Every once in a while I come home and feel, I can’t breathe anymore, I feel tired and overwhelmed by the things around me. Unfortunately my creative nature and my interest in many different things, a soccer mad husband an old lazy cat and an eleven year old son, who collects everything he finds, don’t allow for a Minimalistic Style in my home. But when the clutter starts to suppress my energy, I know it is time to spring-clean and reorganise my house. In Feng Shui it is believed, that blocked energy vibrations of the home have a negative effect on its residents’ well-being. That’s exactly what I feel! Energy should move freely from the entrance into the home and from one room to the next.
Changing your home from cluttered to clean does require some effort and time. Luckily, the payoff is worth it – a neat, orderly house that makes coming home the best part of the day. A new sense of peace and harmony can be found, stress diminishes and one finds a feeling of relief at being ‘back in control’.
It’s time to de-clutter your home!
De-cluttering your home is not about taking everything that has been hoarded for years and relegating it to the tip. It is more of a reorganising and decision making process. It can even be a joyous and fun activity and sometimes memories and forgotten items come to hand.
Personally, I start with writing a to-do list with all the tasks needed and then I work on it room by room or cupboard by cupboard. And then there is the wardrobe… (I will give you some tips on that in a separate post!)
How to do it in 14 easy steps:
1. Kitchen Cupboards – Go through all you kitchen cupboards, one at a time and you will be amazed at what you find that can be thrown out, because you never use it. Check all food packages, liquids, supplements and spices for their expiration dates.
2. Wardrobe – I am always surprised about the amount of clothes I get rid of (and how many I still have) when I clean out my closets! (Find details in an up-coming separate post!)
3. Bookcases – I really love books, but when they don’t fit in my bookshelf anymore, it is time to sort them out. I sell or donate the ones that I don’t want or need anymore. I also go through papers, magazines, or anything else filling up those bookcases. I like to organize my books by colours as this is the first thing I remember, when I look for a certain book. I cut out interesting articles or recipes from magazines and papers, and the rest goes in the paper bin. I like to keep glossy magazines for Kids Art classes, Craft workshops, Goal setting posters, card making or Collage art.
4. Kids Room – This is something that needs to be done more than once a year in my house. My son has to go through his clothes, toys, books, etc and out goes anything he is no longer interested in or what doesn’t fit anymore. Sometimes he tops-up his pocket money by selling his stuff in a Garage Sale or on Trade Me (similar to E-bay) or we just donate it for a good cause.
5. Bathroom – We know how cluttered and overflowing those vanities and medicine chests can get. Go through all those goodies, check their expiration dates and get rid of what’s too old, hardened, softened or changed colour. Make a shopping list to replace important medicines or items.
6. Linen Closet – Towels, sheets, curtains, etc are also things that need to be sorted out from time to time. We use matching towel sets in a different colour for each family member. So, we always know which towel to use and I know straight away, who left his towel on the floor! I like to cut-up and re-use old towels, bed linen, sheets and t-shirts in my art studio and I keep a big box of them in the laundry for all sorts of cleaning projects (soccer shoes, bicycles, skateboards…)
7. Under your bed – Personally I don’t like to store anything under beds or behind doors. According to Feng Shui principles, that’s were negative energy gets stuck.
8. Organise – There are so many great storage products out there. Or get some inexpensive plastic boxes with lid and neatly store all your items that are not in display or used daily, old photos and letters, toys that you want to keep but don’t get used that often or even your summer or winter clothes. You can get small boxes in the Dollar Stores to organize CDs, use them in your pantry or cupboards to store small bits and bobs. If you are not a fan of plastic, you can recycle old shoe boxes (paint or cover them with beautiful gift wrap or wallpaper), use glass jars, packaging, bags etc to store things or get creative and make your own storage organizers!
9. Throw out the old – Do not just take everything out and rearrange. That is a temporary solution and is not sufficient. Instead throw away, recycle, sell or donate the things, you can live without.
10. Papers and Documents – Never touch a piece of paper more than once. This sounds extreme, but it works. File items immediately or throw in the paper bin before they pile up. I love beautiful, well organized files and folders in different colours, practical divider systems and proper labeling (easy to do on the computer with Word or Graphic software). That saves a lot of time searching for documents.
11. Display items – Deal with display items. If your collections, craft fair buys or family heirlooms are turning into a nightmare, do a major purge. First, remove all non-functional items from every surface of your house. Next, lay everything out where you can really see it. Get rid of anything redundant and just display the most important and beautiful things. The rest can go in a storage box for a while!
12. Have a keepsake drawer or basket – When those special drawings come home from school, certificates, photos, invitations, vouchers…put it right into the basket. Periodically, make a fun family event out of unloading the box and let everybody decides what to keep.
13. Everything in its Place – Once you have everything de-cluttered and organised, get everyone to keep everything in its place and your home will remain beautiful forever! Yeah, right – nice dream!
14. De-clutter on a regular base – I do it minimum once a year and I have to admit, I enjoy it. . Choose a time, when you are not stressed out or your life is a bit more relaxed, like in the holidays. I love to do these tasks in spring, when I can open all windows and doors and the first warmth of the sun enters my rooms.
If you wish to read more about Feng Shui, De-cluttering and reorganizing your space, these are some interesting books:
- 168 Feng Shui ways to Declutter your Home by Lillian Too
- The Western Guide to Feng Shui – Creating Balance, Harmony and Prosperity in your Environment by Terah Kathryn Collins
- Storage – Stylish solutions for every room in your home by Joanna Copestick & Meryl Lloyd
- Complete Home Storage – Getting organized by Barbara J. Braasch & Lisa Stockwell Kessler
Personal Note: “I hope you enjoy my Blog with a variety of topics close to my heart. I added some NEW LINKS to other interesting websites.
In my up-coming posts I will talk about de-cluttering and reorganizing your wardrobe and some related, easy to follow craft projects. So, stay tuned and have a happy and wonderful day!” Beate