I don't know about you but I can never sit down and fully relax with a messy home. Once Harriet goes to bed, I spend 20 minutes running around clearing up toys and tidying the kitchen before I sit down to unwind. If I don't take the time to do this then I sit but I can't relax. I will be up and down and not invested in the unwinding time that we all need. We need that time to be able to be totally relaxed with no stress.
Look at the Scandinavians. Their homes and fresh, clean and decluttered and they appear to live pretty relaxed and happy lives. We all wanted to live more Hygge last year and there is a reason for that.
Things I did:
1 - Books
We threw or donated all the books that we had read and were simply sat on a shelf gathering dust and taking up valuable space. We kept the ones that were sentimental or useful to us but getting rid of the unused ones cleared so much space on my shelves. So unless you have a library at home or book storage, this is something I would definitely recommend.
2 - DVD's
Ok, be honest. When was the last time you sat and said 'should we watch a DVD' then walked over and put the disk in the DVD player? If I think about the last time we did, its probably 4 years ago. In an age where we all sit and watch streaming services or sky movies, do we really need those DVD's from 2009 sat in the cupboard?
3 - Old Cards and Paperwork
Do I really need to keep my university papers from 10 years ago? I don't know why but until a couple of years ago I felt it was really important to keep old birthday cards. I guess I was being sentimental and thought I may like to look back on them later on in life. This is probably true but at the moment I have memories to fill that space and don't really need a birthday card from my 23rd birthday. Unless it has a lovely handwritten poem or note maybe.
4 - Furniture
We moved to London from Surrey and to Surrey from the Lake District. Over the last two moves, our homes have decreased in size due to cost. This means that the furniture that once filled our home in the Lakes would struggle to squeeze into our home in London. This is when you have to decide which furniture is necessary. Do you need that extra sofa or that dining table that sits ten people? Downsizing isn't always a bad thing. How I look at things now is that if we don't use it for the three of us, and it doesn't add value to our lives then do we REALLY need it? We have guests but not enough to warrant an extra bedroom. We have toys, but not enough to warrant a playroom. We have friends over for dinners, but not enough to warrant a huge table and eight dining chairs. If I'm happy in my day to day life and feel happier with my space being used by less furniture then it doesn't matter if every once in a while a guest has to sit on a bean bag.
5 - Photos
I always loved having hundreds of photos and frames around the house. We had three frames on the wall once with 24 photos in each. They were all old and not even that great. I didn't throw my photos away, but I did go old school and put them into photo albums and scanned them onto the computer. Yes, this takes time but you want to keep those memories. Now, I have a select few photo frames around the house and I do change the photos every few years to something different.
6 - Mugs and Plates
My cupboards were bursting at the seams with mugs from over the years and realistically I only use three and have specific guest mugs for when we have people over. So why do I have those spotty ones stuffed at the back for no reason? The same with plates. I had chipped plates in the cupboard. They had to go. Recently I have really enjoyed collecting plates and bowl when I go out shopping. They are mix match and random and I love it. Also, if I ever break one it doesn't matter as it was never a set anyway so I can simply replace it with another random dish that I fall in love with at the local market.
7- Jars and the Lable Maker
Ikea is the best for jars. Cheap and cheerful and a great way to organise your kitchen. It's also a fantastic way to clean out that cupboard space from old bags of flour and dried fruits. Get your label on and throw away those our of date spices. Label your jars and enjoy a cleaner kitchen space. Only keep foods that are in date (that sounds basic but I found a tin in the cupboard that was 3 years out of date the other day).
Rereading some of these points and they seem a little miserable of me but honestly, in my day to day living I am so much happier in my home. It feels cleaner and takes much less time to tidy.
Try a couple of points in your home and see if you notice a difference. If something makes you happy, put it on display. If you want to keep something for the future, put it in a labelled box and place it in the loft or storage somewhere. I'm not saying throw or give away everything you own, just the things that don't bring any value to your life. Marie Kondo the SHIZZ out of your home. ( I haven't even watched her Netflix series but I've heard things).