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

Living room shelf shuffle

I have a thing for asymmetry. Perfect symmetry can be good, but 9 times out of 10 I find it to be a little boring. I just like things a little off. Maybe it’s because it’s less predictable, maybe it’s because it makes you take a second look, but I just prefer asymmetry. Case in point – have you seen my fringe? 

To give you a rough idea, here’s what the ‘burgundy end’ of our living room looked like before … 

… this picture was taken a couple of months ago before I updated our shelves to look a bit schnazzier. You may ask yourself why the shelves are placed here? And that far apart? Because a long time ago, there used to be another set of shelves in the middle [as seen here]. And the reason they stayed there is because, well, our landlord put them there. Classic amateur renter move. 

This weekend the weather was horrific and we were stuck indoors, so I decided to mix things up a bit. I took everything off the shelves [they hella heavy otherwise] and scooched the left shelf closer to the right. I didn’t place them right next to each other. That looked a little too obvious that they weren’t all one unit, so I left some sought after thigh gap between the two shelves …

It’s a small change when I look at it here on my screen, but the feel of the room is definitely one of slightly more sophistication. I’ve paired things down a bit and gotten rid of some of the extra clutter too. 

I’ve found that making little changes like this are immensely helpful, especially as a renter. We’re very limited with what we can do to our apartment, but changing things up like this has made me less stir crazy about having a rental. These are simple things that can be undone over the course of an afternoon for when we eventually move out.

I think it’s an Irish thing though – not disturbing things for fear of causing a fuss. Well, fuss that. I’ma do what I want [she says, after not doing anything the past 6 years she’s been living here]. xx

p.s. That lovely ‘scalloped’ finish along the skirting board is not down to shoddy painting skills on my behalf. That is thanks to a double wire lead from the storage heater to its socket located in the middle of the next wall. It would make too much sense to have it, you know, right next to the heater. I’d love to know what that builder was thinking. 

The Happiness Planner

I first spied the Happiness Planner on Holly‘s blog a couple of weeks ago. It popped up in my blog feed at just the right time. Within 20 minutes I ordered myself a pretty pink copy and patiently waited. 

The Happiness Planner is a personal book that is filled out daily for 100 days. You start by listing details about yourself, both positive and negative, personal goals and a few exercises to list out your qualities and achievements. You then start your hundred days by setting yourself little goals or personal daily achievements, just for you. 

… I want to help people who are struggling to learn to be positive and happy. I want to help people move on from the past and live in the present. I want to help people shift their focus and mindset from the negative side of things to the positive side. I want to help people stop searching for validation from outside and start looking from within …

It’s something I am forever debating whether or not to write about here on The Interior DIYer; mental health and depression. I’ve battled with / against depression for a long time. The truth is I don’t like writing about it because I feel people don’t believe me*. I think it’s because I’ve become very good at distracting people from what’s really wrong with jokes, four letter words, excessive eye liner, big hair and even bigger hand gestures. It’s my Chandler coping mechanism
I’m getting a bit older and I’m realising that you have to be your own best friend. Slowly I’m hoping to get into a healthy and daily routine of positive thinking and setting goals for the future. Not only will the Happiness Planner be perfect for this, but it also appeals to my animalistic urge to collect ALL OF THE CUTE STATIONERY.

This week I’m feeling like me for the first time in a long time, and with the most epic of timing, my Happiness Planner arrived yesterday morning. And it’s SO PRETTEH. Pink and gold and a solid piece of stationery. But as with most things, I can’t help but mess with it a little. I removed the neon orange bookmark that came in the Happiness Planner [sorry, Mo] and replaced it with a dark red velvet ribbon. Yum, yum. 

As someone with a black belt in Self Depreciation, I’m hoping my next 100 days will be a little kinder, more mindful and goal oriented. At the very least, updating my Planner daily will hopefully help me spot my problems and acknowledge patterns, keep me on track of reaching goals, and find that silver [or gold foil] lining. 

*I also don’t like writing about it because I have this ever niggling paranoia that if I do write about it, someone / a company won’t think me capable enough to work with. It’s something I worry about a tremendous amount. I am at my best when I’m busy working and haven’t enough time to think about myself, so rest assured that it never effects my work. Or is it ‘affect’? I never bloody know.