phil somebody?

I thought the programme was good, but was astounded at the sheer volume of stuff the family had!

When we downsized from a detached four-bed to our little pad, I found it pretty easy to sort out the important and essential from the unnecessary. There are a few items we have in a secure store, but we are slowly sorting through those now, too.

I grew up in a smallish house with three siblings and two parents, and although space was at a premium, my mother didn't rate housework above spending time with us.
By that, I mean the house was usually a sh*t pit, but on the whole we were happy!
We didn't have a lot of possessions, but what we did have were played with.

As a young parent with minimal income, second-hand and pre-loved was the order of the day.

To make life easier on myself when I went back to work, everything lived in 'zones'.

I still live that way today - and it's made for a harmonious living environment.

(MW knows exactly where the scissors are; that I always have a pen and pencil in my handbag; that we have spare medicines in the car.)

But back to the TV programme.

One of the saddest things that went through my head when I watched it was, the folk have so much stuff that they just don't cherish any of it.

Not just the kids, but the adults too.

The mum had fallen into the trap of buying clothes and them being in cupboards, wardrobe, boxes, (floor, etc) and yet she was only wearing about 10% of what she owned.

Now not everyone loves Marie Kondo or books of that ilk, but this is my blog, and this is what I did and do.


If you need a bit of help and advice about de-cluttering or tidying up, here's my two-penny'worth:

. Firstly grab a large cardboard box and a two large plastic bags. Take them into a room to declutter.

. Decide what you want this room to be used for. If it's for watching telly, then having DVDS here is logical. It shouldn't have items that are for other zones in it - e.g. Clothes.

Do you read in this room? If not, then you don't need to store books here.

Do you listen to music here? The same for CDs.

Look at what you want to keep.
Do you enjoy those DVDs?
Will you watch them again?

If not, put them in one of your plastic bags.
This is for the Charity shop.
They can sell a DVD for £1, and you are giving to charity while helping yourself get tidy.

Look at your ornaments.
Do you like them?
If not, same bag.

If you think - ah, but Grandma gave that to me.... - if you don't like it, what would Grandma say to you about having an ornament you don't like?
You only live once, and here's a shocker: that ornament IS NOT your Grandma.
Once you are not here anymore, someone else has to deal with it - and that includes your stuff.

Now close your eyes.
Can you picture the ornament?
Then you wont forget it, and can remember it with a smile when you choose to.

(NB it is worth checking on eBay that some items aren't really valuable before you give away a Faberge egg or a Renoir painting..)

Once you have cleared the room to items that are just for that room's purpose, your job is done.

And yes, I did this, and do this, and live by the principal.

My darling dad passed away in 1991.
He had a flat cap that he wore every now and then, and it still smelled of him (I thought), but I didn't need to keep hold of that cap since 1991....
No, I finally decided that last year.
It was one of the last things to move on.

In my mind I can still picture him, hear his laugh, remember things he told me, and especially remember how he made me feel.

I live my life.

When it is over I know I won't be leaving behind too many of my belongings for someone else to have to de-clutter.



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