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When having less means gaining more


Is anyone else baffled by the term, ‘spring clean’? When the nicer weather finally makes an appearance, I’m sure I speak for many in saying that the last thing I want to do is stay indoors and tackle the chores.

With January’s cold, harsh climate forcing us to stay inside, I tend to bring my spring clean forward a season. Doing it after Christmas makes sense to me – clutter seems to have a habit of accumulating over the festive season, and come the new year I’m desperate to make space, re-organise and start the year in a serene space.

For some, de-cluttering comes naturally, but for others, a little help is needed. I was always pretty good at keeping things tidy and not having too much ‘stuff’, but I wasn’t immune to it. Then one book changed my approach to everything – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. Her ethos around keeping things that give you joy is revolutionary and certainly helped me to assess my belongings and gave me a framework for deciding when it was a good idea to purchase something and when not.

Making space

For me, de-cluttering means getting rid of; making space. If you’re the sort of person that can’t bear to part with their belongings, there are other solutions that are less permanent. Storage is a wonderful thing for keeping your items in order, while minimising the clutter.

Personally, I think Ikea has got that corner of the market nailed. From kitchen drawer solutions to stylish storage boxes, it’s worth spending some time on their website to see what can be achieved with just a little bit of creative thought.

I talk about Pinterest a lot in my posts, and that’s because it’s an endless source of inspiration. Searches for decluttering on their website results in many a storage hack or ingenious solution that you probably haven’t thought of. It’s a great place to start on the road to de-cluttering.

Alternative resources

Another resource I have found helpful is podcasts. Bear with me, I haven’t gone off topic, but The Minimalists Podcast is highly inspiring. Unsurprisingly, their ethos is all about living with less, and the first podcast in their series was on de-cluttering.

Their views on how their lives have changed for the better is a positive message for the consumerist generation, and certainly one that resonated with me. And, the great thing about podcasts is you can listen to them on the go, whether it be commuting to work or while you’re working out.

Multiple benefits

I have found the benefits of living clutter free to be manifold. Not only does it have an impact on your house and the way it looks, but there are undoubtedly gains to be had from a mental perspective. Having less stuff makes me feel calmer. It makes me more relaxed to come home to somewhere tidy where everything has a place. And it has forced me to revamp my spending habits – if it’s not absolutely necessary, I won’t be buying it.

All of the resources above played a part in helping me to change my mind set and attitude. As soon as I had formed the habit of living this way, it proved impossible to break. I hope these pointers help you to declutter for 2017 and beyond.

Chiara is an editor who likes the simple things in life; a cup of tea by the fire, travel, and spending time with friends and family. She also can’t resist the lure of Scandinavian decor and has a penchant for anything warm and cosy. You can find out more about Chiara and follow her adventures on her blog, Wine and Olives.


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