How to Declutter Your Life with a Toddler in Tow
Do you sometimes feel like you live in a TARDIS?
You buy things. They somehow disappear in the bottomless pit that is your house. Then you buy some more things. Then they reappear by falling out at the most inappropriate time, when your in-laws are visiting, for example.
If that's a short description of your life, keep on reading.
In this post, I will try to outline my simple tips and ideas on how to declutter and simplify your house while being chased continuously by a mini-me demanding attention.
Why decluttering is good for you?
Simply put - clean space, clean mind.
Not only that, but how much stuff do we use in a day? In a week? In a year? We tend to accumulate more stuff that we are going to use in a lifetime.
What things to we tend to keep?
More often than not, it's things with some sort of emotional attachment.
Do we need those things?
Can we still use/wear them?
Let's be honest with ourselves. The answer is probably a big fat 'no'.
How to decide what to ditch?
Off with an old
I don't know about you, but I am emotionally attached to almost all of my stuff. I bought them myself using my hard-earned cash. Therefore, each and every notebook, wonky mug or old T-shirt has a story. And that what made the beginning of my journey of ultimate decluttering extremely painful.
But you see, you need to be harsh with yourself in this instance. Your memories are in your heart, and not covered in dust in a wardrobe that you open only by accident.
And the good news is that there is a way to keep all of those nostalgically infused things without turning them into dust-covered clutter:
Take a picture of your something special.
Create a scrap book - physical or online.
Add notes, add comments, add memories.
Don't add dust.
Now, answer this:
Is it old and you have not worn it in years? If the answer is -yep!
Recreate Elsa's number from 'Frozen' and - let it go!
Does it compliment you?
If we are talking about clothes, even if they have some memories attached answer these question honestly:
Do they still compliment you?
Do they still fit your body shape?
Do they go with your skin tone?
Are they in line with your mood?
If not - ditch them, free up space for something new and amazing!
How to do it with a little one following you around?
Let them take part in the clear-out.
Create a pile of clothes to go through and let them go through it too.
Turn it into a game. Let them help you by asking them to try a few things on.
My little one spent quite a lot of time playing peek-a-boo with herself using all 300 hundred of my scarfs, shawls and pashminas! Yes, you heard me right: I have (still do) so many scarfs and shawls that I could make a whole new wardrobe of classy dresses if only I could use a sawing machine.
If everything else fails: put their favourite cartoons on.
Or do it while they are napping...
Do a bit at a time.
My favourite decluttering tip - do a little bit every time you open a wardrobe.
Look at your clothes every time and ask yourself:
Do they still compliment me?
Do they make me feel good about myself?
Leave to-be-thrown-away stuff for a bit.
Many decluttering sites recommend letting things that you plan on throwing away rest for a while (a month, a year in my case).
If that's you - oh, you are in for a treat! Do go through it - there is nothing better new that long-forgotten old - you might feel like you've been shopping without living the house. And spending money.
But remember to ask whether you like it if it's still in fashion and compliments you. If not - off it goes.
Final 5 thoughts to simplify your life:
Opt for white wardrobes that are not the centrepiece. Wardrobes are good for storage. They should not occupy half of the room and make the other uninhabitable.
Use storage boxes to keep out the dust.
Choose digital books over the paper where possible. Unless they are gorgeously bound, limited edition, or you simply must have it on your shelf.
Use dedicated zones for different things (e.g. toys, books, random stuff).
And breathe.... It's so much easier to breathe in a clean clutter free house, isn't it?