Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How I Banish Visual Clutter From Our Home.

How to banish visual clutter
How to avoid visual clutter

 

Every day our brain is trying to process billions of messages , trying to define what is important , what needs action , what to dismiss , what to leave until  later.

We have

  • TV
  • iPhones
  • laptops
  • Newspaper headlines
  • adverts
  • books
  • clocks
  • shop windows
  • road signs
  • consumer products
  • cars

Which, are all bombarding us with instructions to follow every second of every day.

Some of us may have  chosen to add “extra” visual clutter in our homes  by having  ornaments which spell out words such as  “bathroom” “love” or “home”.
I wonder how many times a week we subconsciously read the label on our shower gel, toothpaste tube, washing up liquid or moisturizer.

Marie Kondo  in her book “spark joy” suggests we protect our homes from the visual clutter of the outside world and encourages us to remove labels wherever possible from products we use daily .
As a mother of two young children I figured this would be almost impossible for safety reasons,  however  off I went to give it a go .

I started with hand wash , as I figured even my five-year old knows it is soap .

To my surprise it felt better not to read the words ” 3000 mint leaves were lovingly squeezed into this bottle”  on my shower gel bottle , every time I walked into the bathroom .

The process then became addictive , once I started I couldn’t stop .

Another eye-opening lesson for me was, when I peeled the label off my expensive moisturizer it looked no different from any other cheaper brand and I felt annoyed at myself for being drawn into their consumerism and advertising , I felt I’d been duped .

I immediately began to change the way I shopped for luxury beauty products, which were once a weakness of mine , and it felt good, almost liberating.

The  other upside is that no one in the family has washed their hair with conditioner yet, as far as I’m aware but you never know in our house !

Items  I remove labels from are

  • Hand soap
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body lotions
  • Face cream
  • Foundation
  • Mascara
  • Lipsticks
  • Teabags
  • Beans and pulses
  • Biscuits and crackers
  • Pasta and Rice
  • Washing powder
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Coffee
  • Nuts
  • Cereal

Please note food stuffs are now stored in glass jars and laundry powders etc are stored in plastic containers.

 

I only remove  labels from bottles if they are easy to remove within seconds and are not dangerous to my kids .

I really love having less packaged products in my home as I think it feels so much more tranquil and clutter free .

 

If you liked this post you may enjoy

How to Spend Less Money!

Is It Finally Time To Unplug And Slow Our Kids Down

How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional . 

 

 

 

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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How to declutter When Your Partner Isn’t On Board ~ Simple tips to cut through the clutter!

 

 

 

how to declutter when your partner isn't on board

 

How do I declutter when my partner isn’t on board ?

How do I get my partner to declutter? 

What do I do when he tells me he likes me in everything I want to   throw away ? 

These are all questions I get asked on a regular basis .

It seems that a lot of us “declutterers” and organised people, live with people who will not throw anything away . And talking from experience there’s nothing more frustrating!

So what do we do when we live with someone who just won’t simplify?

Throw away their stuff and hope they don’t notice ?

Nag them consistently untill they comply?

Argue constantly about their clutter ? 

Of course none of these are the answer although I bet most of us have tried them in vain ! My favourite  decluttering and tidying guru Marie Kondo covers this very subject in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying and  Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying

Her theory is that if we just concentrate on our own “stuff” we will soon realise that other people’s stuff is not the real problem .

So, I tried it and guess what ? It became totally apparent that his stuff was a tiny proportion of the clutter in our house .

Marie guides us through our clutter step by step working through every single possession we own in the following order:

  1.  Clothes,
  2.  Miscellaneous,
  3.  Paperwork
  4. Then, finally sentimental .

She tells us to pile everything on the bed and hold each item , if it brings you joy you keep it, if it doesn’t , you don’t it’s as simple as that .

how to declutter when your partner is not on board

I tried this method and became hooked very quickly

  • I discarded or donated approx 70 % of my stuff
  • I only kept approximately 30% of my original possessions .
  • Everything that made it into the 30% of keepers were things I loved and this in turn made me happy .
  • With that , came space , clarity, serenity and tidiness .
  • Everyone else  in the house  kept the  empty spaces tidy and stopped piling stuff up .
  • No one left anything lying around
  • People in the house including the kids seemed to  start to declutter their items without being asked to.
  • Toys only took a few minutes maximum to tidy up each evening before bed.
  • Cleaning the house was quicker and easier.

Getting your partner to declutter is simply not the way to tackle things at this stage, start on your stuff, move on to the kids stuff  and watch how the whole house seems to get tidier as people notice the empty spaces!

