{January} decluttering

On January 1st, 2013,  I decided to start my year with a major de-cluttering. De-cluttering means removing clutter; be it in a home, in your head, in your drawers, cupboards, even in your body (although that is more of a detoxing challenge!)! Yes a Major clean up.

Cleaning up always make me feel lighter, happier, more energetic. The fun part is that you more or less see the result right away (at least after few hours of hard work!), but the result is visible, which in a way motivates to do more! Besides having a nicer place to live in, it has been proven that clutter in our living space drains your energy, adds to depression, re-enforce your lack of esteem (as in how can you be a successful person when you have no idea where your tax papers are?!), lessen your ability to focus on more important projects, makes you less productive!

Cluttering is a human behavior. We keep things sometimes because we do not know when we might use them, because we cannot make a decision right now and ditch the decision process to later (but to when?!), because we hate to let go, because humans are hoarders (compulsive collectors). For the last 3 years, I have kept a box of magazines in the hope of reading them again one day! The other day, I faced the box, went through the lot, browsed through them, found few good recipes and ideas, and gave the whole batch away! The box is now empty and waiting to be filled with my Christmas Decoration! This is a tiny example of hoarding that could be transformed into a de-cluttering project!

But where to start? A home is a mix of several rooms, and in my case we are four persons and a dog, meaning we have books, clothes, toys, and stuff in each room!

My friend Mette (the one living in Beirut, as I have another one living in Denmark!) suggested this site: The January Cure by apartment therapy. Signing in was a piece of cake; you get one email a day with tips and advice on how to start re-organising your home, room by room. Great!

The “cure” is all about taking it step by step. As is planning, listing, taking one project at a time, while adding nice features in between such as getting fresh flowers for the house and cooking a special meal.

Some of you might be natural organizers! and some others (like me) are not! We need a bit of guidance and focus and off we go!

So, for those in need of more info, tips, the following links are a filled with ideas!

The January Cure

54 ways to declutter

organised home (my pinterest board)

Clutter Clearing 101

Your Total Home Organizing and Decluttering Guide by houzz

Why we clutter

A fine mess (huffintonpost)

Happy de-cluttering! (will keep you updated on my personal de-cluttering journey!)

keep calm

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feelings & order

Yesterday was a day where i had to keep my mind busy in order to control my feelings. I was sad, because my grandmother of 94 was laying in the hospital with tubes feeding her, as she has arrived to a point where food is refused by her body. Being far away is hard. The idea of not being able to see her one more time is also very hard.

Nevertheless, in order not to be submerged by feelings all day long (can’t be crying ALL the time), i started cleaning up my cupboards, my sweaters, kids school papers and drawings (and oh how many there were)… I kept busy for hours, throwing away, decluttering, organising… At least i was being productive. Meanwhile my mind was wishing my grandmother peace.

Later that day, my sweet husband called to check on me, he laughed when i told him that i was re-organising my cupboards! he told me just to repeat the task until i was drained and not thinking anymore… and even suggested to re-do the same cupboards!

Joke aside, it is interesting to see what we do when we are upset. Some of us get a chocolate overdose, some smoke a pack, some like me get into cleaning frenzy. Actually a brisk walk by the sea is also a nice thing to do when upset.

what do you do when you are upset?

LIVE SIMPLY: decluttering your clothes…

Seems that we only use 20% of the clothes we own!

Can you imagine the lightness of your cupboards if you got rid of all the hanging dresses, jackets, trousers, scarfs, that you will never wear again?

Again, it is obvious that this is a sensitive subject; and yes I do have too many things in my cupboard that are there for sentimental reason more than for practical reasons, like the pants that i will wear when i am 5 kilos lighter, or the blue velvet evening jacket recycled from my mother’s closet…

Wouldn’t it be just great to have this:

{image from pinterest}

or this:

pretty and neat

Here are few tips for a “lighter” and simpler closet:

1. Go through your closet every 3-4 months (try scheduling it at the beginning of each season)

2. Ask a friend, or sister, cousin, mother (whom is honest and wants your best!) to help you go through your clothes; she can help you make quick decisions; Keep, Donate, Recycle (that is an issue by itself/ remaking funky clothes out of old ones; a future DIY post!)

3. Clothes NOT worn the last 1-2 years must go (think of the lucky person using it, instead of it taking unnecessary place in your closet)

4. Clothes kept for “when you will get slim and achieve your ideal weight” can either be donated or packed away. If you do loose the weight, the best reward would then be BUYING new ones!!

5. Think outfits: create outfits (dress, scarf, belt, jewelry, shoes, sweater and so on…) that look great on you, try hanging them together (i sometimes hang the belt & scarf with the dress), or take a picture of it and print it…It saves loads of desperate minutes when you need to get dressed for an event, and remember whenever you get compliments on your outfits, these are the one you should stick to. It does make life easier!

6. Scarves can be rolled and placed in a drawer, or folded neatly and placed on a shelf (easy to see), or hanged on a hanger or a rod (if you have the extra space)

7. Bags: that is a nightmare! there are Huge ones, and small ones and i am still looking for THE best solutions (to be researched), but right now they are stacked on a shelf above my clothes, by size and colour (I know it seems crazily organised, and it only lasts for a week!). If you are lucky to have space to store, separate your bags by season

8. Belts can be hanged on a hanger.

9. One item” in” means one item “out”;  for every new purchase try to see if you can get rid of one item in your cupboard.

Happy decluttering!

Let me know if you have other tools, we could all learn one or two new tricks!

LIVE SIMPLY; decluttering drawers

we should remember that...

Who does not love a tidy home? where every thing has its place? where nick-nacks are organized and beautifully placed? I know I do..

This morning i decided to venture in my white cupboard, which has 4 huge drawers, and four shelves. The white monster was packed with papers, binders, clippings, shoe boxes filled with a myriad of things i thought i couldn’t live without, kids drawings (thousands!), my writings, DVDs, electrical cords and so on…

For the last month I have been feeling down just passing by the white monster. The whole idea of the cupboard was to get organized and hide all the stuff that I didn’t know where to place…i guess i haven’t thought it all through!

At 8 am I took EVERYTHING out. Started making 2 piles; one with keeps and one with throws (not an easy process, but i kept asking myself “why i need this” and “why I don’t”…). The floor was COVERED. Like a mini tsunami had passed by. Midways I had to stop. sit down. breath. drink water. my eyes itched. my hands were black with dust. i was going to give up. so i put some loud music (jay ho!) and sat for while listening and just relaxing.

The Throw pile went out. The kept pile needed a serious organisation.

4 hours later i was nearly done and got this amazing idea to post this post about decluttering !

Wednesday is decluttering day; you will get a regular post with tips, ideas and pictures…

Today’s tip is about drawers:

1. throw away anything broken that hasn’t been fixed the last YEAR!

2. gather stuff that go together and get small baskets, tupperwares, small glass jars, tea cups that can fit in the drawer where items are separated by functions.

3. Get inspired by these pictures!

doesn't this look organised?
each thing in its place
plastic boxes are amazing
{pic from laissezfairedesign.blogspot.com}
just adorable...

Enjoy!

and please share your ideas, as I am a freak of De-cluttering ideas!!!