DILLY’S TRICKS TO CALM THE CLUTTER
GETTING on top of clutter means living with less, so you only have to find places for the things you love or truly need. People often attach emotions to belongings and letting go can be especially difficult for older people struggling with the idea of leaving their home, or adult children boomeranging back home.
• START in the kitchen, where it’s easier to let go of pots and jugs than the more sentimental items in other parts of the house.
• WITH my mum, I took it slowly, starting with coffee mugs and old pans, which got her used to the idea of saying: ‘Yes, that can go.’
• INSTEAD of focusing on getting rid of stuff, first pick out a few items that truly matter. Left to her own devices, Mum would have kept everything Dad ever touched. But having sought things that made her feel an emotional connection with him, she chose only to keep the cushion he kept on his chair. It is in her annexe, and she says it is all she needs of his.
• KEEP things tidy on a daily, weekly and seasonal basis, no matter whom you share your space with.
• MAKE your bed and sort your bedside table, so you’ll return at bedtime to a calm space
• COLLECT pots from around the house and put them straight in the dishwasher.
• MAKE sure all coats and shoes are hung up or by the front door.
• GATHER up stray clothes and either put them away or in the laundry basket.
• MAKE sure your sofa or favourite armchair is clear.
• TIDY your fridge and get rid of anything out of date.
• DO A sweep of the house, clearing all window sills and returning things to their rightful rooms.
• DECLUTTER your email inbox and unsubscribe to newsletters you don’t need.
SPRING: Vacuum behind and under heavy furniture. SUMMER: Clean carpets, either by getting in a professional or hiring a machine. AUTUMN: Clear out your attic, shed or garage. WINTER: Go through crockery, cutlery and glasses because you want to prepare for the events ahead. Get rid of anything cracked or chipped so you can entertain at Christmas.