I’m sure everyone enjoys spending their Boxing Day spring cleaning don’t they?! Well that’s exactly what happened in our house. Despite making a point of saying we didn’t want our family and friends to go overboard with presents for Christmas we seemed to get more than ever! Now, don’t get us wrong, it’s not because we’re ungrateful for what we are given but we have a lot of stuff.
If you think about it there are so many things in the world. Just to take one example; every Christmas cracker comes equipped with a paper hat, a joke and a tacky plastic toy which will go straight into the bin. Think how many crackers are pulled each Christmas in the UK! (a lot). So to avoid our house becoming cluttered with unnecessary junk we are initiating a more minimalist approach to our belongings.
I’m the first to admit I’m a shopaholic, I love buying new things, arranging them in my house or wardrobe and admiring them. But with a few simple intentions then the clutter can be kept to a manageable minimum.
Firstly, always live by the idea that if you don’t love it or use it then get rid of it. This goes for everything, you might not love your kitchen utensils but you do use them, so keep them. But do you love that ornament you got for Christmas? Do you use that board game that is too complicated and no-one wants to play it? If not, get rid! Be brutal! We purge our whole house about once a month with things for the charity shop or to the recycling centre. You’d be amazed at how refreshing it feels!
Apply the mantra: one-in-one-out. I learnt this one when working in bars while at Uni but now apply it to soft furnishings and clothes! We got 2 new cushions for Christmas, so 2 of our sofa cushions were relieved of duty (one was de-stuffed and sent to my sewing box and the other has become a cat seat on a windowsill). This can be applied all over the house. If I’ve found a new dress that I absolutely HAVE TO HAVE then an old dress that is no longer worn or is past its best goes to charity.
This leads nicely onto having a capsule wardrobe. This is my new year’s resolution (which I started in Autumn last year). I am going to reduce my wardrobe to only the essentials and a selection of basics which can be mixed and matched. If you think about it we probably only wear about half our wardrobe anyway as we all have our favourite outfits that get worn to death. The only thing that concerned me with this idea was not being able to go shopping!! *crying face*. But then I thought about it, if I introduce a one-in-one-out policy (see above) then I can shop till I drop as long as I purge what is made redundant in my wardrobe afterwards!
And then the big one, always ask yourself: do I really need it? Much like “love it or use it” this one is important for getting rid of unnecessary crap. Do I really need 3 pizza cutters? Do I really need a Spanish text book from 1999? Do I really need that lamp that has been sat in the attic for a year? The answer is no. With Netflix and Spotify we don’t even need DVDs and CDs anymore (just think of the space saved!)
Don’t worry about getting rid of things, taking them to a carboot or to the charity shop or even, where possible, to the recycling centre will send your items onto a new journey, perhaps onto a new lease of life. Remember, one (wo)man’s trash is another (wo)man’s treasure. Meaning that just because you don’t want it doesn’t mean someone else will.