no more clutter logo no more clutter newsletter for October 2005

Autumn Challenges

Your Wardrobe

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?

Unless it gets five yeses why are you keeping it?

Your photos

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 them smile.
  • Inherited 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

Stage 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 straightaway.
  • 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!

And 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 more clutter"

no more clutter - the book

Great Site

Thanks to everyone who sent me details of 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 clutter!

October's Clutter Clinic

Jo asks

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.

Sue replies

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!

Or try

October Tip

Let the dice decide!

Wishing you a relaxing and clutter-free autumn,


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


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