To my surprise I learnt that if I keep my stuff in order everyone else will too!

What do I do when he tells me to keep something I don’t wear because he likes it ?

This is a tricky one and one only you can decide but my rules for this would be to donate if

  1. It doesn’t fit
  2. It is uncomfortable in any way.
  3. It doesn’t make you feel a million dollars
  4. It is old,worn and generally grotty
  5. you don’t love it !

I would never tell my spouse what to wear and I wouldn’t expect him to tell me what to wear so its an easy one for me ! Luckily my other half doesn’t notice what goes in and out of my wardrobe so that helps !

 

If you’d like read more in depth about these decluttering methods you can read how to here.

Another method I love is  the  Flylady , I love this method because she breaks things down into 31 baby steps and I like bite sized pieces especially when someone is  also guiding  me when to do something!


                   Todays favourite products !

      1. Dettol Original Liquid Antiseptic Disinfectant I use this daily and it is definitely my go to product for keeping the house smelling fresh. Use it in the areas you have decluttered to really give yourself a fresh clean space ready to organise.
      2. Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner . I love this little machine as it is so easy to use , lightweight and portable with no cord !  It enables me to get into all the little nooks and crannies,  it also gives me approx. 40 minutes of cleaning time and doubles up as hand held for the car or the kid’s mess. I find it really powerful and it covers all my decluttering jobs with little effort.
      3. Dyson Groom Tool attachment for dogs . This is a fantastic product which attaches to most Dyson upright models and grooms your dog as the all hair gets sucked straight up the vacuum! Please note this is not compatible with the cordless Dyson Vacuum cleaner. Let’s keep that freshly decluttered floor free from pet hairs!
      4. Chilly Bottles Double Walled Reusable Bottle – 18hrs Hot & 24 Cold – 260ml) I wouldn’t be without this little fella, it’s  my favourite water bottle and I’ve got it in several colours. It keeps water icy cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 18  hours so it is a really versatile bottle which is a go to in any season. My kids love them . They are great for those of us who are trying to live a more conscious  lifestyle as they are stainless steel and save on waste , they are sturdy and will outlive most other plastic bottles. I have found them easy to carry in a bag as they are condensation free. That said , it’s my go to bottle for having at my side  to keep me hydrated as I go through my many jobs of the day !

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How to achieve your summer minimal wardrobe. 

capsule wardrobe

So now is a great time to dig out the summer clothes and organise a nice little summer capsule wardrobe !

Decluttering

 

  • Step 1. Empty your wardrobe of anything you know you will not wear untill next winter We will be heading towards making a wardrobe which is both winter and summer compatible but I shall be doing a seperate post on that at a later date . So for now empty everything on your bed . Now is a good time to assess what hasn’t been worn , what was uncomfortable , what didn’t make you feel a million dollars , or anything you don’t love . If it fits any of those catagories donate immediately !
  • Step 2 . Wash but don’t iron as you’ll end up doing it again next winter ! Make sure to put it all away in storage.
  • Step 3. Get out all summer clothes . Go though each item . Do you love it ? Does it fit ? Does it make you feel fabulous? If not donate it !

 

 

If you’re struggling with letting go  of any items you may like to read this post

  1. How I Started Living With Less.
  2. How To Declutter When You’ve Not Got The Motivation, how to motivate yourself in 10 easy steps

 

  • Step 4 wash and put everything back in your wardrobe .

You should now have heaps of space to view your minimal wardrobe and should be able to create many more outfits with the clothes you have kept .

  • Step 5 repeat steps 1-3 with coats , boots and shoes !
  • Step 6 . Assess the gaps in your wardrobe, decide the key items which would complete your outfits . Write them down and keep in your purse so you buy things you need rather than impulse bargains next time you shop
  • Step 7 decide on 3 basic colours to have  as your base colours and add one splash of colour .

My basic colours  are:

Charcoal grey

Navy

Black

And my splash of colour is bright red.

Only shop within your chosen four colours !

Stick to this rule when shopping for clothes and you will find shopping so much simpler.

My recommended reading on the subject of minimal wardrobes are http://www.unfancy.com and http://www.theminimalists.com for amazing inspiration and advice on how to live with less items in your closet!

 

 

 

 

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Posted in minimal, minimalist, Organising

Get Your Minimal Wardrobe In 6 Super Simple Steps !

