This week I have been…
This past week I have braved the “understairs” cupboard – well I say I braved, in fact I made my husband pull stuff out and check for spiders…and I then got him to vanquish said spiders… let’s just call it a joint effort, shall we? At the time of writing this introduction, we have filled 17 black bin bags, so far… mainly because I was totally ruthless and binned everything, but also because I was trying to get over 20 bags so I would be able to take a photo for my #PPTKOMins. During this epic quest of arachnid dodging and mouldy clothes-bagging, we learned a lot about why decluttering is such a good idea – even if my kitchen currently looks even messier than when we started!
5 reasons to declutter:
- Decluttering will save you money:While tidying we discovered about 20 loo rolls! I had obviously bought a pack, used one or two, placed it somewhere, lost it and bought a replacement. If you sell the things you are decluttering, then yes, you can MAKE money, (and I am sure I will do a post on that at some point) but if you are properly organised then you can SAVE money, by not having to re-buy items you have already purchased but have misplaced in the house somewhere. Having a place to put things, means you will always know where it is, and where to check if you want to know if you have run out and need to get some new ones (still thinking of loo rolls here…)
- Clutter is Stressful:Being surrounded by mess is officially stressful – as in it has been scientifically proven. Apparently researchers have discovered that there is a link between how stressed you are and how tidy your house is; a cluttered home can make some people feel like they have failed at creating a good environment for their families. I can certainly attest to being stressed by an untidy house – generally because of not being able to find things (see 1), things falling on me or getting broke by others (see 3), or just the time it takes to find stuff (see 4!)
- Danger Danger! Amusing as watching my Mum trip over her cat bowls is, accidents at home are a real concern. Cluttered walkways are listed as one of the common causes of trips and falls in the home, while the London Fire Brigade devotes a whole page of their website to the perils of clutter and the impacts it can have in the event of a house fire. (The page also contains a link to the International OCD Foundations Hoarding centre – Its ‘levels of hoarding’ pdf makes for sobering viewing! – I’m probably hovering on a 3/4!) Potential death aside, it is just easier to clean a house that has less clutter, and a cleaner house means: less dust, fewer germs and a reduction in conditions that may attract unwanted furry visitors (I’m talking rats and mice, not Wombles… although they might be helpful if you have a bit of rubbish lying about, what with their penchant for recycling and such).
- Time becomes your friend: Not sure what your house is like on Monday mornings, but before I got a bit more organised they used to be a nightmare here! One of the boys always misplaced a tie, or their shoes, or forgot they had homework and the ensuing shouting and grabbing inevitably set everyone up for a bad day.
If every item has its place, then tidying becomes quicker and easier, freeing up your time for more important things – I dread to think how much time I have spent looking for my bag or shoes; I have even cancelled bank cards before now, believing them to be lost forever, only to find them later, under a pile of papers (and all the fun that ensues from not having access to your bank account for a couple of days…)
- It’s Nice to have Nice things – and share them with people…
If you have less stuff, you will appreciate what you DO have, more – in theory. This, in turn, will lead to you being a bit more discerning when it comes to selecting new things for your home – or indeed NOT selecting, because you realise you don’t actually need another candle/cushion/ornament and that you don’t really want to waste money on it when you could use it towards a day out with the family, or towards paying off debts ( or towards saving up to go travel the world!).
Best of all, the new less-stressed and decluttered you will also be able to develop better relationships with your family – especially when you are not shouting at them about losing things, or worrying about money… and the best benefit is that you will be able to have friends over more often, or in my case, be able to have friends over…that’s it, just over to visit. As it is, I don’t let people in because I worry about the judging! I know real friends don’t judge, but I would prefer to invite them into a tidy and welcoming home, and for there to be somewhere for them to sit without me having to move things. And that day is coming as my declutter continues!