So many people decide in the New Year that they are going to tidy up their house or apartment, sort through a cupboard or go through old photos. With the Christmas season upon us, the last thing that we feel we have time for is starting a decluttering process. But wouldn’t it be great to feel more comfortable in your home before people start coming over?
In another article early in the New Year I will be discussing a whole new way of decluttering your house, based on Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying”. Her philosophy, briefly, is to really attack the decluttering process, rather than doing a little bit at a time. However, for our purposes now, just before Christmas, I am going to advocate a somewhat gentler approach.
Grab a few cardboard boxes which are easy to find at your local supermarket. My favourite boxes for the job are actually stationery boxes from work. These are the ones that the reams of paper for the printer and photocopier come in. I love these as they have little built-in handles and lids. Once you are organised, put some happy music on and zoom around all the entertaining areas of your house. Have one box for items that need to be relocated, such as clothes lying around that need to go back into the closet or be thrown in the washing machine. Kid’s toys tend to spread all over the house too and these should be collected up and returned to the appropriate spot in the house. Once you have done your zoom around, immediately put all of these things back where they belong.
Have a second box for items that can be donated, and a third for items to be recycled, such as old cell phones, electronics, cables that you are never going to use and printer cartridges. So many people have drawers and shelves full of unidentifiable electronic equipment. If your TV has been set up and in use for more than a few minutes, you probably have used all the cables you are ever going to need.
Unless you are under thirty, you will likely not be able to recognize which of the mystery cables you are going to need to connect your camera to your TV. If you are this young you more likely have new equipment that is all wireless and wi-fi will do the job. Just get rid of all those cables - you are never going to use them!
With regard to items to donate - one thing I do is look for things that come in multiples. A really quick and easy area to sort out is the kitchen pots and pans. Do you really use all five frying pans, or three dutch ovens? I thought not! If you have four vases that you keep on top of the kitchen cupboard, you probably find you always use one or two that are favourites. Just scoop up the other two and put them into the donate box. Don’t worry that Aunt Millie gave them to you…