 

capsule wardrobe

We all have clothes in our wardrobes we have never worn, you know the ones …

They tend to fall into the following categories:

  • The …..when You’ve lost weight purchase
  •  The….. couldn’t resist bargain
  • The….. stuff people have given you
  • The…… brightly coloured fun item
  • The ……fur item
  • The…… too short skirt
  • The….. too long jeans
  • The…… itchy jumper
  • The….. impulse purchase
  • The….. unworn designer label
  • The….. worn once party outfit
  •  The….. wedding attire

How many are hanging in your wardrobe right now ? If you’re anything like me before I simplified , the answer is all of them and more !

Have you ever asked yourself why they are still there ? Do the following excuses pop up every time you try to have a clear out ?

 

  • It cost me a fortune !
  • I’m going to diet!
  • My sister gave me this !
  • I’m waiting for the right occasion to wear it !
  • I’ve got nothing to wear it with!
  • I’ve had it since I was a teenager!
  • I’ll definitely wear it again!

If any of these sound familiar to you they could be stopping you from having the minimal wardrobe you’ve always dreamed of.

Every time we open our wardrobe doors these items silently make us feel guilty.
So let me give you an answer to those silent excuses you use for hanging onto stuff you never wear.

  1. It did cost you nearly a months wages and yes that makes you feel seriously guilty but the money has been spent now and the item is making you feel crappy and guilty every time you see it.
  2. Just because you paid a fortune for it doesn’t mean that its valuable to you , forget the designer label , if it had only cost £10 would still keep it ?
    It’s great to hear that you’re going to lose weight but let me tell you , when you get down to your ideal weight the first thing you’ll probably do is treat yourself to some gorgeous new outfits!
  3. Your sister/mum/daughter gave it to you ? Guess what , they didn’t wear it either!
  4. If you are waiting for the right occasion the chances are you’ll buy a more fashionable outfit to wear than one you wore to your sister’s wedding in 1992!
  5. If you loved it you’d  have found something to wear with it in your already bulging wardrobe by now!
  6. You’ve had it since you were a teenager ? Well , you’re now 40 ! (Insert age )
    You wont wear it again!

 

So you made a mistake , you bought an itchy jumper, long trousers , hideous floral dress, brown woolly tights. So you put on weight .. Who hasn’t ?
It’s no big deal !

 

I’m not saying you should get rid of stuff you love , but just the stuff that makes you feel bad , the stuff you make excuses for !

 

The organising guru Marie Kondo in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever” has a theory that when purchasing an item we get the thrill of the purchase which dissolves almost immediately when we walk out of the shop, she believes that the item you have purchased has done its job , it made you feel good at the time, therefore it has served it purpose and it’s time to let it go.

I found this advice invaluable in giving myself permission to get those items out of my house without feeling guilty especially all those designer items with the price tag still  attached .
It’s amazing how differently I shop now too, I’m a lot more mindful about how much I’ve discarded , that I now see each purchase as a future charity shop donation so it makes me so much more mindful of what I am buying.

I steer clear of bargains and cheaper brands as I released that these made up approximately 95% of  the clothes I never wore and ended up in the donation pile .

 

 

 

If you enjoyed reading this post you may like

How I Started Living With Less.

6 Simple Tips You Need To Follow To Stop Yourself Buying More Stuff

 

 

 

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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How I Started Living With Less.

living with less
How I started on my journey of living with less…

   Why minimalism?

If I lived on my own I’d have virtually no possessions , no TV , and a very organised and tidy house .

But I don’t , and as I can’t get rid of everyone else’s possessions I have to find a way of dealing with their “stuff” and continue in my quest of living with less stuff.

My partner is a borderline hoarder who still keeps boxes from phones he no longer possesses !
I too battled for years to contain my “stuff “, I would stuff it all in drawers , cupboards and the garage .

The house would be serene looking on the surface but the inner workings were a tangled mess of chaos .

 

   So, what changed ?

So what changed ?

I had the ever pulling urge to get rid of everything I owned, to make my overstuffed drawers and cupboards as clutter free as the surfaces so I started to get rid of stuff and it felt great  but I just kept filling up the newly acquired space with new purchases.

Then one day , I stumbled across a book which put me on a journey to simplifying my life ,  it immediately changed my attitude to shopping and clutter, it gave me a plan , a way to achieve the “click point” in my life , where I can  actively live with less and  everything I own sparks joy .
If you only read one book this year make it this one!
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever

the author takes you step by step through all the categories to help you simplify your life.

Read what happened next!

How To Declutter When You Have Not Got The Motivation, how to motivate yourself in 10 easy steps

How to declutter When Your Partner is not On Board ~ Simple tips to cut through the clutter!

How to Get Rid Of Your Junk Drawer In 1 Easy Step!

 

 


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