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Clutter clearing

publication date: Dec 11, 2010
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author/source: Anne Coates
According to those who practise Feng Shui, clutter in your home (and work space) blocks the flow of energy and can have far-reaching and profound effects. Whether you believe that or not, on a practical level clutter can become a physical obstacle in your home, you end up literally tripping over things that you have no space for. Clutter can also be stressful and time-consuming – how often have you gone through the same pile of papers looking for some form for school that you have to sign and return?

Before Christmas is a good time to rid your home of all things you just don't use or need any more. And in doing so create more space. If you really can't bring yourself to dispose of something, pack it away somewhere and, in six months time if you haven't missed it, you know can let it go.

Before you start
Have four boxes ready for:
  1. things which are broken/beyond repair and need throwing out
  2. items that can be recycled via charity shops
  3. clothes, jewellery, toys which could be sold via ebay and such sites
  4. things when can be mended/changed/adapted for use
Have your camera ready to take photos of anything which brings back good memories but you just don't have the space for now.
Clothes
Prune out anything you haven't worn in the last two years (one year if you're feeling really keen!). Don't keep something thinking you'll "slim into it".

Look at your clothes dispassionately or get a friend to help. If you're not happy with an item see if you can ring any changes to make it more acceptable: shortening the length, changing the buttons, dyeing to a different colour. If not add it to one of your boxes.

With children's clothes, keep anything that can be passed on but ditch the worn/washed out torn, etc. Anything you really can't bear to part with, pack away to be stored in the loft etc.

Check where you hang your outdoor clothes – you'll probably find a few items you can get rid of.

Books
It took me years before I was able to cull my bookshelves but once begun it got easier. Keep books you love and get rid of those you'll never read again, never opened in the first place or just don't like. The same applies to children's books – when they've outgrown them pass them on but keep the really precious ones.

Toys
You have to be careful here – children often go back to playing with  a toy or game you thought they'd long lost interest in or grown out of! But ditch broken toys which can be hazardous anyway, and games and puzles with missing pieces.

Unwanted gifts
Sadly we all receive presents from time to time which we don't like. Don't hang on to them. If you know someone who would like the item pass it on, if not give it to the charity shop.