Monday, 28 September 2015

A method for decluttering.

Recently I started blogging a little about my decluttering progress. I was tired of having the house so untidy.

How to declutter

 A few years ago I tried the FlyLady method but although I followed it for many months I was getting annoyed and frustrated trying to do things and seeing no results. Fighting with my husband and kids when they so quickly messed up all my hard work. Hours spent cleaning and nothing to show for it. I was always tired and always irritable. I finally gave up and things soon became worse than before. It is an excellent method but just didn't work for me.

Now it seems that I have found a method which actually works in my house.
I need the satisfaction of seeing a visible result for my efforts. I need to set myself a goal to clear one place, making it something that is feasible to do. No use dragging everything out and trying to clean all in one go. I just get overwhelmed and have no where to put anything. Then I get depressed and feel useless. I used to be able to clean that way when I was first married, but now my house is three times bigger, I am older and less fit, and there is more clutter to fight against.

So many times I have cleaned one room and then when I moved onto the next the first quickly became worse than before. I was just moving the clutter around. Now I eliminate what I don't need. 

We have all seen the advice online to use 3 boxes and divide things. That doesn't work for me. I do better if I go and put things where they should be. The boxes would never get emptied otherwise. 

Things to be recycled get taken straight to the containers. We have different days when they pick things up so that is already an efficient system for me. 
Things to donate need to go straight into the car ready to drop off. 
Nothing waiting around and no second thoughts. Too often in the past things just gradually went back to where they were.

I like to use a timer while working. It stops me from getting too tired as it reminds me when I need a break. It is amazing how sometimes time seems to fly by when I am cleaning! 

I switch some music on and get going. No tv as that means you stop and watch it! Fortunately I have never been a great fan.

I am finally seeing a change here. My decluttering is starting to show results. Today I decided to do the upstairs corridor and the towel cupboard. 
I have a wall cupboard in an alcove my DH made many years ago. That is where I keep towels, and, on an upper shelf, cleaning things that are not in immediate use.
Decluttering method

I pulled everything out and found a big dirty mark where an old nearly empty starch spray container had given up the ghost and spilled its contents on the shelf. Goes to show how long it is since I used anything there! It will have probably been caused by the extreme heat this summer. Thank goodness it wasn't anything poisonous. That is a lesson to me to not leave old aerosol cans around! 
I used to starch my son's shirts for work. Now that "joy" belongs to his wife! Lol!

I cleaned the shelf thoroughly and dusted the various containers. Amazing how many products I had to remove stains from clothes, although I usually use more natural methods, maybe why they were still in the cupboard.

How to declutter

Some useless things I disposed of. Others I will give to someone who actually uses them. I have several packets of dye, mainly black. I will give some to my sister-in-law who is always dyeing things. You can't buy it in the village which is why I had stocked up when I found some at a reasonable price.

I also discovered some cleaning products I didn't remember I had which will be useful now I am starting to deep clean the house. I had already put them on my shopping list.


Towels were removed, shaken and refolded. No signs of any insects I am glad to say! My sister said I have enough towels for a small hotel, they are regularly used in rotation however. Old worn towels get put downstairs to use for the dog.
Old face cloths get used as cleaning rags.

Creating order

It took me exactly three hours to clean the cupboard and corridor. I now have a corridor! Lol! Before it was just a dumping ground for homeless objects. All of those are now where they should be. 


This afternoon I moved onto decluttering the stairs from the first to the second floor. There were things on almost every step. Most was stuff belonging to my DH. For example there was the saw he uses to cut the wood in the winter. It had been placed there in spring waiting to be taken upstairs to the storage room. Now it has been made ready to use again. It would be a waste of time to put it away now. It was there all summer. 

I started moving things and then he actually took some of the heavier ones up the two flights of stairs to his storage room. There were a lot of tools which are now on the shelves in the storage room that had been standing empty.

I was finally able to sweep and clean the stairs. 

Although it was tempting to start something else I realised that it would be a mistake. I have done enough for today. I have visible results which makes me happy and I will be fit to do something else tomorrow without being all aches and pains. And, if by any chance, I don't feel like cleaning, never mind! It won't be the end of the world.

A clean corridor

When my DD came home from school she took a look and asked who had stolen the old house! Lol. So lovely to have someone notice and appreciate what I have achieved!


  1. And when you are finished there, you can come here!

    1. Lol! Be a long time before I finish here!

  2. Fun to read about your decluttering ambitions, I got the same idea last week and hope to do a little every day now.

  3. It is nice to know someone else is decluttering as well. I am slowly proceeding but there is still a lot to do.