The sun’s out! Yes! It’s time to put all those thick jumpers and big coats away and give shorts, t-shirts, skirts and dresses their chance to get out into the big wide world. Here are our tips for a swift, low-hassle summer wardrobe sort-out.
A great excuse for a declutter
First step is to go through clothes, shoes and accessories for the entire household to see if there’s anything that can be given to charity, sold, swapped or recycled if it’s no good. There’s no point in packing away things that nobody’s ever going to wear again.
Clean and dry
Make sure that all your clothes are clean and completely dry before packing them away. If you pack away items with any moisture then this might turn into mildew and mould and ruin all your clothes before you get to wear them again. Don’t just clean your clothes, now is a great time to give your wardrobes and drawers a good vacuum clean too as you’ll be emptying them out anyway.
Boxes and bags
Find some boxes and bags that will keep your items clean and dust-free over the season. Plastic boxes and bags are best for clothes but try to avoid using cardboard for any long-term storage as it can let moisture in. There are a whole host of plastic boxes available that will fit at the bottom of wardrobes or underneath a bed. If you’re short on space then pick up some of those airtight bags that you put clothes in and then suck all the air out with the vacuum cleaner. For a low-budget solution use suitcases, rucksacks and supermarket ‘bags for life’.
Space to store
Decide where you’re going to store your seasonal items as this will dictate the kinds of boxes and bags you need to find. If you’re thinking of stashing your clothes in your loft then it’s probably best to opt for some of the vac-pack bags to keep any cold and moisture off. You might also want to consider how likely it is that you’ll need to get at the items again. We all know how fickle the British weather is so there might be the odd day where you need something a bit cosier.
Label, label, label
Pack away your things in an organised way and you’ll thank yourself when it comes to changing your seasonal wardrobe back. If you clearly label your boxes and bags then should you need to find something mid-season you won’t end up with clothes everywhere and having to go through the whole packing process again.
What are your tips for a quick and easy wardrobe refresh?
Now that all your Christmas celebrations are out of the way it’s time to look forward to next year. If there’s wrapping paper everywhere, empty bottles haunting your kitchen and gravy all over your best tablecloth then don’t worry, now is the perfect time to get things back on track and to go into 2017 with a clean and clutter-free home. Let’s start as we mean to go on!
Follow my advice on how to get ready for the new year with some simple steps you can take to get things around the house in order. (And don’t forget, an intense cleaning session can work wonders for burning off those Christmas-calories!)
Recycling for the win
At this time of year you’re probably left with copious amounts of wrapping paper and boxes from presents and bottles, tins and cardboard sleeves from party food and drink. A trip to the local recycling bins can be a lifesaver. Do a quick whip around the house and collect together all the recyclables – getting these out the way early will make a huge difference to your post Christmas clean up. If you have some little helpers hanging around then make it into a game and give them their own type of recycling to find.
Wash, dry & store
This can be a big one, so try and get it done as early as possible. Put a load or two of washing on to get all your table linen and teatowels clean. If you have special outfits that you wore over the Christmas period then put those on to wash. Once everything is clean and dry have a mammoth ironing and folding session in front of the TV. You’ll be thanking yourself next year when you can get everything out of storage and it’s ready to go. Make sure to label any boxes that you use for storage so that you know exactly where to look for particular items. The same goes for any special tableware, plates and cutlery that you might have used.
Take down the decorations
Now this one depends on how superstitious you are! According to tradition, taking your decorations down before or after the twelfth night (night of Jan 5th) is considered to be unlucky. But if you’re going to be hosting a New Year’s party then you might want to decorate differently, free up some space for your guests or just make sure that the antique ornament that’s been in your family for generations is safe and sound back in the loft! Remember to think ahead to next year when you’re packing your decorations away, keep them safe and organised by separating them into their own packaging and making sure that any string lights have been wrapped up so that they don’t tangle.
One in one out
If you’ve ended up with 2 or 3 of the same gift or have been given something that you already have then don’t hold onto them unnecessarily. I like to work on a one-in-one-out policy so that I can stay clutter free. Decide which you’re going to keep or whether you can replace the one you already have and donate the others to charity. This way they can bring joy to somebody else and raise some money for a good cause.
If you want to go even further with your festive declutter then you could commit to filling a box or charity bag with items that you no longer want or need. We get so many new items at Christmas that it can have a big impact on any decluttering efforts you may have made throughout the year.
Time for a change?
So you’ve cleaned and tidied everything away and hopefully done some extra de-cluttering in the process. Great! Now is the perfect time to make that change you’ve been wondering about. It could be something as small as moving a piece of furniture or hanging a picture over the fireplace or it could be redecorating a whole room (put those DIY store vouchers you got to good use!). Either way, why not try it? It could spark off the new start you need in 2017!
Here’s to a clean and clutter free new year!
For a while now I’ve been devouring every book that I can find on decluttering – your home, your workplace, your life, your mind, everything! I’ve always had a fascination with the way that someone’s surroundings can affect mood and state of mind. So when I came across Marie Kondo and one of the books on the Konmari method it really struck a chord with me. You’ve probably heard of this really popular way to declutter that has recently been adopted by masses of people all over the world.
What is Konmari?
The Konmari method of tidying, decluttering and organising comes from Marie Kondo, a Japanese woman who has brought Japanese values and spirit into the art of tidying up. Her website states that “People are drawn to the philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and optimistic. Belongings are acknowledged for their service and thanked before being discarded, if they no longer spark joy.”
Can simple decluttering really make a difference?
It might sound like a bold claim, but decluttering really does clear the mind. It can have a positive effect on somebody’s life in so many ways. Over the years I’ve worked with a few people suffering mental health disorders, helping to declutter and organise their homes. Taking positive steps at home helped them to move forward a few steps, and encouraged them to make big changes in their own lives. Many of them now have started to help others make the same changes in their homes.
Where to start
My top tip for decluttering and organising your home is to be consistent. You could try having a weekly plan of small jobs. The important thing is to stick to it, that way you’ll never let the clutter build up.
Of course, always remember Marie Kondo’s advice and really think about whether the things you’re keeping bring you joy. It can be so hard to get rid of the things that we’re attached to but the state of mind from a good declutter is worth it. Recently I had a whole wardrobe of clothes from my younger days that had been sat in the garage for a long time. As much as I loved the clothes, they weren’t bringing me joy any more, they were just sat doing nothing. In the end the joy I found in them came from seeing them sold at a car boot sale to new owners who would love them as much as I did.
I don’t strictly follow only one method for decluttering my home, more a combination of all the different things I’ve read and the habits that I’ve developed over the years. But I’m always open to adding in some new techniques when I come across a new article or book!
What methods do you use when organising and decluttering your home? Let me know in the comments or get in touch if you’d like some help or advice.