When your house starts looking more like a junk yard than the model home you used to be proud of, it’s time to reduce the clutter. There will probably be one specific area that has motivated this spring cleaning which is generally a good place to begin. Whether it’s the overflowing wardrobe teeming with clothes no longer recognisable, or the entrance hallway that has gathered a collection of hats and scarves you’re not sure belong to any resident of the house; it’s time to get rid of it all.
But don’t despair; these items may no longer serve a purpose in your home but they may hold value to others and a home will exist for them somewhere. Any guilt you may feel over throwing out perfectly working DVDs or old toasters is easily forgotten in the spirit of charity. There are now a multitude of ways to streamline your belongings which include recycling and selling old items. It’s becoming increasingly popular to host “swapping parties” where personal belongings from families and friends are traded, your kids old DVD for your sisters sequined top you’ve been trying to steal for years.
Which items have to go?
The answer is simple and the following points are often used as a guideline;
- If there’s no use for it
- You don’t know what it’s for
- It has not been used or worn in over a year
- Its covered in so much dust you dot know what it looks like
Then the time has come to part ways.
What should be kept?
Anything with an emotional attachment or that contains a memory should be kept. You will only regret parting with it, so store it away somewhere. It’s important when organizing clutter not to get too distracted by these items, so when stumbling upon that pile of old photos or box of keepsakes, just place them aside and continue on your mission.
Don’t forget about the bathroom and kitchen!
You will have dealt with the obvious; the juicer you never use has been boxed up and placed in storage or given to your diet-fad colleague, the ancient hair straighteners from the bathroom have been binned, but what about what’s hidden behind the cupboards? Food and beauty products all have an expiration date, and it’s never healthy to hold on to things that have expired so bin them immediately. Do not hold onto items just because you have good intentions of using them. Be realistic: if you never bath re-gift those scented bath salts, and if your New Year’s Resolution has always been to improve your cooking skills but you never do, pass along the speciality spice rack to your master chef friend.
Toys, DVD’s, Books and the rest of it.
For DVD’s and CD’s, burn them onto your hard drive, and then you always have them. Sell the copies taking up space in your living room. Books and toys can go to charity shops, be sold on the internet or taken into second hand bookstores (which are popping up everywhere) or to someone you know who may want them. Schools and hospitals are always on the lookout for such items and will be very thankful for the donation.
After the initial overhaul, don’t sink back into bad habits and always face the clutter head on. Every time you stumble across a forgotten article, remove it, recycle it, and replace it if you need to. Finally, with the big spring clean complete: keep momentum and be ruthless.