1. Hanger trick
They say the old ones are the best and with this one its true and it works! although personally I need to combine with tip number 5 to really get a result! So here is what you do! you turn all of your hangers around to face the wrong way (whichever way is wrong for you as this is another debate!) and then every time you wear an item you hang it back the right way. Give yourself a time line – a year maybe and then if you have not worn it out it goes!
Like I said I need to combine with 5 as I still think I am going to wear that pastel dress I wore on my honeymoon one day! This can be done for the kids too!
2. Public appearance test
Would you go to the shop in it? if you would then keep it, if you would rather die than be seen picking up a loaf of bread then surely its time to dump it! or at the very least relegate it for consideration in tip 3 below!
3. Would I answer the door wearing it?
I have a ‘comfort clothes’ habit that means when I walk in the door, no matter what the time is, I have to put my ‘comfort clothes’ on! these vary from a tracksuit, to Pjs or even my dressing gown depending on what mood im in! so if you need a supply of cosy clothes like me and this includes a good selection you definitely couldn’t wear to the shops then ask yourself if you would answer the door in them? if its still a no, they really have to go!
4. Paper tray
Paper is the route to all clutter in our home (as well as shoes and coats) and it gets everywhere! seems that everyone wants to add to the pile! so in order to know where to find your papers and stop them getting lost and cluttering up every spare surface invest in a PAPER TRAY, whether it be from the stationery aisle in Tesco, a nice wicker basket, shoe box or decorative tray is up to you but find it a home and commit everyone to placing every bit of paper they get into it! now you will have to check it regularly and sort through it before it overflows, but at least you know where it is!
5. Act now!
How many of us create a de-clutter pile and then leave it where we can access it and then slowly start taking things back out of it? so make a plan and stick to it! if its those hanger trick rejects then bag them up and take them to the charity shop NOW. If its rubbish and broken toys then take them to the dump or drop them in the wheelie bin NOW. If you leave it until later it will get back in!
6. Take the 12-12-12 Challenge
A simple task of locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organise 36 things in your house. Make it a contest and include the kids, its a great way to get them to clear their room of overdue clutter too! and you can start with less items if its easier! include toys, books, clothes and anything else you don’t need!
7. A Guest in your own home
Sounds silly but walk outside your front door and then walk back in as if you are a guest visiting your house for the first time! Honest it works! you will suddenly see mess and clutter you have never noticed before, you will pick things up rather than walk over them and be able to make some real decisions. Its always before a party or occasion that we actually do this, ok so we might not walk out of the door, but I often stand on the door mat and look back and I am often shocked at what I see!
If you don’t like what you see, make a note of the changes you want to happen and how you can make them happen – do you need a wardrobe to store your coats in or a shoe cupboard? how about removing the shelf by the front door to stop it being a dumping ground and put a up a mirror instead? see your house through someone else’s eyes and get a better perspective!!
8. Go shopping
Ok so shopping is how we got in this mess in the first place, after all the mountains of toys didn’t buy themselves and the oodles of clothes leaking from every drawer didn’t magically appear, but I am not talking dress shopping now I am talking storage solutions!
Get that new shoe rack or cupboard, buy somewhere to keep your keys, get that paper tray or invest in a new sideboard, after all normally the reason for clutter (asides from shopping) is due to a lack of suitable storage space! BUT before you get your credit card out or pack of the kids to Ikea make sure you know what you want and where you want to put it and don’t buy things that wont work or wont last!
9. Make a list
Its simple but it works. Create a list that you can keep updating that includes the changes you need to make and how you are going to make them! It will keep you on track and make sure that things get done. Make sure you give yourself some small 5 minute jobs you can refer to when you get a spare moment like sorting out the kitchen drawer as well as bigger tasks you can plan at weekends or bank holidays. Tick them off and tackle one at a time!
10. A place for everything
My ambition in my own world of domestic bliss is to own a lovely expensive and practical picnic blanket and have somewhere to keep it! I want to be one of those people that when it comes to picnics I go to the ‘picnic blanket’ cupboard, move the cooler bag and grab my beautiful picnic blanket and off we go. The reality of course is that when someone mentions picnic I go routing through the airing cupboard looking for the picnic blanket I know doesn’t exist as it got left on the lawn in the rain and instead grab something semi suitable to sit on, last year I resorted to a peppa pig quilt cover! I know in my picnic lifetime I have bought plenty of picnic blankets and should have a whole cupboard full despite the ones that perished but where to find them I don’t know!
So my advice (that I also need to follow) is clear cupboards and assign goods to each one, it might take some rearranging but it all helps to keep us sane. We recently bought some big boxes to keep near the coats for things like umbrellas and spare bags. This applies to every room in the house as we tend to end up with cupboards all mixed up and full of the same things – so defining your spaces can help you de-clutter and organise not only your home but your head!
NOW if excuse me whilst I go and try to follow some of my own advice!!!!!!!!