How to declutter your house and your head

As l began rooting through cupboards and drawers last week, trying to find summer clothes to wear, l remembered a wonderful 6-week online course l did in 2016, part of which included the psychological effects of tidying. I had heard about Marie Kondo, a Japanese organising consultant before Boo recommended her book; The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising.

Essentially, we are told, if we can clear space in our living environment, we will create space in our head, mind and heart. That space becomes open to new opportunities and creativity.

While looking for summer dresses l remembered the art of tidying and recognised a desire to ‘Spring Clean’. I wondered if this happens at a certain time of year in much the same way as heavily, pregnant women get a nesting instinct to get ready for their baby. I started to contemplate whether the hot weather and the need to bring out summer clothes had triggered my desire to declutter and tidy. What do you think? Does this really happen?

A bit like shedding the heavy winter coat, it feels liberating to tackle some of these decluttering tasks in the spring.

It is well recognised that tidying and decluttering in a structured way can help anyone struggling with anxiety. As we approach the exam season we can help the young people in our lives if we are less stressed ourselves. Perhaps, as parents we can set an example by creating an organised life. I’m never really sure if teenagers or young adults take much notice, but you never know, it may help them achieve more too!

One of the best pieces of advice l took from the course and the book was to declutter and tidy by category, not room. We all tend to start with our bedrooms, or maybe offices and feel miserable and overwhelmed as the same clutter appears everywhere. If you start with a category, like clothing it is easy to make a huge impact very quickly.

Even children can get involved in this process. Perhaps while sorting out their winter and summer clothes. If something doesn’t fit, or you don’t feel good wearing it, then get rid of it immediately.

Clothes can be given to a good cause which the children can feel good about donating to. Younger children may not know about charities, so this can be made into a fun activity and a day out to a charity shop, perhaps with a treat thrown in.

The bed tidies we sell were designed by one of my sons as he wanted ‘something tied to his bed with pockets to keep his special things in, which looked like a train’. Although we don’t have the train design any longer, the concept of keeping small toys and books off the floor, but close to hand really worked and the bed tidies are still part of the range 18 years later!

One of the reasons they have proved so popular is the fact they also create a large hidden storage space under the bed. Each one has 4 large pockets and tie onto the legs of any standard bed (bunk beds too!)
In celebration of Spring we are offering the bed tidies and our large 100% cotton embroidered laundry bags at less than half price.

This exercise should bring some relief, even joy, so even if all the clothes end up in a huge heap on the floor for a day that is fine. Once you sit down and divide them into bags for various friends, charity shops, or to be sold you can feel great about folding all the lovely items you want to keep back into the drawers and cupboards.

tina

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