Good Bye Baggage

In the past I have written about how I wanted to reduced the amount we owned by half, then I discussed my minimalist wardrobe. A year on, I feel like there is so much more stuff I could throw away, pass on or donate to charity. I recently read that the average home has 300,000 items. 300,000 WHAT?! But, it’s not that hard to believe as I sit here looking around myself. I see shelves of books and board games, and I know that inside that draw is a huge pile of clutter that desperately needs sorting through. Go to the bottom of this post for my link to 20 things you can bin TODAY!

If it doesn’t give me joy or if I no longer use it, it can go.

We did so well at decluttering our home before we moved. But, as a busy family of 5 (with another baby on the way) it’s easy for the clutter, toys, clothes and just general ‘stuff’ to start creeping back up and into our home. Last week I decided to kick my own butt back into action and start to declutter again. I had a deadline. Friday.

Last Friday we had new carpets fitted in our lounge and bedroom. I knew that these rooms had to be emptied for the carpet fitter to come in and do his job. This was the perfect excuse to declutter these 2 rooms.

Our bedroom was home to a lot of out-of-date and unorganised paperwork. I managed to reduce the paper piles and store in a much more organised manner (it’s now down to just one tote bag). I charity bagged some shoes, clothes and jewellery and my husband organised his bits and bobs (WTF do men actually keep? So many small trinkets. I swear he is worse than I am). We popped to Argos and purchased some bedside tables. I decided this would be a good place to start, by hiding our crap rather than just having it piled up on the bedroom floor.

Make memories, not clutter.

I’m a sucker for scatter cushions on the bed. I genuinely have no idea why though. They’re just a pain in the arse to move every night and put back every morning. So, I decided to keep just one and the rest were for the donation bag. This pretty much just left our bed, bedside tables, a lamp, wardrobe and draws. Clutter free bedroom.

You may have noted that I don’t mention a TV in our bedroom. This is because our room is a place to sleep, read and do adult things in (IYKWIM). If we want to watch some NETFLIX in bed my laptop will come upstairs, for a limited time only. Less stuff to dust and it leaves our minds clearer for a better night sleep. Studies have found that electronics in the bedroom can cause disturbed sleep. Stuff that.

We gave our daughters the largest bedroom, because fitting 3 kids into a bigger room with so much stuff seemed easier. My husband and I don’t own much and taking on the smaller room seemed to make much more sense.

Spend less and appreciate more.

Our living room is a tough area to declutter. It’s home to some of the girls toys, my knitting and crochet items, books and games. It’s the room that we spend the most time in. But I still needed to tackle the clutter.

The fireplace was a magnet for things without a home. I decided to do a mine sweep of this area first. Goodbye Christmas Cracker shitty-gift! Goodbye broken Kinder Surprise toy (let’s be honest, it was never going to get fixed, was it?) and Goodbye small unidentifiable piece of plastic that probably came from something important, that I have now forgotten exactly what it is.

The new carpets were fitted and our rooms now look much better or should I say, homely. The bedroom still needs a new wardrobe and our lounge chimney-breast needs painting, and coving fitted to the ceiling. But, all in all, we are getting there.

I’ve found that the more I declutter, the less house work I have to do. It’s bizarre. I’m picking less stuff up, dusting less, and even hovering less. I have no idea why… but I just am. My eyes are less tired at the end of the day from looking at piles of crap.

All You Need Is Less

WHO NEEDS 50 TAKEAWAY TUBS? When are you ever going to prepare and store that much food? We live a frugal lifestyle, but even we can’t manage 50 tubs of food. WHAT CHILD NEEDS OVER 1000 TOYS? On average, a child plays with just 12 toys. Those 12 toys will live on the top of the toy box and played with time and time again, while the rest are simply forgotten. I like to do a regular toy purge, donating most to my local nursery and children’s centre. I aim to have a huge toy purge over the summer holidays. I shall watch what my kids play with and then chuck the rest.

We have a long way to go, but things are looking clearer. And it’s a lot of fun! Feeling inspired? Take a look at my (funny AF) list for 20+ items that you can bin today (including the ‘I Love You’ bear from your ex).


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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