30 December 2016

How to Declutter Your Life


We're on the cusp of the new year and the amount of times I've heard 'new year new me' is still soaring, but it's true! New year really is the time when a lot of us reassess our lives, throw away the old, stale parts of ourselves and our belongings and move on.

I told you in my latest life lately that I'd been throwing away everything that wasn't necessary anymore. This sounds extreme but here me out- I've been such a hoarder all my life. Not quite on the level of the problematic American TLC shows but while rummaging through my drawers the other day I came across a birthday card from three years ago. Surely that isn't good for me. My mum is going to laugh at this post because she knows just how bad it used to be!

As sentimental as a lot of our belongings are, it's actually very refreshing to rid yourself of clutter and what better time to do it than now. Here's how I think of it: everything has a home, and if that home is in the box/drawer of things that you don't know what to do with (c'mon, we all have one) then you don't need it. There are a few questions and rules that helped me to declutter, and though I'm sure I'll have to do the same again one day, they work!
Have you worn/used it in 6 months?
If the answer is no, send it to a better home such as the bin or a charity shop. Obviously there are exceptions for extremely sentimental belongings (this means don't throw away your nans locket just because it isn't in season) but if you forgot you had it until now, or keep promising yourself that you'll need it one day- you don't really need it. 

Is it you?
Who do you want to be? Does this object/item of clothing reflect who you are or who you want to be? In the words of Twitter, is it your aesthetic? Don't keep the keychain your friend got you in Mallorca six years ago just because you feel obliged. If you don't use it or it just isn't you, give it to someone or somewhere that would appreciate it!

Do you own something that looks the same/does the same already?
Guilty as charged, I own a LOT of notebooks and this isn't just because I draw a lot. As a kid I was obsessed with the novelty of having a new notebook (still not sure why) and this old love seems to have followed me into adulthood. Begin buying things only when you need them and not just because you gotta have them all.

Would you buy it now?
Think of these items as if they're on the shelf in a shop. Would you pay for this or choose to buy it now? If you wouldn't, you know what to do! *poo emoji*

Does it have a home?
If the object or clothes in question don't have a home (except maybe the floor or your discarded bottom drawer) then you proooooobably don't really need it. Think about who or where would appreciate it more, or if this object has had it's time. Maybe invest in some quirky storage for the things that don't have a home, but should.

Is it useful?
Ask yourself if the object is all used up. For example storing old magazines is pointless since new, updated issues come out every month and although having a bookshelf full of books is pretty, perhaps you won't read Angus Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging again. With Netflix at our fingertips, we don't really need all of our old DVD's anymore. Lend them to a friend or pass them on to Oxfam. Those shoes you loved so much last year that have holes in could probably do with binning too!

Adopting better buying habits

Something I'm trying my best to do every time I buy is to be considerate of necessity, space and sustainability. You don't have to be a tree hugging hippy to understand that almost every piece of plastic ever created is still on Earth right now. Every Barbie or toy car you had as a kid is still somewhere on the planet, in a landfill. It's quite shocking! 

To limit the amount of clutter in your life and your landfill, really question whether you need it or if there's a better option out there. Who doesn't want the better option? Explore secondhand shops as much as you can and you'd be surprised how easy it is to come across a designer bargain!

eBay is a haven for gorgeous items that people don't want anymore, so you can easily replenish your wardrobe with up to date trends without costing the environment or your living space. Consider trades! Visit swap shops, flea markets, car boots and swap your old things for new things. It's super simple and rewarding. 
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What's the weirdest thing you've found while tidying up?

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