Leonardo da Vinci said it perfectly- “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Many of us would love to live in a more organised and simplified home but accumulating “stuff” is all too easy. We can spring clean as much as we like, but hoarding habits die hard.
It’s time to tackle our clutter issue once and for all!
We’ve picked three of the most prone-to-clutter areas in your life and looked at what steps we can take to make some much needed space!
Firstly, it’s important to note three key principles as written by Professional Organiser, Andrew Mellen.
1. Everything you own should have value, either because it’s functional or beautiful or you just love it. Remember the question of what you’d grab if your house were on fire? Well, that’s your baseline for determining an object’s worth and we’re pretty confident it’s not that old shoe box containing wrapping paper from three Christmas’s ago!
2. Every item needs a place where it “lives.” Setting things down on the coffee table or kitchen counter creates piles and confusion. Make sure every item has its home and aim to always place that item there.
3. Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking is supposed to help you get more things done quickly, but when you try to do 25 things at once, everything ends up incomplete. You’re trying to simplify your life, so simplify your approach to getting organised.
- Practicality: Your kitchen is for cooking and dining, not storage. Make sure similar items such as crockery are kept together and remove items of no actual use in the kitchen. Clearing bench space from unnecessary appliances will create a more clean and organised look.
- Food containers: Take out all of your plastic containers and sort which ones have lids and which don’t. The ones that don’t, recycle them!
- Pots and pans: If you don’t have much space in your kitchen and the little storage you have is being taken up by pots and pants, why not try hanging them? If you have the space, hang them along the wall for easy access. It also gives a kitchen a great functional look and feel.
- Cookbooks: How often do you actually use your cookbooks? Don’t get us wrong, we think they are great- perfect for Christmas presents and convenient for when you just can’t think of what to cook for dinner. But, we do tend to hoard cookbooks, some of which we have never even opened. If you don’t have the space, consider doing a small cull.
- Plastic bags: Do you have the plastic bag full of other plastic bags? Knowing plastic is not good for the environment makes us more conscious of not simply disposing them in a blasé fashion. However, if were simply storing them to eventually throw out, what good are we doing? Try switching to reusable shopping bags- they are cheap and readily available at your local supermarket. Keep a couple in your car for unexpected trips to the shops.
- The “Someday outfit”: “Someday I might wear this”. We’re sorry to say, but it is time to let go and live in the now. And right now, you have no use of it!
- Clothes that don’t fit you: If you’ve gained a few kilos but plan to get back to your original weight, then of course, keep the smaller clothing items, it makes sense and they may even severe as motivation. If you’ve lost weight however and are happy with your current weight- don’t keep the clothes that no longer fit!
- The once cool “trend” items: If you’re waiting for something to come back in style, don’t. It most likely won’t, and even if it does, yours will look like the outdated version.
Special “occasion” outfit: There’s really only one rule here- if you haven’t worn the outfit in the last year, it’s time to donate it. There may be someone in need who would really appreciate a special occasion outfit.
- Sentimental pieces: Too often we say “oh but I really loved these jeans”. The key word here is loved… You did love them, but now, you’re not finding a use for them. Imagine if we formed attachments to all pieces of clothing we’ve ever loved?
- Replace one for one: If you do this right, you will never having to de-clutter your wardrobe! If you have a habit of wearing your newest item to death and forgetting about its predecessor, try this! Buy that new pair of jeans, then look through your other pairs and decide which one has to go. Same goes with all other new items of clothing. Replacing items rather than just simply adding to the pile will limit clutter and you will rarely have to do a big sort as a result.
- Don’t live in your car: It is not uncommon of our cars to become an extension of our home, especially if you are a busy person but does your car really need to be storage for four pairs of shoes and a couple of extra outfits?! I didn’t think so, only keep what you absolutely need in your car!
- The Boot: There isn’t a need for picnic chairs and beach towels in your car boot all year round so focus on carrying what you will really use. By all means, you can always prepare for the worst with emergency items but keep it minimal. We suggest carrying a small first aid kit, an umbrella, flashlight and jumper cables. And if you have a pet, you can always carry your dog leashes and a towel in case of any accidents!
- Around the Car: Realistically, what do you need to have on hand? Take into consideration your work and personal life schedule but try to avoid having “just in case” items. Avoid collating useless junk, including empty water bottles and food wrappers, old CDs and other rubbish. Just keep the bare necessities on hand such as a packet of tissues, mints, a pen, notepad, loose change for parking and a bottle of water.
- Keep it clean and fresh: To help keep your car clean, tidy and smelling fresh remove as it comes. Keep a carrier bag in a car compartment which you can fill with rubbish. Once it is full, take the bag into your house and throw it away. Consider keeping a schedule of cleaning the exterior of your car once a week and give your car an interior clean once a month.