Cluttered chest of drawers filled with clothes shoes and sports equipment

5 ways to clear the clutter you’ve been hoarding

It’s time to say goodbye to everything you’ve been hoarding

By Shannon Wilson, 11 January 2016
5 ways to clear the clutter you’ve been hoarding

We all have a little hoarder inside us. That voice that says ‘but you might need that!’ just as you’re about to give those clothes to a charity shop or shred an old bill.

There comes a time when you have to step back and realise that you will never finish that bottle of perfume you’ve had for three years

There comes a time when you have to step back and realise that you will never find what that wire goes with or finish that bottle of perfume you’ve had for three years.

Don’t feel dismayed, just remind yourself that your future will be a bright and clutter free place without them. Ready? Go, go, go!

1. Worn, broken or unused clothes

Underwear with holes and socks that don’t match? Tights with ladders and tops that are beyond salvation? And what about those shoes that you only wore once but can’t possibly get rid of, even though they almost ruined your feet? It’s time to say goodbye to anything that has outlived its purpose.

2. Old makeup, perfume and toiletries

Do you remember the last time you used that sparkly eyeliner or that thick foundation in the wrong tone? We all tend to rationalise our need for things that we probably only needed once or have outgrown. This includes taking a good look at sample sized or old toiletries that you are probably never going to use. In your makeup bag, anything you’ve had longer than a year will really need a refresh and make sure to check nail polishes thoroughly for separation and thick, gloopy liquid. Last but not least, don’t forget perfumes. In her book Pretty Honest, the straight talking guide to beauty, beauty guru Sali Hughes says, “Light is the enemy of scent. Keeping perfume on a windowsill will kill it faster than a sledgehammer… If your perfume has drastically changed smell or colour, then I’m afraid it’s curtains.”

3. Medicines and vitamins

When was the last time you cleared out your medicine cupboard? This one's actually really important because at best it’s inconvenient and at worst it can be dangerous if medicines and vitamins are out of date. Medicines can change their potency and chemical compositions over time, which means they could have serious side effects. There is nothing worse than being in the midst of a sore throat and going to the cupboard to get painkillers, only to find out they expired three months ago. Do you take them anyway? No, no, no! Throw them out NOW and restock as and when you need them.

4. Paperwork

‘Paperwork’ is a loose term that can be used to describe anything that is remotely paper related – this includes receipts, bills, letters, stationery, magazines and even those expired coupons you promised yourself you’d use this time. Marie Kondo, author of Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, says in her latest book, “Do you have dozens of notebooks that are still half blank? When people start a new project, it’s natural to want to use a new notebook. Discard all those that have finished their purpose unless they spark joy.”

5. Old electronics

Do you have an old mp3 player lying around, or even an old musical instrument from your teenage days that you don’t use? What about that box filled with cables you always mean to sort through, or those old manuals for a microwave you owned 10 years ago? Some people even hoard old mobile phones, just in case. It’s time to be ruthless. If you haven’t used it in the last year, give it up. Who knows, you may even make some money by trading it in on websites or in store!

For more decluttering help see the latest storage solutions from George Home here