Clutter Clearing Tips

BY cushion the impact

Do you feel overwhelmed sometimes by the paperwork, clothes, broken children’s toys?

Here are some tasks you can take on a weekend or evening at time. It can be done, start with small steps, don’t try and do everything at once, it could get too dispiriting.

  • Streamline your handbag. Tip everything out and see exactly what you have been carrying around with you. Keep only what you REALLY need. A lot of neck and back ache is caused by heavy bags (unfortunately I’m talking from experience).
  • Detox your book, CD and DVD collection Scan your collection and pick out your favourites. Keep items which are gifts, have special significance or you are happy to read or watch over and over. The rest can go to a lucky charity shop, friend or even eBay!
  • Sort out your shoes! Buy some cheap storage boxes from Ikea or Muji to keep your shoes in. Take a photo of each pair and stick it on the side of the box to make finding them nice and easy. It also means they can’t get lost so easily.
  • Detox your wardrobe. Be honest with yourself and divide your closet into four piles: Clothes that don’t fit anymore, items that are hopelessly out of fashion, clothes for special occasions and everyday favourites. Get rid of the first two piles and fold away the rest neatly.
  • Clear away the paper mountain. Recycle the papers, give the magazines to hospitals and surgeries and detox your desk. Can’t see the wood for the trees because of your Mount Everest-like pile of paperwork? Take some time out of your hectic day to put everything in its place. Face that filing, organise that out-tray and put pens in pots and you’ll soon feel ready to tackle those tasks…or ask us to help.
  • Give your motor a makeover. Clear out all the crisp packets and parking tickets (oops!), vacuum it and then give the bodywork the polish and waxing it deserves. If it all seems too taxing, have it professionally valeted – many multi-storey car parks now offer a service while you shop or companies will come to your home or office. Make sure you get niggling problems seen to (they’ll only get worse) and pump up your tyres and check the oil. Kwik Fit will check your tyres and your oil for free if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself.
  • Clear out the bathroom cabinet and your make-up bag Check for out-of-date medicines, sun-cream more than a year old, and throw away products you never use. Fling the cracked compact, matted mascara and frosted pink lipstick and splurge on some gorgeous cosmetics for the new year. Keep it simple yet stylish and you’ll be proud to apply your eyeliner on the bus every morning (yes we have seen men doing it too)!
  • Be ruthless with your address book and mobile phone. Think about the people you really enjoy spending time with and whether you see them enough. It may sound cold but there are lots of ‘friends’ you cram into your social schedule whom you see out of habit rather than real desire. As for that long list of boys’/girls’ numbers you conveniently haven’t wiped from your mobile – remember that drink-dialling can be dangerous!
  • Organise your kitchen cupboards: How many gadgets do you have in there that never see the light of day? Spend some time rationalising what you have and getting rid of crockery and implements that you don’t use. Spend a satisfying few minutes tightening the screws on pot handles and lids.
  • Finally get those holiday photographs into albums. Sort out your holiday snaps and put that picture you bought on holiday in a frame. They’ll look much better that way and will be nicer to flick through.  Consider digital photo frames or even creating a book.


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