We get asked to do a wide variety of things at roomtobreathe from booking flights to arranging tradesmen to interviewing domestic staff. But there is one job that really gives me a sense of satisfaction: a great big clear out!
Yesterday, I popped over to a client in South London who needed my support to declutter her young daughter's bedroom and spare room. I must say when I arrived I gulped, bags of paper and toys strewn across the floor under every nook and crannie. However I rolled up my sleeves grabbed the bin bags and threw myself into it. All it took was 3 hours of hard graft to completely transform both rooms into inhabitable, gorgeous looking spaces where you could see the floor. She tells me her daughter loves it when I come over to do her room, though admittedly I do get a little anxious at throwing away precious stickers. I always find it best to start in one corner or cupboard and move out from there, always tackling the worst section.
Here's how to do a successful declutter:
1. Watch Abigail Ahern's show on C4 Thursday evenings 'Get Your House In Order' so you can reassure yourself that your mess is no way as bad as those people!
2. Buy lots of heavy black liners.
3. Grab your cleaning spray and plenty of jay cloths from under the kitchen sink.
4. Wear your oldest clothes, put your hair up and roll up those sleeves, this can sometimes be a messy job.
5. Then just get stuck in.
6. Throw any clothing or shoes that hasn't been used in over 2 years.
7. Throw away those thread bare towels, blankets or bed linen even if they hold special memories. How often really do you think back to something you threw away?
8. Throw away unread newspapers that are over a week old, if you haven't already read that article you really won't will you?
9. Unless it's a Vogue throw those magazines away if they're over 6 months old. I'm just as guilty of keeping magazines for that rainy day or for that article but do I ever go back? No I don't.
10. Lastly get someone in like me who is unsentimental about your possessions, I'll make you see that really you don't need or indeed will miss that object that you've had since your university days. Sometimes it takes someone independent and unconnected to reassure you that what you're doing is ok.
So come on, take a couple of hours out of your day to finally clear that cupboard, room, garage or shed. You'll feel so relieved, satisfied with your accomplishment.
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