Autumn - Four things to declutter this season
I love it when the seasons start to change and I think it provides a natural time for us to change with it. As the long warm summer days give way to crisp autumn mornings, we inevitably start to spend more time indoors and notice those things that may have been neglected over the last couple of months. It's also the time of the autumn equinox, when the length of day time is equal to the length of night time, natures way of bringing equilibrium and balance back into our lives.
Autumn is also a time for new beginnings. New school years, new routines, new foods, warm clothes and of course we start to put renewed energy into our endeavours.
So, as we draw into our homes and thoughts turn towards the next seasons activities, we notice our domestic surroundings again and often feel the need to start getting organised again. So with that in mind, here are my suggestions of where to focus your decluttering energy at this time of year:
Paperwork and post inevitably build up over the summer. Bank statements remain unopened, magazines lie about not read and bills not filed away are the main culprits here. But it's easy to get on top of these quickly and reclaim your work surfaces and coffee table again. Put aside 30 mins to tackle this and you'll be surprised how much you'll get done. First open everything and sort into piles for filing, action and scrap (or shred). Then file, scrap and shred straight away. Next action as much as you can in the remaining 30 minutes. After that add any remaining actions to your to do list and schedule a time to get them done.
When it comes to magazines, ask yourself if you really need to read them. If you haven't read them by now, chances are you probably won't. So either put them straight into the recycling bin, pass onto a friend (after checking they definitely want them) or donate. A local children's nursery or play group is a great place to donate to as colourful magazines make great material for cutting up for all sorts of artwork.
If your wardrobe space is too small to comfortably accommodate all your clothes, shoes and accessories then it's time to start thinking about packing away warm weather items. Shorts, holiday clothes and summer dresses can all be packed away. Aim for no more than 80% capacity in in your wardrobe and cupboards. This ensures enough space for all you your winter items to breath, not get creased and more importantly be seen by you.
Start by removing all of your summer items and sort into piles for donation, rubbish, wash/mend and keep. Donate anything that you no longer wear which is in reasonable condition to a local charity shop. Put aside some time to make any repairs to the items you wish to keep. Check everything is clean and dry and then pack away your summer clothes and shoes in storage boxes or vacuum bags. You should aim to keep everything flat, crease and dust free and ideally sealed, in order to protect from the dreaded moth. That way it's all bound to be in great condition when you excitedly unpack it again next spring.
As we change seasons from summer to autumn we also change the type of foods we regularly eat. Farewell salads, hello root vegetables and hearty stews. So why not start to use up all those items floating around in the fridge or cupboard that are likely to go out of date before next summer such as salad dressing and condiments. Not only will your fridge feel decluttered, you'll have avoided waste and saved money. You could also do an audit of the freezer and use up any odds and ends. And if you're feeling really motivated, go for a defrost and clean out when stocks are low, it will be easier to use the freezer and it will work more efficiently.
If you've had a busy summer of fun, then chances are that your car is still showing signs of those fun days out and is looking rather cluttered and a bit shabby. Tidying up the car is a really quick job and it always amazes me how much better it feels when you next come to drive it. Start by having a good tidy up, remove anything that doesn't belong in the car and put it back in its proper home, remember the car is not a storage item. So those beach toys, crisp packets, sports equipment, water bottles and any other debris floating around has to go. I once found an MOT certificate floating about in a client's car! Next hoover up the sand, compost, grass and dirt. Flick the duster around and wipe down the insides of the windscreens. Chances are, now that autumn is coming you'll be spending more time in the car so give it a spruce up and it will be a joy to drive.
What will you be decluttering this Autumn?