Be mean and keep it clean
LET’S talk clutter. Yes, that word that fills many of us with dread. Surely we couldn’t possible have any of “that” in our homes?
Aunty Deidre’s place is full of it and Grandpa’s shed seems to manufacture its own on a constant basis.
There are many — I know I’ve been in their homes — that manage to live literally clutter free, with minimal excess, little sentimentality and actually have cupboards and drawers so beautifully sorted with contents all known and regularly used.
These people know where everything is and don’t seem to have homes overflowing with contents that the rest of us either can’t dispose of or believe have an eternal purpose and must be retained.
I like to believe I’m one of those perfectly presented, organised, clutter-free individuals. Alas, this is not the case.
The extreme cases of clutter collectors are classified as hoarders (that’s another topic all together) but for many there can be a tiny hoarding tendency that we just manage to control.
I’m no expert in this field but over the years after visiting so many houses I’ve seen plenty of examples of the less-thanperfect home, even cluttered hell in a hoarding hovel, but at what point does a little mess evolve in to hoarding?
Living in our family of four females, plus me and two dogs, while for much of the time the home appears to impeccable, just open cupboards, look into drawers, maybe a sneak peak under the bed or catch us at the end of a hectic week and utopia looks more like household hell.
But how much of this excess really needs to be retained, let alone be stored as opposed to being removed?
Noting that keeping this clutter under control when sale time comes around, you will be ready to go.
So here are my few tips for keeping those possessions in balance.
• If you have items that have not seen the light of day for the past year and have no day-today purpose anymore, it’s time to let go.
• Retaining redundant appliances, ancient computers, and televisions the size of a studio apartment are signs your clutter passion maybe heading towards hoarding.
• Blitz your belongings, create the retain pile, sort the real rubbish and dispose, then a charity/donate pile. • Be strong and focused. The kids’ art, presents you dislike but came from someone special, the items you used to adore but are now superseded or just out of fashion, yes you can get rid of them, but maybe take a picture first to help you let go.
• Never double up — often in our homes of excess we have a second or spare of something, so sell them or give them away
• Don’t forget some items can be recycled, charities are not so fussy on the taste and style of items but are not going to be able to use the broken/damaged/dangerous or filthy dirty.
• Numerous websites allow you to sell any of the possessions you believe have some value. Be realistic with your value expectations and remember if you have large items and you sell them, buyers will collect and you don’t have to worry about transport.
Do I practise what I preach?
As our family has always been serial house movers, clutter never has had a chance to build up. However, we have been living in our present home for a Winter family record of five years and yes clutter is beginning to creep up on us.