This isn’t a post about drinking only juices for days on end (I need solid foods!), but more about simplifying and de-cluttering in the physical sense. Did you know that having lots of clutter around you affects your ability to focus on and process information? Plus, lets be honest, its just plain ugly.
As I write I’m sitting on my bed, and opposite me is a cast – iron Victorian fireplace. Its mantle was covered in three (3!) plants, a trinket box, a teddy bear, a scented candle and some other assorted crap. Now I’ve de-cluttered and replaced them all with a vase of flowers, I can’t tell you how much calmer I feel facing that spot in bed!
If you’re thinking that your home could do with its own detox, try starting with these projects -
- Book clearout - Go through your bookshelves as ruthlessly as you can, making a pile of books to donate. Why not offer them to friends before taking them to a local charity shop? I have pretty much stopped buying books entirely unless they’re cookbooks or something really special – support your local library and use their online catalogues to request the books you want!
Once you’ve streamlined your collection, why not display the books you LOVE prominently – I love this idea for a living room – even though there are lots of things on the shelves, the whole room still feels uncluttered as a whole and the books are broken up by other personal and useful items.
- Kitchen draws, cupboards and worktops – Take 30 minutes to assess the state of your kitchen – do the drawers open and close freely or are they all jammed up with utensils you never use? Can you find everything you want in the cupboards, or do eight baking trays crash to the ground every time you open one? While you’re decluttering, take the time to think about what appliances etc you use most often and where on your worktop – I did this recently and moved my scales and flour much closer to the oven so that its more convenient for baking!
- Fridge and freezer - I would recommend going through your fridge/freezer probably once a week prior to going food shopping, to remove out of date food and wipe down the shelves. Being able to freeze food is a fantabulous aid in shopping frugally and not wasting food, so having a well-organised freezer is really important. Here’s some freezer inspiration from Pinterest – Its much easier if you have a freezer with draws, rather than a chest freezer like me, but I’m still able to keep my freezer organised by decanting packages of chicken burgers, frozen peas and fish fingers into clear ziploc bags. This frees up lots of space taken up by cardboard boxes and makes it easy to see what you have and what you’re running low on.
- Wardrobe -Ick. This is the area that I find it most difficult to tackle! If you’re like me and find it difficult to part with clothes, break the task down. Review your shoes one day, followed by dresses. If items haven’t been worn for a long time, try them on and try to figure out why. Is it dirty, too small/big, does it need mending, or is it simply not for you? I recently donated a black corduroy New Look skirt that I bought for £5 in the sale probably… 7 years ago. I don’t think I wore it once in that time as it simply wasn’t flattering to my body shape, but it took me 7 whole years to face up to that fact! Go through your wardrobe, pull out the clothes you never wear, and if you still don’t want to wear them now, donate them. If you really think you might miss them, try taking them out of your wardrobe and putting them in a bag under your bed or somewhere else out of the way. If you notice they’re gone, keep them. If you only find them months later when searching for Christmas decorations… they’re toast!
- Toiletries and makeup – Take time to go through your toiletry and makeup stash and throw out old or gross stuff that’s floating around and make a note of what you need to stock up on. I also find it REALLY useful to notice what items I seem to have bought multiples of… for example, I currently have 2-3 pairs of false eyelashes in my bathroom drawer which I’ve never used. I bought them before I realised that I’m probably not really a false eyelash person. Its so illuminating to go through your makeup drawer too and realise you have like ten similar shades of taupe eyeshadows… I like to think being aware of this fact will discourage me from buying more of the same colour next time… perhaps.
Need some more tips and inspiration? I LOVE this blog – IHeart Organizing – even though I am sure I could never attain the Bree-like levels of domestic perfection on show! I try not to be intimidated by that, but try instead to be inspired by the idea of constantly remaking your home to be better organised and more beautiful – after all – how often do we plonk objects into our homes and then never think about them again? Ask yourself whether the things that surround you, and their place in your home, is working for you.
Finally, work on stopping clutter AT THE SOURCE – before you buy any new item, ask yourself whether you genuinely love and need (and can afford of course) it. And set yourself a rule that for every thing that comes into your house, one thing must leave. So you buy a book and donate a book… buy some shoes and donate some shoes… and hopefully that way you keep your house from ever looking like this.
So tell me – what are the areas in your house that are most in need of a detox?