it or lose it!
we're going to look again at one of the fundamental principles of clutter
- Use it or Lose it! It may sound a bit glib but I'm convinced that most
people's homes are clogged up with unused stuff that is gathering dust.
Some of this clutter may be evidence of old enthusiasms - when you decided
to learn the flute, knit a jumper, or spent long evenings with your Playstation
One games...... Or it may be more recent purchases that have never really
found either a home or a place in your affections. Say you bought a CD
last year - listened to a few tracks and then stuck it on the CD rack
- is it clutter? Yes, absolutely. But you might argue I'll probably listen
to again one day. Or the waffle maker you thought would transform Sunday
breakfasts - used once and now it languishes on top of the kitchen cupboards.
All these items are in that strange category of - maybe, just in case,
I'll have more time in the future and so on.
My September challenge to you is to dust off some of these relics, have
a long hard look at them and ask yourself honestly will I ever use them
again. If the answer is no then straight to the charity shop or eBay.
If you're not sure then make a date to use them this month. This will
help clarify your feelings and whether they deserve room in your home.
any kitchen gadgets that haven't been in action in the past year - think
juicers, breadmakers, sandwich makers.
- CDs you
have only listened to once - give them a few plays to see if you really
- Dig out
all those half-read books and either finish them or let them go.
old computer games that have fallen from favour and see if they still
cook a few of the recipes torn from magazines .
- Hang all
the summer clothes you haven't worn at one end of the wardrobe. In the
UK we've had a very mixed summer so if you haven't worn something is
there a clue there that you no longer like it? Or have you simply forgotten
you owned it. So air these unworn clothes while there is still a bit
of summer left.
Recordings of TV programmes - are you really going to watch a 3 month
old episode of the Bill or the highlights from Wimbledon. It's liberating
to scrub these and start again. It takes away the feeling of being pressed
products - use up or chuck samples from magazines or hotel freebies.
equipment - retrieve the weights or rowing machine from under the bed.
Free the exercise bike from it's coating of ties, bags and other flotsam.
See if you actually can get into a rhythm of using them
something so forlorn about broken stuff - so either mend it or chuck
it/recycle it. Take your shoes to the menders, sew on some buttons (or
take them to the dry cleaners/tailors), mend the door knob and the hinge
on the cupboard door. You'll be amazed at how calm and ordered you feel
when things are working around you.
my own advice and have been hobbling around on a pair of expensive sandals
that gave me blisters earlier in the summer. They seem to be slowly wearing
in but if they're not comfortable by the end of September they're off
to charity! I also have been listening to CDs I bought and never got to
know. I realised it was because I bought too many over a short period
of time. Overload means it's hard to get a handle on new stuff. Less really
If you would
like more ideas on how to kick-start and maintain the decluttering process
plus gain insight into the psychology behind hoarding have a look at my
new book "No more clutter"
in one this month as we Claim
back time to Declutter
September's Clutter Clinic
I'm moving into a smaller apartment in central London after I split up
with my partner recently. I want to get rid of some furniture and also
a couple of computers that I no longer need. Do you have any ideas?
I'm sorry to hear about your break-up. Starting over with new stuff can
be a positive way to let go of the past.
If you want to sell the stuff - there are the usual channels like House
Clearance, Loot and of course eBay. Otherwise if you want to donate to
charity try the Furniture Network. Check with them about Fire Safety marks.
They are at www.frn.org.uk
If your furniture is still usable but not worth much, consider placing
it outside on the pavement on a dry day with a note saying "Please
take me". Just be careful not to cause an obstruction. It usually
works for me.
To donate computers try
I hope you've
all had a good summer and have an energising September bringing order
and clarity back into your lives. I always love to hear from you and particularly
if you have any good tips for next month's topics. If you've some good
ideas for either encouraging kids to declutter or for getting on top of
virtual clutter do send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I appreciate it!
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