your Clutter Thoughts
finished decluttering my wardrobe ready for summer. My aim was twofold:
- to look
back at my winter clothes and review what had worked and more importantly
what had not worked this year
- to get
my summer clothes out of storage after 6 months and have a long hard
look at them - to see what still looked good and to let go of the rest.
Now I'm sure
many of you imagine that if you're a Professional Declutterer this process
is seamless and without any pain or dithering. If only that were the case!
It was pretty easy to let go of tired T-shirts and worn out boots. But
I too had moments when the clutter thoughts crept in and when I found
it hard to let go of clothes even though I no longer wear them. Here are
some examples of what I struggled with. I hope they will help you realise
you are not alone in finding some decluttering decisions sticky and difficult.
These dilemmas do not just apply to your wardrobe - they are applicable
to many other areas of your home.
The Sentimental Item. My lovely stripy jumper that I'd worn again
and again and felt stylish in. This had been such a good buy and yet.......
it was looking tired, bobbly and everytime I wore it recently I felt shabby.
It was hard to let go because I'd loved it so much and remembered the
good times we'd had together.
Bought in the Sales. In summer 2004 I bought a smart black cardigan
that I thought would be ideal for business meetings. It was in the sales
and a real bargain. So how come nearly a year later it was hanging in
my wardrobe with the label still on? Simple - despite the fact the label
says it is my size, it is just too small. I tried it on and Nick, my husband
looked at the horrible gaping mess and said that's awful - stick it in
the charity bag. Now this really hurt - I started to counter - well it
would be great if I lost weight. But I'm happy with my size - I'm not
on a diet. So that's simply a clutter thought. In the charity bag it went
- even though my fingers were twitching to rescue it.
The Shopping Mistake Even with the best will in the world from time
to time we buy something that looks great on the rail, fits well and seems
to be a dream purchase. Yet when we get it home - it is plain disappointing.
I bought a black velvet knee-length skirt a few months ago. It attracts
dog hair like a magnet, it rides up when I walk and to top it all I feel
incredibly dowdy in it. So why was it still in my wardrobe? Because it
cost me £50 and it riled me that I had not had my money's worth
from it. I was faced with a choice - to keep on wearing it and to feel
frumpy or to let it go. In theory I could have sold it - but in the end
I bit the bullet and was just glad to see it go to my local charity shop.
Let's hope it works better for someone else. After all one person's clutter
is another person's treasure.
The Designer Label. It's easy to be seduced by a designer label.
I bought some expensive designer pyjama bottoms that were deeply uncomfortable.
It pained me to let them go - but at least someone at my local charity
shop is going to be happy when they bag a bargain! If you have the time
and energy selling designer stuff on eBay is a good alternative.
The Question Marks. It's fine to end up at the end of a decluttering
session with a small pile of "Don't Knows". But what do you
do with them? What I do is hang them at one end of my wardrobe and give
myself a month to either wear them or give them away. As we wear 20% of
our clothes 80% of the time, it's easy to slip into a rut where we grab
the same old blue shirt rather than try out the new candy stripy one that
we're less familiar with. So from time to time perfectly good clothes
end up neglected in our wardrobes. Or we ask do those pink trainers make
me look like mutton dressed as lamb? Wear them a few times and see. Or
if you genuinely can't decide about clothes from last season put them
away for 6 months - it's often easier to part with them after a period
of absence. I'm doing that with an expensive wool coat. I suspect I'm
only waiting to next winter to let it go.
I hope this has given you some insight into how it's normal to feel ambivalence
about letting things go. I feel great now that my wardrobe is organised
and free from clutter. Plus I've got the spare hangers ready to receive
my new summer purchases so it's time to hit the shops! If you'd like more
tips on how to battle clutter thoughts then why not get copy of my new
book. Click on the picture below to go to its Amazon page.
No more clutter is highly recommended by Predictions magazine May 2005.
"It is a great insight into the way a decluttered mind works
and for those like me who struggle with wasting time looking for things
this is a godsend"
Website of the month.
I know that many of you will be revamping your homes now the better weather
is here. Visit www.hintsandthings.co.uk
for lots of great ideas on every room in your home. Check out my my article
on creating a relaxing clutter-free home here.
June Jackson who runs the site does a great monthly newsletter too.
Let go of
that exercise equipment you never use. You know it makes sense! Check
it out here
Thanks to Bev for her suggestions. She wins a copy of "No More Clutter".
"Hi. I want to recommend 2 places for getting rid of things. The
first is the freecycle list - www.freecycle.org
- you join it and can use it to give things away and people come and take
them! If you want to sell stuff then far easier than ebay is www.gumtree.com.
They also have a freebies section to put things that you no longer need.
I got rid of a sackful of keys from a dead piano, some fire extinguisher
cartridges, some books and some wood that I had saved intending to make
something out of. The only catch is that you have to stop yourself reading
the offereds and hoarding more things! Both freecycle and gumtree are
organised by city or area so you dont have to post things like you do
on ebay, because people are generally willing to come and collect!
No Clutter Clinic this month but it will be back next month so
do keep your questions coming to email@example.com.
Correction. Apologies to Toni Koppel who specialises in selling
furniture on ebay (London) I gave the wrong email address - it should
Sue Kay works with a wide range of clients to organise home offices, small
businesses, declutter before a house move, prepare your spare room for
a new baby and organise your wardrobe ready for the new season. If you're
selling your home, she can help you present it clutter-free for the market
to achieve a quick and profitable sale. For practical sympathetic help
call Sue on 07974 076 675 or 020 8444 5149 or check out the website at