With the exception of people who love the minimalist lifestyle, most us collect things as the years pass and quite a few of us get into the routine of not questioning why we are actually keeping stuff. We clutter our lovely homes with books, papers, electronics, trinkets and other knick-knacks we “may have a use for” at some point in the future.
Less Is More
The younger we are the less attached we are to things in general. The older we become the more reticent we are in throwing out our collection of hard won baubles. By the time we’ve reached a certain age, we become almost pathologically accustomed to storing our unused possessions around the house; saving them for a rainy day.
And, of course, there is also the second law of decluttering to consider: the moment you get rid of something, someone in the house will ask if you have seen it.
The one year rule: Anything that has not been used in the previous year (and we don’t mean using it to prop open that door by the kitchen) is to be recycled – taken to the charity shop, sold on e-Bay or given to family and friends.
Books: If you are a big reader, you know how quickly books can accumulate and take up space. Put them to the use for which they were intended and give them to friends to read.
Clothing: Unless they are for special occasions those clothes in your wardrobe, which you haven’t even tried on for a year or more, are probably not going to get worn again. Give to charity. Sell the posh stuff.
Shoes: some of us collect them, some of us don’t. If you do, you probably have quite a selection. And if you have a big family then the shoe population grows. Have a cull once a year. Get rid of the worn, scuffed, smelly, and the uncomfortable.
Magazines: yes, people do still buy magazines and newspapers, even in this digital age. These often get put aside – they have that recipe, that article, that photo you want to keep. Take out your favourite bit and send the rest to recycling.
Puzzles and games: Especially if you have kids, puzzle and game sets multiply and normally sit on top of cupboards or under beds gathering dust. Like books, they deserve to be used. Give them to kids who will play with them.
Old food and spices: Everything from noodles that have been sat at the back of your cupboard to that cereal you thought you would like, to spices, opened once for that special recipe and not used again, a kitchen clean out can work wonders for your cupboard space.
Out with the old and in with the new!
Using the one year rule for decluttering your house has a number of advantages. You can begin to reshape you house with your new space, update it to the current trends or your new fancies. New spaces in your home/garage allow for endless possibilities such as renting or converting the space for a healthier and happier lifestyle.