I decrease clutter at least four times a year. I use the changing of the seasons as a schedule to look around my home to get rid of things I’m not using or fix things I want to keep. So as spring is approaching, I started to take mental stock of areas I’d like to edit. Clutter isn’t something I live with because I can ruthlessly get rid of things. I’m not attached to much except my family history, and books. I’ve invested in my clothing, I don’t feel the need to buy a lot. I just edit. But like most people, we tend to forget about things or keep things a little longer than we should. So here are some tips on how to edit your home and prepare for a new season.
The Two Year Rule
I use this rule to decrease clutter in clothes, shoes etc. If I haven’t worn the item for two years, I get rid of it. It may be a perfectly fine item of clothing hence holding on to it. But it’s just taking up space. So here’s what you can do. Family heirlooms; I would suggest getting professionally boxed. Dry clean the item if necessary then ask your dry cleaners to store it in an acid-free box using acid-free paper. If you have a lot of designer items in good shape, join a facebook resale group or list your items on an online platform like Bad Borrow or Steal if their high-end designer items. Host a swap party. I did this and wound up with a great selection of clothes and accessories for the season. Specify what your guests should bring and make it a fun event by serving cocktails and hors d’oeurves.
Decrease Your Digital Clutter
I think we tend to forget our devices can serve as a place to hoard stuff. Doing a digital de-clutter frees up space on all your devices. Go through your apps and images on your phones and tablets and delete what you don’t need. Look at your music files and documents too. Do you need it all? Move items into labeled folders. Large files should be backed up to an external drive. Or you can backup to the cloud if you’re comfortable with that. A friend of mine had an incredible music library, he recently lost it all because he didn’t backup. If you’re not backing up on a regular basis, you should. Check with your local city hall on how to dispose of old electronic items.
Decrease Clutter In Handbags
I throw almost anything in my handbag, especially when I’m on the road. It ends up making its way to the bottom of my bag, never to be seen again. Business cards, brochures, wrappers and a bag of nuts is what I found in one bag. It made ask what else is in there? Checking all your bags for useless items creates more space. I once found a $50 dollar bill! Give your bags and briefcases a good vacuuming too, little bits of stuff increases over time and makes the inside of your bag look old. Cleaning your bag will make it look new again.
Books And Magazines
The best and easiest way to downsize your literary collection is to give it away to doctor’s offices, hair salons, dentist’s office. In fact anywhere that has a waiting area. I take a handful of magazines or books and drop them off on my travels. In my city you can drop a book on a bench and someone will pick it up and take it. You can also resell these items if you wish. Ebay is a great resource for selling magazines and books, check it out and consider this an option. Also resale shops may be interested in seeing what you have. If they like it, they’ll list it as stock and you can make a little money from your gently used books or magazines.
Kitchen Clear Out
Open all the cabinets and stand back. Whatever catches your eye first, start there. What don’t you need is the question you should ask here. If you have never used it in two years, again get rid of it. If you know dedicated bakers or people who cook, you can have a kitchen swap party here too. I have brand new items that I want to get rid of, but I’m now considering a swap party. Any vintage items? List them on Etsy or Ebay. You’d be surprised how much space you will free up for items that are on your counter. Get rid of food that has an expired date. This a good time to clean the cupboards and change the liners to something completely different. If you’re really feeling enthusiastic, give your cupboards a fresh coat of paint and update the pulls. Change is good for the soul. Decrease clutter makes room for new things to come into your life.