Tigerlilly Quinn: Simplify - on decluttering in the new year

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Simplify - on decluttering in the new year

Pre motherhood I was a totally hoarder, I was a clutter mouse and very happy to be so. Since having Wilf the sheer amount of 'things' in our house has started to make me feel a tad anxious. Add to that a little boys birthday 11 days prior to Christmas and the amount of clutter builds up!

So at a few predictable times of the year I declutter. Last year I was ruthless, the tree was taken down on the 27th and bags were pilled for the Charity shop the next day. I like to start the year with a clean organised space and I mean to go on this way (although this rarely happens).


So this is my plan of sorts:

Wilf is now certainly no longer a baby so my first port of call was to organise all his toys to make way for his now more age appropriate ones. Some cherished items and ones that had been passed down from family have been stored but a good bag has been filled for the charity shop for some other new baby which makes me feel good.

Every year I get ruthless about my clothes, I currently have seven much loved coats, which is probably as least five too many. Along with some dresses bought in sales last year and never worn (I know, I know!). I plan on photographing these in the next few days and uploading them on my Instagram account @tigerlillyswardrobe. I think social media is a much easier way of flogging your unwanted items and it's an added bonus sometimes that the person who is taking/buying them is someone you know (I like to know my clothes are going to good homes, ha!).

Work on one room at a time. Currently I am working on sorting the living room out into an organised area. It's our largest room in the house and one we spend the most time in. We have roughly separated this into a lounge area, an eating area and working area. We use these IKEA boxes (which are super cheap!) in our lowest shelves and also a storage bench which doubles as a coffee table. I need to separate Wilf's toys to each box or things get too muddled and lost amongst each other. We currently have a Duplo box, a train set box, a softies box..you get the picture. It also helps to put away one set of toys before starting a different set although I'm not so good at enforcing this rule because what it the Duplo people want to hang out with the softies? Who am I to segregate them? I do think it's important that everything has a place though. I also like to mix our storage solutions with new and vintage. We use a lot of IKEA furniture but we also collect vintage suitcases which make for perfect storage for things like building blocks and sticklebrick.


Wilf is 'pretty' good at tidying up after himself and we started singing a tidying up song to him when we did it when he was around 8 months old which has helped kind of get into the tidying up mood!

Running a shop means that the space under the stairs plus a large dresser in the living room are dedicated stock spaces. It's really important that these stay ordered for speed of packing orders but over the Christmas rush these have gotten a little messy! I plan on taking EVERYTHING out and re-ordering, labelling and keeping tidy for the new year. I think this can apply to the rest of the house also, especially the kitchen cupboards and dresser.

I think the best rule for me when decluttering is to have a plan and stick to it. Tom and I decided that our DVD's are no longer needed (bar a few Wes Anderson ones and the like) as we watch most our films through Netflix or similar. We have so many box sets that we are never ever going to watch again (24 anyone?) so these are all going to the charity shop to free up three shelves of much needed storage space. It's easy to get sentimental about things like this but in our case we haven't opened that cupboard in over a year so it's certainly time for them to go!

I think that's it! Do you have any tips for decluttering? I'd love to know!

(p.s first post of 2014!)

49 comments:

Laura Close said...

Your house is gorgeous. We are awful awful clutterers and I really wish we could knock that on the head. Maybe this year?

Keri-Anne said...

I am the same! I have bits everywhere as i can never throw things out but it makes me anxious too when things are too messy or cluttery. We are spending today sorting out the rooms and making it more manageable for me to keep up with through out the year x

Polly Davies said...

I'm doing just the same today... taking down the tree and organising. Our living/dining room is our biggest and most used space too... My office nook is off this room too. With a business to run and three kids to homeschool, I need it to be tidy and organised. I keep trying to convince G we should get rid of our DVD's... we have so many, but don't acutally watch any of them - we only use Netflix or stream them too!


p.s you have the same landline as me ;)


Happy New Year xxx

Polly Davies said...

oh - and I have to say - I love the colour of your feature wall - I'm planning on repainting our living/dining room soon, and want to paint the chimney wall a brighter colour :)

Swazi said...

