On the eve of New Year in the UK, lets talk about DECLUTTERING!
Why am I talking about this?
January is a good time to start looking at streamlining everything in your life. With Christmas now done, I’m sure you have lots of new things that will need space in your home. Its a time for us to start setting goals for the year ahead and building on previous achievements. I think starting with a blank slate helps!
Decluttering is a term that can be applied to anything that is causing overwhelm and confusion in your life, especially money. It is a necessary evil (maybe you enjoy it?!), not only with the obvious benefit of being able to sell your unwanted crap if you declutter your belongings, but in doing so, you feel better about your environment and your life too (so the side effect is you also declutter your brain!).
By decluttering, you allow greater things into it that are more in-line with what you ACTUALLY want.
I did a declutter just prior to moving into my new home with my boyfriend Tom in August. I decided to just give away everything I didn’t want, which included:
- Dinner trays
- Dresses that I seem to have, er, grown out of
- An old laptop (wiped of data obviously)
- Exercise weights
Someone, somewhere is going to need these items. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure as they say! I know this because I bought a dress once from a charity shop that cost less than £10, and when I wore it with my heels, it made a fab new year outfit in St Paul’s! No one would have known any better. (You don’t have to tell anyone!)
I also get a kick out of knowing that my old rubbish is going to help a charity raise money for their cause. Its my way of giving back I suppose, rather than set-up a boring direct debit every month because someone roped me into it in the street.
Allow better things in
The best bit about decluttering is that you allow space for new things. We have another round of decluttering due this month when we decorate our spare bedroom. We already have plans for new cushions, bedsheets, curtains and furniture. Our new home is slowly coming together, and I hope this means we’ll be able to have more visitors around for the night.
This is a reasonably inexpensive thing you can do in your own home too! You don’t have to move house just to have that feeling. You could tidy up the garden and buy some gorgeous candles to go in it, or replace your kitchen appliances to freshen up the look. Small things do make a big difference, and I’m a huge fan of art-work, scatter cushions and anything else seemingly pointless, but which make my home feel special!
The other side to decluttering is the mental space it gives you. You can declutter everything from your kitchen to your computer and email. I’m sure you can relate to the amazing feeling you get once you’ve had a good clean out of “stuff”. If your house is untidy and you can never find anything (including important documents related to your money), then decluttering and organising is essential before you do anything else! Simple box files or folders are extremely helpful in this instance. In fact – you’ll probably find a spare one in your house in the process of tidying up, saving you money too!
We should also be mindful of the messages we are seeing everyday; anything you watch on TV about scary things to do with the “tanking economy”, or how Donald Trump is going to blow up the world will bring about in you a mindset of SCARCITY and this is what we need to avoid if we are to make our money go further and/or get out of debt. In order to do this, I unfollow/delete people on Facebook who are persistently negative or offensive, or make me feel bad about myself, and I unsubscribe from emails that encourage me to spend money unnecessarily. Decluttering extends far beyond just the “stuff” in your home, but to your online space too.
There is enough
Scarcity mindset is where you think you don’t have enough: not enough money, not enough food, not enough time. Its not a nice feeling. It makes us want to hoard everything from emails to books and DVDs. What if we need it one day?! Our aim is to turn down the negativity impacting our lives, and turn up the fun and excitement. “Yolo” is a favourite acronym of mine (you only live once), and I am very good at taking action using this mantra (just sometimes not so good at making sure I’ve thought it through properly first!!).
Who can help?
Why not check out books and blogs that could help? You might find these helpful:
A book on the art of tidying by Marie Kondo. Her mantra – “Does it spark Joy?”. If it doesn’t, the rule is you get rid. See what you think! Fiftyfiveandcounting.com wrote a review of two different decluttering techniques (which includes the Kondo-method)
The other thing that you can look at is a blog by “The Queen of Clean” – she has a post that has just come out inviting you to do a declutter challenge.
Recently, a fellow money blogger, Faith Archer, gave an interview on Good Morning Britain about regifting unwanted presents. I think this is a great way to declutter after Christmas! Check out her re-gifting post – 11 reasons why regifting is great
New Year, New You
So go for it – use the New Year as an excuse to declutter (especially if your Christmas tree is still up!). Start 2018 with a fresh and positive outlook on life. I give you permission to buy scatter cushions too if it helps (Just promise me you won’t use your credit card?!).
In my Facebook Group this week I will be talking about how I set my goals for the year so you can do it too. Just so you also know, Faith Archer will be a guest coming up in January, talking about pensions and why they’re awesome! You have to be a member of the group, so why not pop along now and join us. You can also fill out the form below to be notified of when I am doing Facebook live posts as well as receive free weekly money tips and inspiration to keep you on track.
I can’t wait to share with you!
Until next time,
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