Weekend One: Narnia and other bedtime stories

It’s Weekend One for The Declutter Challenge by Femme Finance and we are focusing on… Wardrobes and Bedrooms.

Remember, you decide how your decluttering challenge goes and you decide what you want to tackle first – the wardrobe or the bedroom.

Some of you may keep pretty tidy and decluttered wardrobes already, so if you are one of those amazing people, who I aspire to be, have a look about your bedroom space unless you feel like an overhaul of your wardrobe wouldn’t go amiss. Is there too much tabletop clutter? (Table top as in any surface area, bedside tables, tops of dressers, bedheads etc.) Are there piles on these surfaces, drawers where clothes are stuffed in rather than folded or put away in the Marie Kondo style? Paper in stacks (I don’t know why but there is so much paper in my bedroom)? Jewellry scattered along with makeup or perfume?

For those of us who need to battle the Wardrobes as well as their bedrooms, don’t feel overwhelmed as this is probably most of us!! It is definitely us here at Femme Finance!

Step 1 Make the bed!

This can be with clean sheets, fresh duvet cover and pillowcases (matching or not matching) or just a straightening of what is already there. This is an old trick of my nanas – with the bed made you are halfway there.

Step 2 Take a couple of photos

This is MANDATORY as nothing feels better or more motivating than when you look at the before and after photos, demonstrating your hard work.

Step 3 Get paper and pen

Sit on your bed or pick a spot you can observe your soon to be clutter free space. Write down what your plan of attack is.

Here’s my list as an example:

  1. Pull all clothes out of wardrobe and drawers
  2. Sort clothes into categories – donate, repair, sell, chuck, or limbo (I’ll come back to limbo in a moment)
  3. Decide what can be hung on hangers and what can be folded, with priority to what I wear most and put that selection in a place with easy access (front of the wardrobe or in dresser drawers, having a drawer dedicated to work clothes only)
  4. Remove all items from all surfaces – bedside tables, dresser tops, the bedhead (*glares at husband* why is this coffee cup here?)
  5. Wipe down with an ecofriendly spray or a damp cloth, depending on the needs of the surface
  6. Decide what really needs to be out on the tabletops. What purpose does it serve? Does it create a cluttered look?
  7. Wipe down all items that are staying with damp cloth
  8. Display
  9. Clean any cobwebs from the corners of the room and ceiling, wipe down windowsills and skirting
  10. Vacuum the floor
  11. Do I need containers for anything in my wardrobe or drawers? What would work in my space?

As you can see, I’m going the full hog and doing a clean as well – I have spotted a few Charlotte Webs that need addressing and bless my husband, but that coffee mug has left rings! You do not need to be this intense, unless you are in the mind set of ‘while I’m here, I may as well’.

Step 4 Send us your before and after’s and comment on our posts showing your own hard work – we want to know how you did!!

Lastly … get rid of the boxes and bags. Do it! Do it now before you procrastinate!!

So, there’s your plan – if you choose to use it that is.

What to Ditch

Now let’s talk about the in’s and out’s of these categories and what the heck a Limbo Box is.

Donate – clothes and other items that are in relatively good nick, that someone in need could use

Repair – you don’t wear or use it as it needs fixing / mending. Once you have separated this item from everything else, you can make a plan to get it sorted. Take it to an alterations place to repaired or gain a new skill in sewing. Most of my repair items are things that need rehemming, or a button sewed back on.

Sell – this is obvious. Stuff you don’t want or need any more and in a good enough state to sell. Trade Me and Facebook Market place are good places to begin here, but don’t forget about the local auction houses as well. Most towns and cities have auctions houses that can sell things on your behalf, but make sure you check into the % that the auction house will take off the sell price, to see if its worth it for you

Chuck – broken beyond repair, not good enough to donate or sell. Please ensure you check into the most ecofriendly way to dispose of this item. Look back at our introduction Blog Post around this THE DECLUTTER CHALLENGE – (femmefinance.co.nz)

Limbo – If you are like me and have gained a bit of weight over the lockdowns or just in general, and have beautiful clothes in good nick and you are aiming to fit them again so therefore you don’t want to get rid of them,  resulting in having two wardrobes taking up space. One you can fit right now and one you would like to fit in again. Let me introduce you to The Limbo Box! The Limbo Box is where you store the clothes you can’t fit right now but want to fit again. You must be really honest with yourself here. Make sure what you put in Limbo are things you will definitely wear again.

Storage solutions

So, you have decluttered, and you are looking about your new minimalized space with shiny pride. Congratulations!!! Things are hung up on hangers, shoes in neat little rows and drawers in such order you open them just to stare at how wonderful it looks. You feel mentally clear and as if you can put your mind to anything! You have however realized in your decluttering that you do actually need a few bins, or containers for things like scarves, belts etc.

Before you spend any cash try a few DIY options using things you may already have or can purchase cheaply.

Enter Stage Left…Pinterest.

This app has a million and one ideas to create your own storage. Have a scroll and see if anything resonates with you and fits in with your skill level …and let’s face it, patience level.

One thing I do with any smaller boxes or old shoe boxes I have, is repurpose them by buying a paint test pot in a colour I like or which is complimentary to the interior décor scheme (…if you have one. I am thinking of those who are like me and have to live with scary swirly wallpaper). I paint the box that suits the situation, and voila, you have boxes that hold your items, is ecofriendly, and may I say, sustainable. This option saves you spending too much of your hard earned moolah and it goes with your interior design. (I’ll post some photos on Instagram of some examples) Win win!

If you have a bit of cash you can put to purchasing some storage items, there’s the likes of Kmart, The Warehouse and Briscoes, if you are living in New Zealand, that offer some cost-effective solutions. Jjust be mindful that plastic options do leak toxins into your environment, which you can then inhale (read more about this on Kathryn Nelson’s Instagram account @plasticfreemermaid or her website wwwiquitplastics.com) and the plastic options are not that ecofriendly in the long run. If you have a bit more to spend and want to reimage what you have seen on Pinterest or Instagram accounts, Hannah Stickland Co-founder of @simplifymyhome have some great storage options. Spend wisely!

If you are a keeper of shopping bags – you know the nice ones especially if they are of spendy brands. I’m talking Dior, Chanel, Prada. Why not turn that clutter into works of art? Buy a suitable sized frame from Briscoes or similar retailer, arrange the bag flat with the handles as you want them, and you can keep a reminder of that shopping trip for as long as you like along with creating a piece of artwork that has a story attached.

Wow that was a lot of reading for you! Thank you if you made it to the end without going cross eyed. We hope what we have suggested helps with your decluttering. Good luck with it all, remember it’s your process, own it and relish in getting back to the necessities.

The blog for Weekend Two will go up next week where we will be tackling the Pantry & Kitchen… see you then!

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