Decluttering a House – Start With 5 Things

A laptop in a clutter free home

Yesterday I began my journey to minimalism by decluttering my emails. Today I’ll begin decluttering a house (my own) by simply getting rid of just five things. This is day two of the beginners’ minimalism task list that I’m currently following.

Why Is Decluttering a House Important?

Keeping your home clutter-free is key to living a minimalist lifestyle and clearing your head. It allows you to clean easily which is good for the health of you and your family. It also saves you money as you’ll no longer need to replace the stuff you can’t find. Nor will you be buying things you don’t need simply because they’ll clutter you home.

I’m a big fan of the Konmari system. I love the book and am part of an active Konmari group on Facebook. The method favours a clutter-free home and shows you how to achieve this easily. I’ll be decluttering my house with this system in mind.

The Konmari method for decluttering a house

The system advocates a particular order when decluttering. I’ve detailed it in this handy infographic.

a handy infographic showing you how to use the Konmari method when decluttering a house

With this order in mind, I’ll be starting with my clothes. Believe me, I have plenty that I no longer wear and have been waiting for an excuse to get rid of them. The category of clothes also encompasses anything you might wear, however, from shoes to accessories. It even includes old jewellery.

I have a lot of jewellery, most of which I adore, but there are some terrible pieces from my teens that I’ve still clung on to. Thankfully due to having a husband with amazing taste, plus a good friend who sells eclectic silver jewellery, I now have a gorgeous collection. Which brings me to my list of items I’m getting rid of…

1) A tacky pair of plastic hoop earrings

OK, so these were a mistake from my late teens, that for some unknown reason I’ve chosen to hang on to. They’ve successfully moved to six different houses but will be meeting their maker today. The only sad thing is that I’m unable to donate these due to hygiene reasons, so they’ll have to be binned. It’ll teach me the lesson to never buy tacky plastic jewellery again.

2) A pair of slightly too big shoes that I hate

My mother in law is lovely. Really lovely. However, she has a habit of buying things that she never wears. Then donates them to me. And I’m too polite to decline the donations. Resulting in a collection of shoes that are one size too big and not my style at all. I’ll be donating the worst pair to charity this week. And somebody who does enjoy that style can wear them, rather than them sitting in my bedroom gathering dust.

3) An un-ironable blouse

I loved this blouse. So much. It’s perfect in style, fit, and colour. That is until it’s washed. Because then it turns into an ironing nightmare. I cannot get the creases out of it for love nor money and have now given up on it. I’m hoping that someone with better ironing skills than me fall in love with it and is able to wear it. Sadly I’m not that person and never will be.

4) A hairpiece

I used to wear an extension piece in my hair. It hurt like hell and gave me split ends. Definitely not worth appearing to have long curly locks. It’s been sat getting tangled up with a bunch of other stuff for months now. It’s time to say goodbye and live with the natural hair God gave me.

5) Bobbly Tights

I have way too many pairs of terrible bobbly tights that I can no longer wear. Most of them are also misshapen. Technically there is more than one pair, but I’ll make an exception and throw them all out in one cathartic go. Farewell, bobbly tights – I won’t miss you.

If you’re considering decluttering a house why not start with getting rid of five things? And try the Konmari method for a systematic approach to decluttering and tidying. Let me know which five things you’d like to get rid of in the comments below.

 

 

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Declutter My Emails – My First Step to a Minimalist Lifestyle

my remote office all set up to declutter my emails

My journey towards a minimalist lifestyle seemed overwhelming at first glance. So I turned to Pinterest and came across a beginners guide to the first 30 days towards minimalism. The starting point is to declutter my emails and so with a bit of research, I’m now the proud owner of a clear and functioning Gmail account. Happy New Year!

Getting Started – I Declutter My Emails

How I wish I’d taken a screenshot of my inbox prior to decluttering! Ultimate chaos. Both my work and personal email inboxes were full of unread emails and read emails from months or even years ago. I often daren’t look at them. I realised very quickly that these emails needed to go. Fast!

Before I could start deleting, I needed to future-proof my inbox, so I never need to declutter my emails again.

Setting up Labels and Categories

My first step was to set up a number of sensible labels and categories in Gmail to allow me to organise the emails I wished to keep. This also helps me to find emails I’m seeking out easily. I’ll be using these to both automatically and manually file the emails I receive. Here are some examples of the labels I’m using:

  • Personal
  • Receipts
  • Social Media
  • Blog
  • Important

Filtering Emails in Gmail

Having set up labels and categories for the emails I wanted to keep I then started to filter my emails. I decided on a few basic rules I would follow for filtering. If I didn’t read the email yet couldn’t unsubscribe to it (such as an antique Yahoo Group I’ve been trying to leave for months), I filtered to mark as read and delete immediately. I don’t even need to consider it then.

If I didn’t read the email yet couldn’t unsubscribe to it (such as an antique Yahoo Group I’ve been trying to leave for months), I filtered to mark as read and delete immediately. I don’t even need to consider it then.

For emails from store mailing lists, that I might want to read, but don’t want them in my inbox, I set a filter to mark as read then archive. That way if I look for them (should I need a code, or to see what’s on sale) I can still access them, but I don’t need to work my way through them.

Order confirmations get marked as read, categorised and labeled as receipts. I can then go in and delete them once I’ve received the order.

Everything else will be dealt with manually.

When adding the filters I could automatically process them on existing emails, which meant less to declutter manually.

Finally, I Manually Declutter My Emails

I then filter my emails to the most important first by changing the inbox style in the settings. I file or delete the emails left and then worked through the rest of the emails. Any mailing lists I’m not interested in I unsubscribe from. If I need to filter a rogue email address, I do so. I keep going until my email looks like this:

An empty inbox after I declutter my emails

You may be wondering how my Gmail looks so pretty. Well, this is an easy trick using the change theme setting. You can add your own image. I think this image is from Wonderlass. I think it is a nice way to cheer up my inbox and hopefully will motivate me to keep it clear!

Have you tried decluttering your emails recently? Do you have any tips or tricks to help me or the other readers? If so please do leave them in the comments. Don’t forget to check out my sustainable living story and see what my journey is all about.

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