Decluttering – a new trick learned

In August 2021, I used the Women’s Day weekend to declutter and tidy our house. Then, over the course of a year, piles of invisible objects gathered again.

(In our house, the phrase “invisible objects” means things that have been lying around for so long that they are no longer seen).

So I spent this year’s Women’s Day weekend covered in dust and filled with feelings of self-satisfaction.

New beginnings

However, I am doing things a little differently this year. Last year, I did an intensive three-day sprint, going from room to room according to a list I had made of all the areas that irritated me.

This year I made the same list of irritations – but I have spread the work over the course of the whole month. That’s because I remember that by the time I had done three days of decluttering last year I was exhausted and didn’t finish my list.

Hot mess not

I’m also trying a different approach, based on a series I have been watching on the HGTV channel called Hot Mess House.

The host Cas Aarssen has a slightly cheesy way of identifying people’s organising styles (you can be a bee or a butterfly, a ladybug or a cricket), and I never did really find one style that applied to me (but feel free to try the quiz).

But the programme did give me a key insight into why it is that things get piled up so quickly in our house.

I live with people who are less tidy than I am, which is part of the problem. But mostly it’s my issue, to do with the way I put things away. I’ve learned that I need storage that is easy and visible and which I can use quickly. If I have to think about putting something away, I just don’t do it.

So my decluttering this time round is focusing not so much on throwing things out as on looking at what we have and figuring out simple ways to store it.

The learning

My image of myself is that I am organised – but finally I have learned that being organised is not something you can take for granted. No matter how many lists I make or schedules I make, a part of me just wants things to be simple.

And that’s easy to enough to do – especially since it involves going out and buying stationery supplies (which is another story).

PS: The best part about decluttering though is the things you find:

  • A beloved Bruce Springsteen T-shirt in the cupboard where the tablecloths live
  • A bicycle pump in the kitchen
  • And a generous clothing voucher given to me for my birthday in April.

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Main picture: CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

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