It's January, the Christmas tree is down, normal routine has been restored and the you've made a news years resolution to start tackling the clutter. But where do you start?
It's not unusual to feel totally overwhelmed by the task in hand. We open a cupboard or drawer only to have our motivation zapped by the sight of it all and it's easy to wonder "how am I going to tackle it all?" I tend to think of beginning a decluttering journey in a similar way to starting an exercise regime, you need to warm up the muscles that may not have been used for a while and break down the big goal into small achievable tasks. They key here is to tackle the easy stuff first, see some instant results, gain momentum and of course the motivation to continue.
So here are my suggestions for some quick wins to help fire up those decluttering muscles this January.
It's amazing how many of the same thing we can actually have in our homes. But having more than we need is actually inefficient. We have to provide storage for the duplicates although we may not actually need them. We may become lazy about looking after the item if another one can be used instead and this can lead to losing said items and then having to search the house for it, costing us time and annoyance. So I urge you to purge.... wooden spoons, whisks, scissors, screwdrivers, pepper grinders, indeed anything that is taking up valuable space.
Out of dates
This is a really good one to start with because the decision to let go should be much easier for out of date items. There's less of an emotional tie and, after all, who really wanted to eat food that is past it's best or use cosmetics that may have gone off? For food items, think herbs and spices in the pantry, meat in the freezer, perishables and jars in the fridge, cans and bottles of drinks. You could also check dates on cosmetics, make up, toiletries and even household paints or cleaners.
Gifts you really didn't need (or want) this Christmas
Why not give yourself full permission to donate any unwanted gifts you've received this Christmas to charity. And do so totally guilt free. There's no need to worry you might offend someone, it was given as a gift and that means you have the right to do exactly as you want with the item. (Check out my blog on gifts of still unsure). It has served it purpose and if you donate it to a charity shop it can do more good by raising money and actually benefiting someone else. Also consider donating unwanted (but in date) food to a food bank. There's generally a collection point in most supermarkets these days.
Anything hanging around in plain sight that you no longer want
Simply run around the house with a bag or box and purge whatever your eye falls on that you no longer want or need. Set yourself a timer for 10 minutes, don't think too much about it, have fun and then simply drop the box or bag at the charity shop. Job done!