I've been sorting since before Christmas when we built a new bed for our boy so his room has been sorted and only this morning I was going through his books to take out the really 'baby' ones.
It's very freeing to have a good old sort out isn't it ?
My next job is to take some more clothes to the Salvation Army. My neighbour wanted to give away her late husband's things to a good cause and I've been taking bags to distribute to the homeless.
The most difficult bit of decluttering is all the sweets and chocolates we got for Christmas !!

Charly Dove said...

Happy New Year!! What a great post and some brilliant tips in there too. We've done a little sort out but we really need to do more - no idea what to do with POD's old clothes though! We run a business from home so I'm sure it won't be long before the tree is down so we have some breathing space :)

mummyoftwo said...

Some great tips! I have been hoarding the children's things for too long but this year sees us moving house again so we are trying to be more ruthless and have a big declutter beforehand!

Karen Morland said...

I really need to do this for the New Year too, we also have a hugged DVD collection that never gets used as we store all,our music films electronically! Definitely agree with making a plan first and then sticking to it! I find focusing on one room at a time instead of trying to do a big sweep around the house makes me look at the space and how to use it better too!

oranges_and_apples said...

Oh man, i know it with the toys! Our Milo just had his first birthday, and SO MANY PRESENTS! We've had to speread ot the toys into two corners of our living room now because there are so many. they are all in boxes, so it looks tidy enough after bed time but during the day it is utter chaos. I like the idea of a tidying song! did you make it up or is it an existing one I could look up?

Cathryn said...

I did this before Christmas. I am the worst horder and it felt so therapeutic getting rid of things and my house looked so much better afterwards! Your house is so pretty!


littlepaperswans.blogspot.co.uk

Jess@AlongCameCherry said...

I LOVE having clear outs, in fact I'm on a major mission lately to de-clutter our house of pretty much everything as now there are four of us there is no room for pointless crap. In fact as I write this my hallway has a huge pile of stuff waiting to go to the charity shop. It makes my mind feel clearer! x

Wild & Grizzly said...

This sounds like heaven. I love a good sort out, although Paul won't let me take the tree down yet so that is super annoying as there's still christmas boxes everywhere. I can't wait to make my own plan and get organised xx

Sarah said...

Love your colourful room!
I also love a good clear out and try to apply the 'one thing in, one thing out' rule.
Also: buy well, invest in the best you can afford (this takes me a while to save for so I appreciate things and look after them) and you'll have fewer things which you'll really treasure.
I tidied Christmas away today. The last bits of unopened treats went to the food bank. So much better than throwing food out - my pet peeve - and you get the feel-good factor too.
Sarah x

Life With The Crew said...

I started purging and cleaning the day after Christmas. Now that my babe is getting bigger, I decided she needed her own little book shelf/toy area downstairs in the main part of the house. So we got rid of some books we don't ever read, put the rest into the attic for when we have more shelving, and now she has a cute little four squared cabinet, all for herself. It is so cute to watch her decide what she wants to play with and even better when she attempts to put things back by herself! With 6 dogs in the house, we have to clean up right away or little babe toys become dog toys really fast! My main way of keeping the house clean is that everything has to have a purpose - if we're not going to use it (or really enjoy looking at it in the case of art), then we shouldn't have it. I used to keep things "just in case" or "well, in the future...", but really, do those days ever come?
lifewiththecrew.typepad.com

Life With The Crew said...

If you Google "clean up song Barney", you will find a super cheerful, yet very annoying "clean up" song that will stick in your head forever! I try to not sing this song with my little babe, but my mom had a home daycare when I was growing up, and i heard it all the time. But it works - kids love it!
lifewiththecrew.typepad.com

oranges_and_apples said...

Thank you, I'll look it up!

The Egyptian Mummy said...

Oh my goodness, can I just say I love your home! It looks so warming, just the kind of lived in space I'd love to call my own. I'm currently with my parents while my husband is away so I'm having to be ultra cruel with what we have as there is v limited space. I'm vacuum packing summer clothes/the mini one's old but perfectly useable clothes and packing everything I don't want/use and sending it to the charity shop. Presley like the idea of using ikea storage boxes as a coffee table

Anna said...

I really really need to declutter too! I hardly throw any of the kids toys thats the problem, when they grow too old i always keep them for the next baby, but this means we now have so many as they keep accumulating more - so may need to be ruthless, and all the old baby clothes too, as i dont hve storage for it all! your house looks lovely in the pics

Amy Elizabeth said...

