I spent a relaxing week in Bath last month shopping for my Autumn/Winter
wardrobe. I love the changeover of the seasons and can't wait to wear
my new pink winter coat!
To make room for the new I've been trying on all the winter stuff I packed
away last Spring. It's so much easier to let things go after a 6 month
break - to see that a pair of boots are just too scruffy to wear or that
a jacket has seen better days. So use this month to pack away your summer
wardrobe and to sort out your Autumn one. Deal with one item at a time
- ask yourself
- Have I
worn it in the last year?
- Is it
the right size?
- Is the
tailoring and colour flattering?
- Is it
in good condition (not stained or tatty)?
- Do I feel
good every time I wear it?
gets five yeses why are you keeping it?
I know how scary sorting out photos can be. Even though digital cameras
have taken over, most homes still have drawers and boxes full of old prints.
Concentrate this month on organising them out and leave your digital ones
for another time. You're aiming to only keep the best ones so you can
enjoy looking at them when you're in a sentimental mood. You will have
to challenge commonly-held beliefs that every photo is sacred and it's
a crime to throw any away. Think more like a professional photographer
- you're aiming to have a few great shots to remember events by.
Stage one - getting rid of the clutter
- Get a
box and gather together all photos and albums. Of course you may well
need several boxes if you are an avid photographer.
- Set aside
half an hour a day and go through your photos discarding any that are
out of focus and scenes or places you can't identify.
- 20 photos
of the kitchen before it was done up are hardly necessary. Keep one.
- If you
have dozens of similar photos of your daughter's christening or friend's
wedding do you know anyone would like some copies? Stick a few in Christmas
or birthday cards - old photos of friends in 80s fashions will make
family photos are tricky - especially if you haven't a clue who half
the people are. Is there someone who's interested in your family tree
who could help you out? If not you could stick them in a box in the
loft for future generations to pore over. In the meantime make an album
of ancestors you can identify. What do you think - do you think it's
wrong to throw these away? Personally I would archive them but I'd love
to hear your thoughts. email firstname.lastname@example.org.
two - organizing and displaying your newly pared down collection
- In future
be ruthless with photos and only keep your favourites. Enjoy fun memories
by sticking them on the fridge, making collages or sending them to people
- Look at
all the framed photos you have around your home. Change these frequently
to keep things fresh. Less is more - if you have dozens of baby photos
scattered around - do you really look at them? Try packing half the
frames away for a few months and see if you miss them.
- Do write
on the back of photos who they are and where they were taken. You think
you'll remember but will you in 20 years?
- Buy gorgeous
albums and have some fun. Remember you only need the edited highlights
of your life!
finally - sort out your camera equipment
How many cameras you own? Do you ever use the Polaroid or do you have
loads of one -use disposable cameras? Disposable cameras and films have
use by dates so check if they are still viable. Finish off half-used films
that have been lurking in cameras for a while. Streamline your collection
and donate or sell any unwanted stuff.
For lots of
ideas on how to keep your clutter at bay have a look at my book "No
everyone who sent me details of www.freecycle.org.uk
a site where you can donate your unwanted stuff for free. You can also
acquire free stuff but be selective - even if it's free it can still be
How do I
get started? I hate to part with anything. I can't concentrate for very
long so I'm looking for any quick easy tips.
Jo, try what I'm doing this month which is decluttering 3 things every
day. It will only take a few minutes but think by the end of October you'll
have decluttered 93 items. I've already started today and have found a
book, a necklace and a camera to declutter!
the dice decide!
you a relaxing and clutter-free autumn,
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