One of the easiest ways to live a life that Doesn’t Cost the Earth, is to reduce consumption. And one of the easiest ways to reduce consumption is to actually use what you have. So many of us have so much stuff.
But can you actually find any of it?
I love nothing more than a good sort out. I thrill to the idea of going through things, chucking out, tidying and organising. I’m not so hot on weekly cleaning, but an annual sort through ‘stuff’ really rocks my boat.
So here are some ideas if you’re not so keen (pity the poor man…).
Firstly, don’t attempt to tackle more than one area at a time. This is supposed to be fun, not forced labour. Either do the garage, your wardrobe, the spare room – not all of them. That would be exhausting!
When you’ve decided on an area, take everything out that you want to sort through (either in total, or in sections) and be brutal. If you haven’t worn it or used it for a year why are you keeping it? If it is sentimental, create a treasure chest for those items that really mean something to you.
If you are unsure, put those items in a separate box. Leave it for six months and if you haven’t missed them – you don’t need them.
Those things you are keeping, should be kept beautifully. Shops know how to display things in a way that ensures you desire them. Your wardrobe should do the same. Shelves and spaces are better designed to fit, with small compartments. Larger shelves means piles of clothes that topple when you try to remove something, and a resulting disorder that is too exhausting to continually tidy.
The shelves above show jumpers and sweaters stacked one or two deep. Any more and it’s hard to keep it tidy. The shelves are the width of each item – as two piles next to each other always get messy.
Arrange items by type first: jumpers together, shirts hanging together, trousers etc. Then organise by colour. This makes it very fast and easy to find things. If you want a blue top – all your blue tops will be hanging together.
Use every inch of your space – here high heels are stacked along the top shelf beneath the sloping ceiling.
And just as shelves are best arranged to fit – so are drawers.
You can purchase (or make) so many fabulous drawer dividers – and they really do make all the difference in the world. You’ll be able to find things. Everything will be better preserved (no ironing) as you’re not permanently rummaging through hunting for the one thing that evades you.
Ties can be hung – but (above) are arranged like flowers in a drawer – making it easy to find the right colour.
Rolling items (such as the ties above) means no creases.
Drawer dividers work for small items such as underwear, socks, ties and belts. But a simple strip down the centre of a large drawer makes it easy to store T-shirts and the like as well.
Jewelry is lovely when you can find it easily. Lots of sections, each with colour-coded earrings, make accessorizing an outfit fun, rather than stressful.
Overhauling of an area of your house, giving (or selling) the unwanted items to a charity shop, cleaning and tidying the remaining goodies – is definitely a very rewarding thing to do. You can sit down with a large cocktail and be certain that you deserve it. And what’s more – you can wear matching earrings while you’re drinking it!