Today is apparently ‘Blue Monday’ – the day in January when our resolutions have gone awry, we have failed at Dry January and realised that we spent far too much on Christmas with payday still some way away.
Today is also the day (if you are me) that the detritus of the house begins to get too much. The still to be put away presents from Christmas. The unwanted presents from far away cousins and aunties. The bottom of the fridge with the ‘I’m sure that half a packet of chestnuts will come in handy’ and bits of unidentifiable meals in old takeaway boxes that no one will ever eat. In several million years. There are the overflowing drawers, the unread magazines, the Sunday supplements from three weeks ago and the shelves groaning under the weight of bits and bobs, never to be reread books and dusty knick knacks.
There is something very cathartic about a good clear out but for many, just the thought of it sends them into a spin. For others it’s the parting with sentiment that makes them unable to get rid of things and for others still it’s the comfort of possessions. So, what to do? Easy. Buy Debora Robertson’s book DeClutter: The Get-Real Guide to Creating Calm from Chaos. Far from being a preachy pointy fingered book to make you feel bad about your cluttered chaos, it’s a proper practical book that takes you in easy steps towards a less chaotic home. “Clutter drains you of energy, steals your time, robs you of storage space and fills up your weekends with things that need cleaning, mending or putting away,” Debora says and goes on to explain how to solve what sometimes seems unsolvable.
From the fifteen fling (take a bag and set your kitchen timer for 10 minutes. Fill it with 15 things you don’t love or don’t need) to reorganising your bedroom to be a restful space Debora’s book is an invaluable source of information and advice. Do you know what ‘skinny fat is’? Think friends coming round and cupboards and drawers stuffed with all of the stuff you don’t want them to see – so a house which seems tidy, but is really filled with cupboards stuffed with stuff! Or do the 30 – day challenge and get rid of one thing on day one, two on day two etc etc until you have rid your home of over 400 items in the 30 days. You can donate things that you no longer want or need to charity, friends (I gave a whole bag of toys to a speech therapist friend for her work), or simply bin or recycle what is not longer useful or fit for purpose (think of all those useless biros around the house).
Whatever and however you do your decluttering it needn’t be traumatic or a massive drain on your time and energy. Do it one drawer at a time, one shelf at a time and get what you don’t want or need out of the house pronto so you aren’t tempted to get things back out of the bag… What you’ll find is that because your house is calmer, you are calmer too and on this blue Monday that’s really all we can hope for.
**I should add that we have a kitchen windowsill that is full of husband’s crap from screwdrivers to golf gloves. I read him an extract from the book in the spirit of him perhaps clearing said windowsill and returning things from whence they came. He stropped off to the spare room for the night. This had the dual result of huffy clearing the next day and a decent night’s sleep sans snoring for me…
You can buy Debora’s book HERE
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Words: Amber Beard