Doing things differently (4) Declutter

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” -Leonardo da Vinci

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” -William  Morris

Gandhi could count his possessions on his fingers. Objects he could not live without. I cleared out my handbag the other evening and the great Gandhi would have been horrified. I fluctuate between planning for all emergencies and minimalist. I hate dusting and cleaning and so I don’t have much clutter around the house but my personal clutter fills drawers, cupboards,  a double garage and attic.

I have to admit that I do feel better in myself, certainly more in control, when things are in their place neat and tidy, organised and catalogued. It helps my mood, and avoids me spending wasted hours searching for stuff right under my nose.

De-cluttering needn’t be the huge task of tackling everything at once. Not a good idea. But broken down into smaller tasks, de-cluttering a drawer, a handbag or rearranging a bookshelf can be immensley satisfying and manageable for most.

What do you do with the stuff that you no longer want or need? You can give it to charity, recycle, sell it on E-Bay or, if you want to have some fun time with your friends why not hold a Swishing Party?

How do you decide what to get rid of?

What would you save if you had a house fire?
Apart from essential items, what couldn’t you live without?
Does it fit? Is it useful? Do I love it?

A weekend is an ideal time to start de-cluttering and you can get the whole family involved. Kids love having a garage sale selling toys and games no longer wanted and you may have a budding entrepreneur waiting in the wings!

Give it a go.

De-cluttering Tips

Zen Habits-15 Tips

Zen Habits-18 x 5 mins Tips

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5 thoughts on “Doing things differently (4) Declutter

  1. I love your post Caroline. I can speak first hand of the benefits of de-cluttering. It is a constant battle for me and one which has so far filled a large storage unit.

    Unfortunately if I am a minimalist at heart and love being neat and organized, my wife and I united because opposites attracted. Her “maximalist”, messy and disorganized lifestyle competes with mine. And that’s a hard battle to win.

    Any tips?


    – Phoenix

  2. Phoenix- thank you for your kind comments as ever. Minimalist v maximalist is a very difficult one and I know it is a problem that can create much stress on part of the minimalist. Are you able to have “messy areas” and “clear” areas where at least you may be able to find some peace? I know from experience how important it is to have somewhere to go where you feel completely at home and in control.
    We have lots of cupboards and storage containers around so that if things get out of hand, I can dump everything out of sight until I feel up to sorting it out properly. This is a temporary solution but it gives the impression of order for a number of weeks!
    Good luck!
    Caroline x

  3. It’s a good thought Caroline but has not worked out well. My wife can create chaos faster than I can organize or absorb it. This really is a source of frustration. Perhaps even something for a future post – but on my negative side. 😉

    Our styles are different enough that we keep two different offices in the same house. And yes, I try to keep mine organized. It just tends to absorb the overflow from the rest of the chaos more and more lately.

    C’est la vie! At least life still beats the alternative – thanks to you. 🙂

    – Phoenix

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