Top Tips: What to Throw, Keep & Tidy
I believe this mantra whole heartedly. I cannot work if my desk is cluttered and on the days I work from home, if the house is a mess, I will procrastinate by cleaning the house, which can easily spiral into a day of full cleaning.
I was looking through this article a couple of months ago and this spring cleaning mantra applies to all areas of life. If you spend a day throwing and tidying it will mean you will never have to do it again.
This list gives you an honest account of what you need to get rid of. If you are like me - this will save a world of procrastination later.
So I have come up with my list of the best things to keep, throw away and to donate to make you feel like you have both tidied for the better and are ready to stop procrastinating.
Yes, the article is right - Do throw away old towels and kitchen linens and bedsheets. You should have a decent set of matching towels and linens. You'll feel so much better after a long day of working to come home to fluffy, luxurious towels and crisp and fresh linens.
If you are like me and spend 60% of you salary on rent (I WISH that were a joke) you can't afford to have the lovely and luxurious (and matching) sets of your childhood so you have to get a luxurious alternative on a budget.
Zara Home is the perfect place to get you bathroom towel sets on a budget. Their 'basics' range start at £2.99 and top of at £12.99 so you can go wild and have everything matching and pretty without getting yourself into debt.
These towels are the perfect addition to my tiny bathroom.
Having nothing but white, grey and a bunch of apothecary type accessories, somehow makes my tiny room a little bit of a sanctuary (and makes me feel like I am the evil queen from 'Once Upon a Time'...); which all bathrooms should be.
Throw out your mismatched sets you still have from your 'first days of independence' (definitely bought by your mum when you moved into halls- let's not pretend) and get yourself a matching set.
Bonus points if you also buy a a matching bathrobe; You'll feel like you are on holiday in your own home.
Speaking of bathrooms, when was the last time you used (or even looked at) that crusty shampoo and conditioner set, the 20 bottles of moisturiser that doesn't moisturise or the twee generic Secret Santa Pamper Set? There's a reason you aren't using it and if you aren't using it, throw it away. On average, we spend around £8.9 billion on beauty products and toiletries each year; if we are spending that much wouldn't you want to free up some space for things you actually use?
Use this rule; If you haven't used it in the last six months, it's time to let go.
If it was a gift and the packaging hasn't disintegrated put it on eBay or Gumtree.
This is a quick way to not only free up some space but gives you room (and funds) to buy things you not only want but will regularly use, like the Reverence Duo, from Aesop? I'd know what I would rather have!
I try to apply the six month rule to my kitchen cupboards too. (my kitchen is small, soIf I haven't used it in a while, then it goes to the charity shop. If it is blunt, rusty or useless; it goes for recycling.
You should do the same. That draw (you know the one) will thank you.
I try to clean out my wardrobe out every couple of weeks.
(this this is the one thing I do regularly) So this shouldn't be as painful as the rest of my house.
This is the time, to take a good, hard look at your favourite items on rotation and see if they need to be thrown away or if they can survive another Spring cleaning.
If you wear your rotation pieces regularly check the seams, are they fraying? Is it stained or have they generally seen better days (one coffee spill too many)? Now is the time to replace said items and start afresh for the Summer. If you can find a replacement for your favourite shirt/trousers/dress. Get it... run and get it now!
If you can't (and are super crafty) dismantle the item and cut a pattern from it.
(just trace each dismantled piece on some pattern paper)
Then you can have as many versions of your favourite item in all of the colour combinations your heart, sewing machine (and imagination) desires.
Here, I completely disagree with the article that inspired this. In some cases, it is important to keep some memories, cards and letters in one place. Yes, not all of them. But I think it's important to archive memories that hold a special place in your heart.
This is where scrapbooking comes into its own; it does not get the praise it deserves.
Not only is this as cathartic as the colouring books everyone (including myself) is obsessed with; but it allows you to remember a certain point or time in your life. Life:Captured is a wonderful site dedicated to helping you collate your scrapbooks.
Be it the first home you had stationery made for, a wedding invitation for your best friend or a letter or card from a grandparent.
Keeping items preserved in a scrapbook is a lovely way to hold onto those memories, without cluttering your home.
You can find loads of great scrapbooks anywhere and it can be as embellished or as paired down as you like. Treat it like a physical photo album if you must. it's a personal record of your life and a fun way to spend a long weekend.
Another item you should keep (within reason) are vintage pieces. Sometimes, a vintage is find is too beautiful to throw away. These are often the only items exempt from my 6/8 weekly wardrobe purge.
I have items that I have sourced myself after spending countless hours in fusty vintage and charity shops; but items borrowed (read: stole) from my mother (before she had the chance to purge herself)
I hold onto these, because vintage pieced not only stand the test of time; but are also a wearable scrapbook. It has your story, of how/where you came across it and it has its own secret history before you were its owner. Sometimes; a piece like that is worth keeping. It all adds to your own personal style and that really is the purpose of owning it in the first place.
As long as it fits. If it's clearly a size 8 and you are a size 14 and will never be an 8 again. It's time for it to start a new story with someone else.
This is the perfect opportunity to organise the hell out of your life. I like being organised, it makes things easy to find and I am all about making life easy for myself.
As you are throwing out old and useless items in the kitchen another really good place to tidy is the nightmare cupboard under the kitchen sink.
You know the one.
Cleaning products haphazardly thrown in, random cleaning cloths, old bits of paint from long forgotten DIY projects and weird lids to things you are never quite sure you actually owned.
An easy way to take control of that nightmare cupboard is to decant certain products into clearly labelled containers. (I wouldn't decant bleach, but you get the idea) this way, you can see at a glance, what you need to buy, what it is and it instantly makes an untrained eye look like you clearly have you sh*t together.
This makes you feel better about life every time you open the cupboard; rather than thinking 'eurgh, I NEED to clean that out'
This works with most cupboards in the kitchen, I decant all of my dry goods into a clear jar to make it both easy on the eye and easy to gauge what I have to add to my shopping list next week.
This also gives me the opportunity to use one of my favourite Spring cleaning tools (and Monica's too) THE LABEL MAKER.
Not only is using this the most fun, (not ironically) this is a great way to for you to find said things once they have been decanted. Obviously. You will never again confused the plain flour with the self-raising or the chilli powder with the paprika and your home will actually look like a Pinterest board once its all done.
The best part of a Spring clean.
A good place to also tidy is your often neglected bookshelves.
This is a great opportunity to review books the books you own and to up your #Shelfie game.
I go through the same process every time I do this:
a) would want to read it again?
b) is that book on there because it 'needs' to be?
c) have I ever read the book?
If i ever answer 'no' to any of these questions; it's off to the charity shop. If this leaves you with three books on your shelf, then so be it. This is where you can up your decorative accessories game or better yet, get a better collection of books!
The last place I find many people don't even think of when they are cleaning.
Aside from the obvious; (cleaning it) do you ever think about the amount of stuff that lives there?
This tends to be the unofficial home of the remote, magazines, blankets, earrings and bobby pins, etc. (in my case, at least)
Put all the crap away, get the things that don't belong there out and if you do need to keep some things in and around the sofa, make sure you have a pretty 'catch all' for them to live in.
This makes it much easier to stretch out after a long day working, you know it just makes sense!
So there you have it. My playlist is perfected, the wine is breathing and my marigolds are on, I am ready to begin.
Once it's done, you'll never feel better!