I’ve been using the downtime over the holidays to do some decluttering around the house. My house is fairly organised – I know where to find the things we use most of the time – but there comes that day when you realise that you’re not quite as organised as you think!!
That day for me was Christmas day. We didn’t do the usual big family lunch due to the rising Covid cases, and opted to do a minimalist Christmas lunch, just the five of us. Since there was such a little to do, I only looked for my only remaining Christmas ornament, a wire table candelabra for candles, after I had set the table. It was nowhere to be found!
I searched in all the usual places. I had given our Christmas ornaments to family with little kids but had kept that as it was a gift from a dear friend and added just enough festive cheer to our now less social gatherings. I mentioned it to my mom the next day. Somehow it had ended up there!
So the decluttering began.
I love Marie Kondo. I’m a religious folder, but the thought of throwing all my clothes on a bed just kills me! It’s a job that will most likely continue until the next day, and where am I going to sleep? Just thinking about cleaning up after all that sorting destroys any motivation I might have had to start with.
So I started small. I did the bathroom drawers. We moved our bedroom furniture around and I did the dressing table, my chest of drawers, and bedside table. I did some of the kitchen cupboards.
And the AHA! moment came: How many extra pans, utensils, bowls, etc. do you really need? How many mugs?!!! And then I realised…
I DON’T DECLUTTER, I ORGANISE! I just move things around, find nicer containers to put things in, and don’t actually get rid of much. There’s always “what if I need this later?” floating in my mind.
My solution to that is GROSS.
Get Rid Of Shit, Stupid!
We keep so many things in our homes and lives that have nothing to do with the lives we live or aspire to live.
So my new mantra for my home is:
- Is it functional NOW?
- Do I love it?
It helps to have a vision for each room in your house. What would you like it to look and feel like? Don’t make your rooms work so hard. Allow them only to be used for their original function. If you need office space, don’t make your bedroom suffer! Create an office-in-a-box that you can hide when you’re not using it. By cluttering up our spaces with other “stuff”, we lose the essence of the space – the conviviality of a lounge or family room, the serenity of a bedroom, the efficiency of an office space, or the warmth of a kitchen. Take out whatever doesn’t belong there. If space is an issue, create zones in rooms that can easily blend into the room or be hidden away.
The same goes for your wardrobe. What lifestyle are you living now? I started working from home in 2019, but still have some “teacher” clothes filling up my cupboard. Do you still wear those sexy heels you used to go clubbing in? Are you serious about losing weight? Or are those size 8 jeans going to languish in your wardrobe forever, a sad reminder of the girl you once were?
Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve the life you are living now. (Exception: you can keep a box of clothes for “When I”, but keep it small and only put in items that you really love and are classic, and only if you’re really serious about losing the weight. Actually, when you do lose the weight, you’ll probably want – and deserve – to buy a whole new wardrobe!)
So back to the kitchen. There is now a box of mugs, old bowls, and platters (wedding gifts I never really liked), old pans, utensils, and appliances we don’t use ready to go out. If I need a new kettle I’ll just go out and buy one, not use the leaky one we replaced and put in a cupboard!!
So I’m done with the old, the ugly, and the useless. Just don’t ask me to get rid of my bag collection!!!
Enjoy that “lighter” feeling!
Love and light