So, here we are still all at home. Day 38 and counting. Many of us approached the quarantine with the idea that we would achieve some goals, and tick some jobs off of the list… So, how IS the learning to speak Russian / getting a bikini body/ becoming a chef / launching a new business going during lockdown? It takes a lot of self discipline to use this time wisely, that is if you have the time at all. I find that I spend a good chunk of the day sitting in front of my computer writing articles and also getting involved in the Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/MajorcaMallorca and you may remember I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago suggesting you try to achieve a balance between the crazy “must get everything done” and the inactive “isn’t the sofa lovely?”.
Yesterday, having written an article about the plight of the Allen Graham Charity which has had a big flood in their shop in Cas Catala and will be needing donations of good quality items for when they are able to reopen, I decided to make a list of the absolute MUST DOs in my house before the end of this mad period in my life. I had advised you all to “start with that manky cupboard”, and so I took my own advice and did just that. (I do have more than one of these types of cupboards, just don’t start thinking I am a domestic goddess please, oh no).
I set up a podcast to listen to and set to clearing out the Spice Cupboard. We are fans of cooking and eating in our house and we tend to have some quite unusual ingredients knocking about in the dark corners of the kitchen. I discovered packets of spices which had definitely seen better days (sniff test rather than taste test) and loads of duplicates: FIVE jars of cinnamon for example. An hour or so later the whole cupboard had been cleaned out, rationalised, organised and categorised. I’d combined duplicates into recycled jam jars and labelled them! Oh the joy of a hand made label. It made me feel good and as if I had some kind of control over what is going on at the moment. And that, dear reader, is the point I am trying to make. We cannot control other people’s thoughts, their actions or their words, but we can control ours, our own environment and how we live within our bodies and our spaces. You can control your mindset, your focus, your effort and your perspective. So get on with the manky cupboard, it will make you feel better, and stick a label on it!
Here’s some tips on decluttering in case you need some more inspiration.
- Start with 5 minutes at a time. If you’re new to decluttering, you can slowly build momentum with just five minutes a day.
- Fill an entire rubbish bag. Get a bin bag and fill it as fast as you can with clean and quality items that you can donate to charity.
- Donate clothes you never wear. To identify them, simply hang all your clothes with hangers in the reverse direction. After wearing an item, face the hanger in the correct direction. Discard the clothes you never touched after a few months.
- Create a decluttering checklist. It’s a lot easier to declutter when you have a visual representation of where you need to get started.
- View your home as a first-time visitor. It’s easy to “forget” what your home looks like to a new visitor. Enter your home as if you’re visiting the home of a friend. Write down your first impression on how clean and organized the home is and make changes.
- Take before and after photos of a small area. Choose one part of your home, like your kitchen counter, and take a photo of a small area. Quickly clean off the items in the photo and take an after photo. Once you see how your home could look, it becomes easier to start decluttering more of your home.
- Get help from a friend. Have a friend or family member go through your home and suggest a handful of big items to throw away or give to someone else. If you defend the item and want to keep it, your friend has to agree with your reason. If they don’t agree, it’s time to get rid of it.
- Use the Four-Box Method. Get four boxes and label them: trash, give away, keep, or re-locate. Enter any room in your home and place each item into one of the following boxes.
Don’t skip a single item, no matter how insignificant you may think it is. This may take days, weeks, or months, but it will help you see how many items you really own and you’ll know exactly what to do with each item. Source: /www.becomingminimalist.com