Over the years I have become an avid declutterer – partly because I like to be able to see surfaces (I am officially turning into my mother) and secondly, if I did not declutter there would be no room in my house for me to live in it!
I try to apply the ‘have I used this in the past 12 months?’ to about 50% of things in my house. This includes clothing, books, DVDs, toiletries and food. I am slightly more generous with technology and items that are only meant to be used now and again.
I then collect all of these items and put them into what needs to be thrown, recycled, sent to charity or what could be sold.
The most challenging part is our very large collection of penguin memorabilia. Tim’s favourite animal is a penguin but for some reason EVERYONE buys him penguin related items every Christmas. This year alone we got 8 coasters, placemats, a jumper, shirt and ornament. We also have a duvet set, canvas, 5 other ornaments, 2 books, 2 more hoodies, a blanket, a cushion and mugs. I think you would agree with me that that rivals the gift shop in a zoo, but they are presents from close family, some of whom haven’t seen that sadly we do not have enough space to cater for all of these penguins. So for now, they live in a box and are on rotation to ensure they are used.
Yesterday I gutted our abode. It took me 4 hours to clean and I sorted through my preexisting selling pile and worked out what needed to go into recycling or the rubbish (at this point it’s been up for sale for approximately 3 years).
I always feel that when you have a good clear out and clean you can feel your home sigh with relief. We got rid of 2 bin bags of clothing to a textiles recycling bank and hoovered so much the Dyson needed emptying twice!
Research has indicated that a cluttered environment increases the cortisol (stress hormone) in women. It also overstimulates your senses and makes your brain think there’s still more work to do, making it much more challenging to relax after a stressful day at work.
As I have decided that 2019 is going to be the best possible year yet, I encourage you to put on your rubber gloves, get a couple of bags and get busy tidying away this weekend!
NB: I personally have made at least £500 over the years selling unwanted items on eBay. Don’t underestimate what people will pay for the stuff you don’t want anymore!