Have you ever reached the point where you look around and there is stuff everywhere? Me too, enough is enough and it is time to declutter. If you’re anything like me you put it off because it just all looks way too overwhelming. Instead, I’ve broken it down into five areas I’ve used to start decluttering for a more simple life.
This isn’t the first time I’ve done a mass declutter, but this is going to be the last. Last time I decluttered I was living in London, had a load of stuff still at my mum’s house and had stuff at Dan’s flat. It all seems much more manageable in three different homes.
I had also moved house on average about every 18 months up until that point. It’s like moving so often disguised the sheer amount of stuff I had because I had to dispose of it before I moved. That’s not good in terms of the amount of stuff, but also the environmental impact of the waste that’s created. Going forward, I’m determined to live more intentionally and clutter isn’t compatible with that lifestyle.
Here are the five areas you can start to decluttering for a more simple life:
In the words of Marie Kondo get everything out onto the bed. Like everything. I felt like this was the easiest part given that I had already decluttered my wardrobe a few times this year. I also had a load of clothes that I knew no longer fitted, which makes things a lot easier.
If I was unsure of anything, I would wear it. Yes, I spent some afternoons in jeans that were too tight and tops that revealed waaay too much. I knew though that these items just needed to be washed and donated.
Tip: Before you start sorting, go around every area in your house where you store clothes. Make sure you include clothes in drawers, coats, under the bed and spare room.
2. Shoes and bags
I have no idea why, but I’ve realised I buy similar shoes and boots over and over. There are so many duplicates of similar boots! I think it’s definitely easier to declutter in the summer as in the winter I may have found the boots more “essential”. Fingers crossed I don’t regret the cull I’ve had.
I had the same problem with duplicate bags. Before the end of summer, I bought a duplicate of a large bag. Just in case the one I was using broke or something. Seriously, Helen! The irony of the whole decluttering process is that I found a Radley bag I didn’t even remember I had. This is how absurd owing too much stuff is.
Tip: Can you display your bags on a shelf going forward? Even better pack them inside with newspaper to help retain their shape and the bags you keep will last a whole lot longer.
3. Toiletries and make up
I can’t lie, I hated this bit. This area was massive and I felt quite overwhelmed. I have a tendency to buy “back ups” just in case. In case of what? Who knows. I have four spare shower gels and six spare shampoos, just as an example. We live within walking distance of so many shops! The emotional spending I do on toiletries is an area I need to work on, so that I can live a more clutter-free simple life.
Make up used to be a big clutter pile for me. I originally started out as a beauty and lifestyle blog. Erm, so I can’t even do a winged eyeliner look. If I look back on that period, I am extremely grateful for all the things I was given for being in the beauty community, but most of it was wasted on me. Thankfully, most of it I was able to pass onto my more beauty minded family and friends. Leaving me with only just a modest pile to just sift through.
Tip: Once you have sorted into categories and declutter what you don’t need, clean the things you are keeping. Especially, make up brushes and sponges, which often get neglected with our busy lives.
4. Books and stationery
I have spent most of my life as a student in one form or another, meaning that I could easily justify spending lots of money on excessive amounts of stationery. Yet, I have two cupboards full of just of stationery supplies. The fact I will use most of the stationery meant I was reluctant to declutter too much of it. I just donated much of the school-type stationery I know a primary school could use. Don’t think I will need to buy any more supplies for a long time.
The bookshelves were full to the point we had limited space left for any new books. Although, for some reason I would find myself picking up another book bargain at least once per week in Sainsburys on the way home from work. I also find I only read fast on holiday so I wasn’t getting through the books. Although, that is a great excuse to book another holiday, I guess!
5. Kitchen cupboards
Dan is the cook in our house. I honestly don’t know what half of the untensils are for. This makes it quite difficult to work out if we actually need something, or it is just a gimmicky utensil. Dan however appears now on a mission to show me. I got a heart shaped egg for breakfast – winner.
I’ve found by really categorising everything into, for example, food storage containers, we can see what we have. And boy did we have a lot of storage containers! I realised, as with the other ares I’ve decluttered, I would buy duplicates because I couldn’t see that we had enough already. As I want to move away from single use plastic though, the containers will actually come in handy for freezing food.
Tip: Once you’ve sorted through everything, make sure that everything has its own home. That way once you need that thing, you know exactly where it is.
My progress so far…
I’m only a month or so into the decluttering process so there is a long way to go as you can see by the photos. Yet, I can already see the benefits. Decluttering has felt so therapeutic that I got lost in the process. It really is like my mind feels clearer and I know what I own and where things are.
Another benefit of decluttering is that I’ve also been wearing different clothes. Not my usual jeans or leggings and a top combo. I can actually see what’s in my wardrobe! This has made me feel more put together and therefore helped me feel more confident. Total winner. Especially given I now own less clothes. For the first time I was able to go away for a long weekend with just a carry-on suitcase, saving about £120 when we went to Milan!
Have you started decluttering for a more simple life?
Or live a more minimal lifestyle? I would love to hear your thoughts.