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Busy brain needs a declutter

I wonder if I’ll ever learn to manage my diary better. You'd think I would have learned by now that having plans every night for a week leads to all of the things that generally make me wig out – mess and clutter on every surface, lack of sleep, a growing washing and ironing pile, an overflowing e-mail inbox and a string of missed calls and texts to reply to. I think if I stayed home every night and every weekend I would just about be able to keep on top of the cleaning, household chores and general errands, but I feel at the moment like I only have to have one or two nights out of the house, or a weekend away, to get totally behind.


After a lot of thought and googling and pinning tips for better organisation, as well as some good chats with Sarah and Katy last weekend, I finally happened upon a good solution. Owning less stuff! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, I mean, it seems pretty obvious right? If you own and circulate 100 items of clothing every week or so, and can fit 20 things in the washing machine, that means you do five loads of washing, and iron 100 things, every week.  (And then have to cram 100 things in the drawers or on hangers in the wardrobe, and then have 100 things that end up in piles on the bedroom floor, or piling up in the wash basket). But if you wear 30 items a week, then that’s a lot less washing, ironing, and mess. I also recently read about Project 333, a project where you only wear 33 things (clothing, accessories and shoes), for three months. I definitely couldn’t manage that quite yet, but I’m definitely getting to a point where the thought of downsizing my wardrobe excites me rather than terrifies me.

The same goes for everything else in our house – the more ‘stuff’, the more stuff to clean, tidy away, dust, etc. I heard a podcast the other day that described a ‘vicious circle’ of stress, where you buy things because you’re stressed or depressed, to get that temporary hit of excitement and pleasure, but then the new things end up in turn contributing to your stress levels because you either couldn’t afford them and end up guiltily eying your bank balance, or because you can’t accommodate them in your house and they end up being just another thing that gets crammed into the wardrobe.  Same goes for anything, not just clothes - another DVD wedged on a shelf, book in your 'to-read pile' or pair of shoes that won’t fit in the cupboard. It’s amazing how much sense it makes that owning (and buying) less stuff, makes you feel more zen.


In a couple of weeks I’ve set a whole weekend aside for a major declutter. I really need to clear out, like, 80% of our belongings in order to regain some sanity.  At the moment I'm really struggling with my busy brain and my stress levels, so I think this is one thing that will definitely help.  My only thought now is what to do with all of the things I no longer need.  The majority will go to the charity shop but there are some things that might have to go somewhere like eBay, Depop or a site for second hand designer clothes.  I just can't bear to give away things that I bought for £100 that still have their tags on.  Once I've had a clearout, I'm also going to be much more careful about what I buy, and even things like what I accept as a blog review, or what I put on my birthday list.  The last thing I want to do is have a de-clutter and find myself buying pointless things in Primark or picking up bargains just because they're on sale, that then don't find a home and end up causing clutter again. I'm going to have to be very strict! Once I've had a 'things' declutter, I also need to declutter my diary and clear out some social activities that are not making me happy, and take a good hard look at how I spend my time generally.  I'm finding at the moment that I'm very busy, but not very productive, and I need to make time for quiet time, and to focus on the things that really matter.

Do you find a neater, clutter-free home helps you de-stress?


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