Cleaning

A giggle by halving everything that we own and 20 things you can bin today

When we moved into our new home, we realised space would be tight. We were no longer going to have access to a huge loft and we had no garage. We were going to have to sort out our belongings ruthlessly and decide what was really worth keeping.

We have been in our house a year now, and while we may have sent around 8 or 9 huge bags of stuff to charity shops and our local children’s groups, we still own what I would consider unnecessary items. Some of you may wonder why we would suddenly decide to get rid of so much stuff, when to start with we did not really have that much at all. I’ve always moaned that I don’t own anything decent or new, so maybe it’s time to ditch the crap and working out if I really needed it in the first place.

hoarding and clearing

Maybe you think your house is starting to look more like one of those home off of Hoarders and would also like to shift a few extra items and maybe even make a few quid along the way. With less items cluttering your home, you will start to live a much simpler life. You will have mess to clutter your mind, you wont trip over or swear under your breath when you tread on that m*********ing t******g c**t of a b****** plug, and you will easily find the things you are looking for rather than wading through mountains of ‘stuff’ just to discover that one little item. Houses gather dust which irritate asthma and skin conditions and if you have a family member that suffers from depression or other mental health issues, living around a mess (be it clean mess or dirty) their mind will start to become irritated from their surroundings. Not a nice place for anyone to be.

Holding onto memories means so much to people,  myself included. After my nan and granddad died, who I lived with, I had a matter of hours to gather what I could from our home before it was to be gone forever. I’ve my granddads penknife, my nans false teeth (yup!) and a couple of ornaments. The knife I have since passed onto my sister, but the teeth and ornaments can still be found in my home. And they will never go. That’s fine, they are quite funny topical items. But keeping gig tickets and set lists, the bra I gave birth in… twice, and my first ever pair of Converse (which were more holes than actual shoe) just keep daft and space intoxicating.

Our biggest problem is toys and arts and craft supplies. My daughter’s really do not need 3 different boxes full of mini-toys (think Maccy D’s giveaways or Kinder Surprise gifts) nor do they need 200 DVD’s most of which they have never watched. They like imaginative play and as I am sat writing this they are playing with a basic set of little boxes and my handbag playing shopping. The talking and walking Bing bunny forgotten.

I have too many clothes, yet I always tend to just wear the same clothes every day, minus a few fancy frocks for special nights out. I am a typical girl and have too many shoes. Not high heels, but boots and Converse. My husband has computer wires breeding in boxes under the bed, on the windowsills and even in the utilities room. I never knew Scart leads went into heat and produced multiple litters several times a year.

After our Christmas decorations came down, we started to hit the house hard with our task. And even if you just spend 10 minutes a week sorting through a pile of papers or box of odds-n-ends you will soon notice a huge difference in your life. If you are the sort of person that keeps every single margarine tub, just in case you may need to put some more food into it at a later date, rethink how many that you realistically need. 10 tubs should do it, at a very push. When will you seriously use every single tub, and would they actually all fit into your fridge at the same time? Chances are the answer is probably ‘No’.

You know, we even got rid of our microwave. We never used it, it took up precious baking space and it was a magnet for storing odds-and-sods ontop of it. Buh Bye!

Books are also a big issue for us. I like to read a book then keep it as some-sort of memento/trophy. OMG, I am a cereal-trophy-reader. I’ve decided to keep the books that I want too read again, or will reference from but that Hot Sex book that I no longer need (because after producing 3 kids I kind of know what I’m doing now in that department) can go and make someone else blush on the charity shop floor.

Review your medicine cabinet. If its out of date- sling it. Chances are the ointment or pill will be ineffective or cause more harm than good. A word of advice; if you still have Sudocrem from 1978 its probably not going to solve nappy rash and if you still possess Germolene that is bright pink, that shit hasn’t been that neon colour for around 110 years now. And condoms go like a brittle elastic band when they are 30 years out of date.

Even if you don’t want to become a crazy minimalist, and believe me we are not, we would all benefit from having a little de-clutter. Less dusting, less stubbed toes, and possibly even less bad-days battling a powerful over-thinking mind.

Also, remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so keep as much out of landfill as possible. Donate your items to charity shops, play groups or even refuges.

Only keep what you need
Only keep what you need

Oh-Chuck-It List

  1. Old plastic tubs and bottles
  2. Out of date maps- Sat navs take up less space, despite how much I hate technology
  3. Old tatty magazines, catalogues, and leaflets
  4. Pillow cases and duvet covers (keep 2 sets per bed, max)
  5. That really ‘nice’ drawing your 2 year old did. Trust me, more will follow.
  6. Pointless kitchen utensils. Nobody has used a flour scoop since the 18th Century.
  7. Mugs. One for each member of the household and a couple spare (if you have any friends that is)
  8. Teddy bears. The ‘I Love You’ bear your ex won at the fair for you… burn it.
  9. Old knickers and pants. Sagging and grey? Hmmmm, sexy.
  10. Tablecloths. Keep 2.
  11. Candles. Burn ’em or chuck ’em. Except for a few tea-lights for when SHTF.
  12. Pens. Only keep the working ones, obvs.
  13. Batteries, that you don’t know if they are D.O.A
  14. Art supplies, if after 6 months you haven’t completed that art project, you never will. sorry.
  15. Paper work and pay slips over 7 years old, conference lanyards and meeting hand-outs
  16. Nail varnishes that are all dried up
  17. Make-up that hasn’t been worn in 6 months,
  18. Holey socks and odd socks- just no
  19. Clothes that havn’t been worn in 6 months (excluding seasonal stuff). I know the 90’s is reviving but Just Stop Right There. Geddit?
  20. Your partner. If he/she hoards shit, get rid of him. He could be the issue in your life. Especially is he wears holey, odd socks that are grey and sagging.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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