Advice on decluttering and creating a space you love

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

There have been 101 posts on decluttering in the blogosphere recently, but I thought I'd make a post about it anyway because it's something I really enjoy doing and I feel like most blog posts I've read regarding decluttering are pretty vague. I'd like to go into a bit more depth, and I'd also like to give a bit of reassurance to those who struggle with it because decluttering isn't always easy and minimalism isn't always easy to maintain. For me, creating a home or a space you love is more important.

1. Let's begin with Marie Kondo. 👩🏻
Her book is wonderful and insanely helpful, but it isn't a strict set of rules, let me just get that out there. One of her pieces of advice is "if it doesn't spark joy, get rid of it" which can seem a bit brutal right off the bat. I read it and thought "yeah, I can do that!" but it turns out it's harder than it sounds. There'll be a vase you love so much you can't get rid of even though you don't have a space for it, or a souvenir that you bought somewhere really special that you can't bring yourself to donate even though it's collecting dust, etc. etc. I think that's OK, there will always be some things you own that have no purpose whatsoever but mean a lot to you anyway.

I would suggest reading Marie Kondo's book, it is motivating as hell but I would bear in mind that some of her advice is quite harsh (I think that's the point, though) and you don't have to do everything she suggests if you don't think it will work for you or your space. If you find stuff around your home you feel you can get rid of, replace that item with an item you do want. You'll feel happier in a space where you're surrounded by things you like to look at, even if your room is still "cluttered", it's cluttered with things you love and that's the main thing.

2. Try reinventing some of your old things. 🖌
Some stuff you'll own will be tired, dusty, worn out etc., but most of the time if you give it a little TLC, it'll come back to life. Little jugs, mugs, plant pots and empty candle jars can make for nice trinket boxes, pen pots, and vases. They might need a good clean or a lick of paint but they can be repurposed into other things. If it's something you've grown out of or simply don't like anymore, feel free to donate it or give it to someone who'll appreciate it. If I have something in my room I don't need or want anymore, my mum will most likely always find a use for it, but sometimes you'll find there are things that just need to go.

3. Storage is a godsend. 🗃
Letting go of your things isn't always easy, so if there's any way you can simply put your things in boxes, baskets, crates, on shelves, under your bed, or in cupboards to minimise clutter, you might not have to get rid of so much. Sometimes homes can look cluttered because everything's on show, and that can make a space look fuller than it actually is. If you struggle to find space for storage, try reorganising the room. Even in the smallest of homes, there'll be some space for a box or two, or a little bookshelf. Your books will look a lot neater on a shelf than piled up on the floor and your toiletries will look more organised in pretty baskets than overflowing in your bathroom window.

4. Check Pinterest often. 📌
Pinterest is one of my favourite websites for inspiration around the home. It's genius for decluttering tips, diagrams, and challenges (if you want to make decluttering that little more fun). You'll also find pictures of creative storage ideas, some of them so outside the box you'll wonder why you never thought of it before. If you want to be more ruthless when decluttering, you'll find plenty of 'golden rules' and checklists to have by your side so you stay on track when tackling your space. You can also find inspiration on there - something that keeps me motivated is my My dream home board where I pin pictures of gorgeous home interiors, which are usually very tidy, put together, and clean. If I'm ever in a decluttering or tidying rut, I check Pinterest and look for some ideas on how I can inject a bit more pizazz into my room.

5. If all else fails, just own it. ✊
Decluttering won't work for everyone. Some people are more attached to things than others and may not like the idea of chucking so much away, especially if you're sentimental, so just work with it. Organised clutter is a thing now, so if you find that no matter what you do you still have a lot of belongings, make it work - like I said in my third point, storage is your best friend, and a decent sized bookshelf can house pretty much anything, whether it's books, trophies, vases, DVDs, candles, framed pictures, toys, artwork... the list goes on. Try making your clutter look nice if that makes you feel better in your space. I've heard many people say minimalism makes their home feel empty and cold, so everyone is different. I like minimalism but I always find myself wondering where people actually store their things. I love to declutter don't get me wrong, but I still have a lot of stuff. I've been on earth for 22 years, I've accumulated a lot in life already.

People will always say "be ruthless" when it comes to clearing out your home but I know that doesn't work for everyone. So long as you have motivation to actually start decluttering your home and you keep it up regularly, you'll be fine. If one day you only manage to do one room, that's fine. If you only manage to find five or six items to donate in your house, that's fine too. Decluttering isn't life or death, it's simply there to help you create a freer, lighter space if that's something you want to achieve.

Good luck!

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