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Cutting through the Clutter

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Today I am talking about, organising and cutting through the clutter in your home.

We have lived in our house for 20 years, and over this time we have accumulated a ton of junk. We hoard!

Sentimental Clutter

For instance,  I only just got rid of the baby stuff, although I still have the double pram, as it is missing its crossbar. Please note, my baby is 11 years old and the pram is 18 years old! The first time I sold all my baby stuff I fell pregnant 3 months later, so I have been too nervous to sell anything!

I also have an enormous collection of beads and beading accessories as I make and sell jewellery.


My husband collects magazines, old computer cables,  broken keyboards, mice, even an obsolete computer screen or two, and, of course, handyman tools.  He doesn’t actually have the time to use any of them to fix anything and how many times can one read a pharmacy magazine! I think we have every edition of Jewish Life since it was first published.

Hobby Clutter

Clutter is depressing

Except for my eldest daughter, my kids have picked up this habit too, somehow the gene skipped her, thank goodness.

I come by my hoarding honestly. My mother is a recovering hoarder. My parents recently moved from their 3 bedroom home of 40 years to a 2 bedroom cottage in a retirement village. My father closed his business and sold the building after about 30 years, where they made and repaired counter surveillance and other electronic equipment. I think he kept every piece they ever removed or repaired over the years and the potentially valuable clutter filled all three storeys of the building.

Every time I look at the clutter I feel despondent.  I even spoke to someone about coming in to do it for me, but even though her rates are extremely reasonable the amount of work to be done puts it out of my budget!

Getting rid of clutter one step at a time

So I started following an amazing blog http://www.home-storage-solutions-101.com, In this blog the author, Taylor Spalding Flannery, started a program called declutter 365. I have been trying to follow her suggestions, because they are doable. Taylor talks about doing 15 minute sessions everyday. Once again, the problem is that our South African homes in South Africa are very different from America, in that we don’t have basements, attics and mud rooms or even laundry rooms.

egg timer

I have inconsistently followed her advice and my kitchen, dinning room and bedroom are looking much better already!

Decluttering your home is also a great way to generate money. All the things you are clearing out can be sold either on ebay, OLX or at a jumble sale.

The suggestion is that you plan your jumble sale to be held a few months later. This will give you time to collect everything.  I have given myself time and now need to get moving as I chose the first Sunday in December for my jumble sale.

Another suggestion if you have the space, (my stuff is in an outside storage room) is to put aside 3 boxes, 1 for your jumble sale, 1 to donate and 1 for trash. The trash box is emptied after each decluttering session as it is just there for you to put stuff in on the way out your door and into the rubbish bins.

storage boxes

It is going to take a while for me to draw up a program anywhere nearly as comprehensive or effective as Taylor’s, (which you can follow on the Facebook group  Declutter 365 or on her website as I mentioned) but in the meantime there is nothing that stops you from choosing a small cupboard or drawer to declutter.

Here’s how you do it:-

Put aside 15 minutes.

Set a timer for 10 minutes. Those 10 minutes are for decluttering, the last 5 minutes are for cleaning up and putting away.

I just loved this idea as it is not so overwhelming and you know you are not going to try and do an entire room at once!

For most of us 15 minutes a day is doable, whether it is after work or just before you go to sleep. Everytime I have finished one of my 15 minute sessions I feel a sense of accomplishment, and I can actually see the difference in my home! What a note to go to sleep on.

Just look at the blog post ‘I own my kitchen’ and see my cupboard!

Imagine how different cleaning for Pesach will be!

The 15 minute time limit is even short enough to get the kids involved, without them loosing interest.

Please try it and let me know how this method works for you!

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