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Four new year’s resolutions to cut clutter

Four new year’s resolutions to cut clutter
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Four easy ways to get excess possessions out of your home

Decluttering is, in this consumerist world, not a thing you do once. It’s more a series of habits and lifestyle choices. Here are four ideas to help you make 2019 the year of just the right amount of stuff.

1.    Less yes for more space

Who can resist a freebie? Freebies, taken just because it seemed too good to miss, are a common source of clutter. If you are offered a promotional item, think first. Ask ‘will I, personally, use it?’ If not, say ‘no thanks’. Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin has some thoughts on free stuff.

If a relative or friend offers you a hand-me-down, you don’t have to take it. And if you do take it, you don’t have to keep it.

We’ve talked before about unwanted gifts in the context of Christmas. But gifts arrive at other times of year, too. By making it clear that you prefer not to receive gifts you are taking back control of what possessions you allow into your house.

2.    Use routines to stay clutter-free

A good routine is a simple action, such as ‘clear the end of the kitchen counter’ done at the same time every day, for example ‘while my bedtime tea brews’. Notice how I slipped it in next to a thing I already do each evening? Let habits you want to acquire hitch a lift with habits you already have, or with regular occurrences.

Other simple actions might be ‘clear the magazine rack when I put the recycling out’ or ‘take batteries for recycling when I go to the library’.

3.    Use self-storage to keep your home tidy

We’ve shared plenty of ways to win back your space by storing your stuff. We particularly recommend stashing out-of-season items away so that you can use your living space for… living. Another great thing about storing your stuff is that it lets you test-drive not owning a particular item. This is particularly helpful if you need to get rid of some toys, as for some children out of sight is very much out of mind! Store and Insure is great for covering these short periods of storage, because we charge a daily rate.

4.    Give to a charity that gets value from your donation

When you donate items to charity, do you opt for the most convenient shop, or do you go a little bit further? I’ve found some cracking specialist book bargains in our nearest charity shop and I was really pleased by that. But then I realised it was because the volunteers did not recognise the value of the donations they received. So I’ve started giving books to a charity shop that specialises in books: I know the charity has the infrastructure to properly sort and check what I give. This means my donation goes further. I find it tremendously satisfying when my Gift Aid statement comes through, and it always makes me hunt out more books to pass on (which of course creates space for new acquisitions).

Give one of these resolutions a try and see what a difference it makes to your life.