Autumn Decluttering is the new Spring Cleaning

Over the past few weeks I’ve been on what may be my final mission to declutter our apartment. I’m proud to say that this round has been the most beneficial yet as we’re down to a Goldie Locks level of stuff – not too little, not too much. Our cupboards are just right

I wrote some of my top decluttering tips a couple of springs ago [which I still live and purge by], and this time round I made note of some new tips and tricks during my latest and most ruthless purge. In case you’re also a bit hesitant to start, here are my second round of tips …

1. Make note of what needs to be done and keep it somewhere visible. For myself, I find the best way is to make a list of each room and the problem area in that room [usually a storage area] to either tackle, purge, organise or tidy. I tackle one item on the list at a time. Don’t overdo it, or you’ll burn out. If I’m feeling particularly energetic after work or if it’s a rainy Saturday morning, I’ll tackle one area on the list.

2. Let the amount of space you have dictate how much you should have. Meaning, if you only have room for [example] 12 mugs in your kitchen cupboard, only keep 12 mugs in your kitchen cupboard. It’s simple. There’s no point in trying to precariously balance 22 mugs in a space suited for 12. If it’s a case that some items are seasonal [ie – Christmas themed mugs], consider packing them away with the rest of your decorations and only bring them out when appropriate.

3. The less you have, the less you need to clean. Continuing from my last point and using the mug example again; the less mugs you have, the less mugs you need to clean. If you have 22 mugs, get really lazy and don’t wash any of them one week, you’re then inundated with mugs to clean. But if you have less, you not only have less but have less of an excuse to go so long between washing them.

4. Put everything you want to donate / recycle / relocate in one place, then tackle that at the end. I used our spare bedroom as a dumping ground while I was purging because I could simply close the door and forget about the chaos. Now that I’m finished, I can barely open the door so it’s high time I sort the contents of our spare room. Mini welp, but it’ll be relatively easy as I can sort through it 20 minutes at a time and close the door on it whenever I get sick of it. 

Yes, that’s a microwave on the bed. It, like many things in here are just waiting to be reorganised. 
Not everything is going. #KeepingItReal

5. Don’t expect your home to be purged in a week. That’s straight up not going to happen. If you live in a small apartment like us, give yourself 1 or 2 months, or longer if needs be. Slow and steady wins the race. 
For me, this weekend I’ll be tackling our spare bedroom and organizing what should be donated, rehomed, recycled or relocated. Exciting stuff I know, but I’m a firm believer in the old saying of …
“Tidy desk, tidy mind.”
And that goes for the rest of our home too. I don’t know if any of the above was of help to anyone, but for me I find these along with my original decluttering tips have helped me stay on track and downsize what we have. ‘Cause let’s face it, we all got way too much shit. xx

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  1. October 14, 2015 / 12:39

    I usually have to play a similar level of mind games with myself to do this kind of thing as I would trying to get my ass out for a run… "Just try it for ten minutes and then you can stop any time" … "imagine how smug you'll feel when you've done it" … or maybe not related to running: "you may need to visit ikea to puchase storage solutions" OH OK THEN

    • October 14, 2015 / 19:02

      HAHAHA yes. I've already made (an albeit small) list for our next impending trip to IKEA to get all sorts of "pretteh storage stuff! And some cheap food! And unlimited beverage refills!"

      We need to get out more. Speaking of, I like your physical activity mental trickery. I must try that.

  2. October 14, 2015 / 16:58

    I need to do this. On a mass scale. Yesterday.

  3. October 14, 2015 / 16:58

    I need to do this. On a mass scale. Yesterday.

  4. October 16, 2015 / 15:42

    I too, have too much shit. I purged when we packed to move here last year, again when we unpacked after moving in, and I'm in the process of doing it again now. I fear I may have become addicted to the feeling of dumping bags of stuff at the charity shop, but I have a tendency to hoard "just in case" so this new found ruthlessness can only be a good thing! Awesome tips, I'm off to read your older ones now 😉

    • October 17, 2015 / 04:30

      Me too! On all accounts! The feeling of getting rid of stuff is now, I find, a bit therapeutic. When we first moved into our apartment 6 years ago, we had so much stuff that we couldn't open a cupboard out of fear of being crushed by its contents. I can't believe we lived for so long like that. This round of decluttering though I too find I'm getting rid of the just in case stuff. Although, I have kept a small stash of empty boxes. You just never know! 😛

  5. October 17, 2015 / 10:39

    I love your decluttering posts – they get me all inspired! And anything which involves a list is good in my book! I agree with what you and 'make do and diy' are saying above about that great feeling of getting rid of stuff – it feels so good to get rid of another bag of junk! Oooh, I feel some purging coming on! xx

    • October 19, 2015 / 14:32

      Oh it was amazing Maria. I stayed true to my rambling and brought a small ton of things to the charity shop on Saturday! Robert was not impressed. We had somewhere to be at 13:00 and I decided to load up the car at 12:30 hahahah. We got there on time and managed to drop everything off on our way so all is well.

      Decluttering FTW!!!

  6. October 24, 2015 / 16:54

    Oh you are making me want to tackle the piles of STUFF we have! Ugh. I know I just commented about having too much stuff and that's part of the issue. I have no room for new pretties and that's just not good. I've recently rid myself of a KING SIZE MATTRESS on Freecycle and oh man it just felt so good – I need to freecycle more stuff. I'm pretty good with clothing, however and stuff gets donated on a pretty regular basis but with house-y stuff I'm awful. I admit, the worst thing is our loft. I don't even go in there but I reckon I could furnish an entire 2 bed flat with accessories and everything with the shit I have. It needs to go. I am inspired to be ruthless. xxx

    • October 28, 2015 / 05:00

      Doesn't it feel great getting rid of unnecessary stuff?! I honestly think it's some sort of form of therapy. There's probably something sciency behind the process of going through your stuff, deciding what stays and getting rid of the crap you no longer need. It's science.

      It's a bit of a contradiction to this post, but I think places like lofts are exempt from having to declutter! Obviously, within reason. Like, if your ceiling is collapsing. But other than that, it's somewhere out of sight where things don't have to look perfect. It's controlled chaos. I think everyone needs a place like that in their home.