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The KonMari method is getting a lot of airtime at the moment. But I think that I have always liked a good clear out. It always seems to me that I end up clearing stress by clearing clutter.
Clearing stress by Clearing Clutter
When I was young in the 70s, our family had very little. Not only could we not afford it, but I don’t think that society was as throwaway as it is today. The world today seems aimed at pushing us to constantly buy things.
The internet sends us adverts and emails daily telling us of new offers. Magazines tell us of the things that we need in our lives to make us happy. Celebrities show off their new products, enticing us to buy these so we will be like them.
It all seems rather unsustainable, but I do admit to have fallen into the trap of buying too many clothes, too many books and too many things. When I moved into my house 18 years ago, I could fit all of my possessions into one room. Now, 2 cats, a partner and 2 year old later, the rafters are crammed.
It is time for a declutter.
If you are like me you probably have lots of things in your wardrobe that you don’t wear. Hell, some of the things in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn had tags on! So why are we keeping hold of them?
I think that in getting rid of some of these items we will lose a load of guilt, guilt that we won’t ever get into those expensive designer dresses again. Get rid of the guilt of having bought something that actually didn’t suit us after all, guilt that we never read that pile of books under the bed. By clearing the clutter you are also getting rid of this feeling of guilt, which can only be a good thing, right? Now you are clearing stress by clearing clutter.
Time to clear out
The mantra I like to use is “Is it beautiful, is it useful?” and if it isn’t either of those things, it is cleared out. Also, if it hasn’t been used in over a year, are you ever going to use it? Out it goes!
I have a 5 bag system when I clear out.
- The first bag is a black bin bag. Items that need to be thrown away. You could also have a green bin bag or bin for recyclable items.
- The second bag is an old large store bag ( I am also betting that if you are anything like me you have a hoard of these somewhere!) which I will use to place items that may be able to be resold. If it is new, still has the labels on, is designer, is fashionable, is expensive or is vintage, it is certainly worth trying to sell it on.
- The third bag I use for things that have genuine sentimental value. How will I determine whether they are truly sentimental? I will put them in a box for 6 months, and make a note to revisit and declutter that box again. If I still feel the same in 6 months they can stay.
- The fourth bag is where I put any items that I think I may be able to reuse. Such as clothing that I could upcycle into leggings for my little girl or maybe even to make a rag rug?
- The final bag is for broken or torn items that I think I may want to keep.If it is damaged or torn, are you going to mend it? I give myself a couple of weeks to sew or mend any broken items. Any longer than that and it cannot stay any longer. Bye-bye.
“But I spent a fortune on those things!“
I hear you! Well, you are never going to recover all the money spent, but it is still worth thinking about recouping some cash from your trash. Maybe you could sell some of it on eBay?. Or at a car boot sale, like my friend Rosie does. And some of the things are not worth a bean, but isn’t it a good feeling to have cleared some space?
Have you started clearing stress by clearing clutter? Let me know how you have got on, I would love to hear your comments.
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