Indulgence or Excess?
As I was waiting at the M&S checkout in Marble Arch the other day
I overheard two old ladies talking. The first one said, "It's unbelievable.
This lingerie department just goes on forever." Her friend replied,
"Women these days must do nothing but buy bras!"
I couldn't help laughing at their outrage but also at the fact that they'd
hit the nail on the head. We are all buying more and more stuff. No matter
how pretty or desirable or affordable something is, do we really need
to buy more and more of the same things? Of couse we all appreciate that
the answer is NO. So why do we persist in cramming our homes with excess
I guess for the following reasons:
we all love to treat ourselves
we are feeling low, under the weather, miserable about the state of
our homes and want to cheer ourselves up
we've seen it in a magazine or a friend has one
there's a special offer on and we can never resist a buy-one-get-one-free
we've forgotten or can't find the suntan lotion, sunglasses or the flip-flops
we bought last year
we are scared if we say no we'll end up with only scruffy greying underwear
and we'll feel miserable and deprived.
to get your life back into balance
to become aware of what's really going on for you every time you drift
off to the shops and come back laden with carrier bags.
It's not about deprivation or being joyless. It's about using the decluttering
process to get back in touch with what you own in the first place, and
then targeting your shopping to suit your needs.
So when I sorted out my underwear drawer I realised most of my knickers
were getting tatty. I bought myself a dozen new ones and recycled the
old ones. The end result is I feel better - there has been no waste and
my drawers aren't crammed to overflowing - I can see what I own and enjoy
If decluttering still feels overwhelming to you apply these principles
to one small area of our life - your swimwear, your towels, your pens
and pencils, your summer jackets or jeans - just make sure you follow
the 4 part strategy:
up everything that is similar - take stock and only keep the best. Count
up how many you have of each thing - if you only have one decent bikini
and you're about to go on holiday it's time to add a couple more
- Shop with
a list - so you limit yourself to the two bikinis you decided on in
- Do something
responsible with the stuff you are replacing - take it to charity or
to textile recycling.
- Feel good
about the fact you are regaining control and enjoying the things you
cast a clout 'til May is out
How true this little Scotticism has shown itself this year. Since the
last newsletter in March, we've had snow in Central London, nearly two
weeks of heatwave, punctuated by near-tropical downpours. It's an unpredictable
time to try and organise your wardrobe, at least in the UK. I've had to
unpack my winter woollies on more than one occasion! But don't give up
- even a quick sort through of your winter clothes will free up space
for your summer wardrobe.
No expert slot this month - check back next time when we'll doing a special
on paper organising.
I'd love to have your suggestions for websites to feature each edition.
website that's been recommended to me by many people, and I can relate
I'm not suggesting any of you are living in squalor, by the way, but do
let me know what you think!
Much as I love decluttering, I loathe cleaning so I recently bought myself
Cleaning" by Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming. It promises a
spotless house in just 15 minutes a day which is about my limit! I'll
let you know how I get on - but it looks great and I enjoyed their tip
about having a clutter bucket to take from room to room to gather up misplaced
Do email me with your suggestions
for books that have helped you in your clutter struggle.
And don't forget my books page (here).
These are just my initial ideas - if you would like to see anything else
featured then email email@example.com.
I know that a lot of newsletter subscribers are not based in the UK -
I'd love to hear from experts worldwide, and recommendations for great
books and websites from all around the world.
At this time
of year, it's traditional to start your Spring Clean. Check out the tip
for a couple of ideas on how to maintain the commitment and momentum for
the year's big decluttering season.
For a more
personal approach and hands on help and support, I'd be delighted to visit
your home and really help you blitz your clutter effectively. I charge
£150 for a 3 hour session including a free copy of one of my books
more Clutter or Hoarder
to Order. I work throughout London and will also travel within the
southeast to places that are accessible from London mainline stations.
I'm always happy to have an informal chat with you about what a session
involves so do get in touch
no more clutter
14A New Quebec St.
London, W1H 7RS,
Have a great
sort out this spring!