Monday, October 7, 2019

How to Get Neat...ish: Tips for De-Cluttering

I've never, ever been anything remotely close to a minimalist. I'm not a pack rat either, but I definitely do love my stuff, and I'm not a type-A personality when it comes to organization. Of course, many people have taken to following Marie Kondo's method to get organized, but to be honest, I just don't think I'm capable of that high level of organization (and ruthfulness when it comes to getting rid of stuff).

But I still did want to do some cleaning and decluttering! So what can a girl do? When I heard Value Village was sending a package full of tips for being neat-ish, that sounded exactly what I needed. Neat-ish. That seemed like something I could attain. And let me tell you - it definitely worked! No, my closet didn't look empty after I was done with it, but it was lighter. I'm pretty proud of the multiple piles of stuff I was able to say goodbye to.

For all of you folks out there that just aspire to be neat-ish too, don't worry I'm sharing all of Value Village's Neatish Tips (as well as some of my own tips) below, so just keep on scrolling!

Put the U in Declutter

I don't do well with strict 'rules' for decluttering. Sometimes I just can't let go of an item...yet. And there's no need to feel guilty about that. Usually it takes me a season or two to be able to finally part with something that had more sentimental or emotional value. But that's ok!

You also don't need to blindly follow the rules of a decluttering system that just doesn't feel like you. For instance, if you're not a minimalist, trying to follow the rules of maintaining a minimalist closet just may not work. I love how minimalist closets look, but I know it's just not my style.

That being said, that's why just trying to be a little neat-ish appeals to me so much. My closet does get to the point where there's just no more room, and I do need to declutter, but I want to do it in a way that my closet still feels like it's my closet. Just some food for thought!

Space Save the Sentimental

One of the best tips I've ever heard for decluttering the really hard-to-part-with items take photos! If you're holding onto a clothing item that you'll never wear again but have trouble giving it up for sentimental reasons, an easy way to keep the memory without the stuff is to take a photo! I've got a Fujifilm Instax 8 that I can use to snap a photo of myself in the item of clothing - then I've got a cute photo memory to remember that item by! It takes up a whole lot less space than the actual clothing. I have a tendency to want to keep items of clothing that I wore for special events, but let's be honest, a lot of them don't fit anymore, so this is a smart way to keep the memory without the 'stuff'.

Have Fun Decluttering

Decluttering shouldn't have to feel stressful and overwhelming. It can actually be a lot of fun (not to mention eco-friendly)! Here's a few ways to keep the energy up while you're parsing through your old things:
  • Turn your bedroom into a "Keep or Donate" runway! Make A pile for donation, a pile to keep, and a pile for 'need to try on because I'm not sure'. When you're done making the piles, do a little try-on runway show with the items you're not sure about, to help you make a final decision.
  • Pop on your favourite playlist...hell, why not grab a glass of wine! It's all about enjoying the process.
  • If you need someone to help you make the hard decisions to "Keep or Donate" certain items, invite a friend over!

Make Reuse a Ritual

This decluttering experience took me a while...probably because it had been a bit too long since I'd done it. One thing I've resolved to do now is to make organizing a repeatable ritual. Every few months, I plan to take a quick look through my stuff and see what can be donated. Here are a few different ways you can make decluttering a ritual:
  • You can use the 'one in, one out' rule to keep clutter to a minimum. For every new item that comes into your home, try to let another item go (responsibly, of course)!
  • Choose a length of time that works for you, and stick to it (like every two months). Personally, I do a big declutter twice a year when I change over my closet from spring to summer, and summer to winter. It's an easy time to assess what I did and didn't end up wearing during the previous season, as well as look at what I had in store and am either excited to wear again, or had totally forgotten about. I also try to do some smaller decluttering every few months (it doesn't always happen).
  • If you need a little extra nudge, set a reminder on your phone - this is what I'll be doing in future!

Always Declutter Responsibly

Once you're done piling up all the items you're OK with saying goodbye to, it's time to get rid of them...responsibly! I always make sure to pack everything up and donate them to Value Village. That way, rather than going to a landfill, your items can go to a new home that will love them! Here's a couple tips to help make your things ready for donating:

  • If you're donating fragile items, wrap them up in old newspapers or towels so they make it to Value Village in one piece!
  • For pairs of things, use old rubber bands or string to keep shoes, gloves and earrings as a set.
  • The best way to donate your things is in good condition - if you can, pre-wash items and dry them before you donate.
  • And of course, when you're ready to take your bags of clothes for donation to Value Village, definitely bring along a friend to shop with after you drop off your old clothes.
  • Don't forget to reap the awesome benefits of donating your old clothes! I always make sure to get one of Value Village's punchcards so I can get a discount when I shop after dropping off my clothes.

Here's a few fun things I found at Value Village after dropping off my big garbage bag full of items for donation! These cute linen pants and colourful BCBG Max Azria top both came home with me. (Notice how I'm bringing home less clothing than I donated - that's key!!).

I wish you all the best on your decluttering adventures! Got any helpful tips I missed? I'd love to hear what they are!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

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