We've just spent the past few days doing exactly this - it's amazing how much stuff is hiding in cupboards and under beds which never gets used! I was aiming for 'a place for everything and everything in its place' and whilst I think there's still a way to go, it's a great feeling to start the New Year a bit more decluttered! Good luck with your project :)

Colleen @ hello olive said...

I love having a big clear out - you feel so good afterwards! (I'm not very good at it though as I'm a hoarder too!) x

Sarah~Lou said...

Happy 2014! I'm brewing for a declutter too, although with moving house in the Summer, it's not got too bad so I may postpone 'til Spring, but certainly looking forward to reclaiming the house and feeling fresh again x

PracticlyPerfectMums said...

We end up with a lot of stuff as it seems crazy getting rid of toys, clothes or games which could be handed down to the other two same sex siblings, but I'm finally realising that not everything has to be used by all three boys. Apart from anything else the youngest ends up with everything third hand. So I think what I'm going to try and do this year is let the boys gift or sell their things on and not feel I have to keep everything in the family.

Lizzie Roles said...

I thought I'd commented on this already but here goes again to be sure. I LOVE your home style, so pretty & quirky love the lampshades. I took a bus loads of stuff to the charity shop, feels so good! HNY 2014 x

fritha strickland said...

aww thanks Lizzie! and thanks for taking the time to comment xx

fritha strickland said...

thats such a tricky one, I think if we had another child or were planning one anytime soon then it would be MUCH harder not to horde! x

fritha strickland said...

and to you! x

fritha strickland said...

exactly this! we have so much things stuffed under the bed! x

fritha strickland said...

aww thanks Anna! yes I think if I was planning another child soon it would be harder but most of Wilf's baby toys have gone to our neighbour (apart from the treasured bits that family have passed down) which makes it a lot easier! x

fritha strickland said...

thank you so much! that's a toughie! we previously used to live in a the tiniest of flats so when we moved to our house we had all this space with nothing to fill it (although we soon did, ha!) xx

fritha strickland said...

6 dogs! amazing! yes I am so guilty of keeping the 'just in case' things but I'm getting better at saying 'you know what, I may NEVER need this' x

fritha strickland said...

that so true, I think with us its little bargains I pick up from charity shops that tends to cause the most clutter! x

fritha strickland said...

oh and yes I HATE that thing when you find food has gone off, the waste! x

fritha strickland said...

ha! last year I took ours down the day after boxing day (would have taken it down on boxing day but Tom's family were visiting). When Christmas is done I just want to have a blank slate for the new year! x

fritha strickland said...

me too! it really does make your mind clearer doesn't it! x

fritha strickland said...

thanks so much and yes I totally agree, very therapeutic! x

fritha strickland said...

the song we sing is from a Steiner baby group we used to go to (it was lovely bit a bit too pricey to continue) it goes 'time to tidy up now, put the toys away, time to tidy up now we've finished play, time to tidy up now, put the toys away, time to tidy up now, for another day' xx

fritha strickland said...

we just put 40 DVD's in a bag for the charity shop, it feels so good! x

fritha strickland said...

you're right it's very freeing isn't it! x

fritha strickland said...

thanks Polly! we love turquoise! x

fritha strickland said...

haha good old retro trim phone! We just put 40 DVD's in a bag for the charity shop, it feel soooo good! x

fritha strickland said...

it's funny how mess can make your head feel messy too isn't it! x

fritha strickland said...

thanks so much, maybe this year is your year! ;) x

Kara said...

Loving the bright colours. I seriously need to do something about the clutter in our house!

AnnieMammasaurus said...

I too LOVE those lampshades! Great time of the yer to simplify!

eliza_do_lots said...

I have no tips, but am in love with your home

Luci - Mother.Wife.Me said...

Am on a similar mission, finding it very hard to let go of some of M's baby stuff - even though she's almost four! Love the blues in your home, so sumptuous! #BetterPhotosProject

BavarianSojourn said...

From one ex-hoarder to another... Good luck with your journey! Love your pics as always! :)

Laura said...

Music magpie is always a good one if you have a fair few dvds to get rid of. The pennies for each one soon mount up. xxx

Organise My House said...

Loving the idea of using old suitcases for storing stuff - I will try this! - Thanks for the idea!

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