Posts Tagged ‘decluttering’

makeup drawer before & after

Since we’re about to move house, I am less in organising mode as I am in decluttering overdrive. So while I had organised my makeup drawer a few times since we’ve lived here, it was well overdue for a proper clear out.

To make matters worse, as I’ve discovered before, the drawer dividers have a tendency to pop out or get things stuck under them. But hopefully a good declutter will reduce the effect of this.

makeup-drawer-during

Like any drawer clean-out, I started by taking everything out and laying out the contents according to type. It’s then really clear how much you really have, including any duplicates (such as my three foundations, half-dozen eyeliners and countless lipsticks) and items beyond their life (perished brushes, out-of-date mascaras).

makeup drawer before & after

After a good wipe-out, I set up the dividers again and returned only the items that I use. I find this is an easier way to do a ruthless declutter (adding back things you use rather than taking out things you don’t).

makeup-drawer-during-2

I was left with the items above. Some products were binned (ahem, like the blue eyeshadow I’ve had since I was 15) but others were able to find another use in my cosmetics case.

makeup-drawr-during-3

Ridiculously, a couple of spent products were in the drawer for the sole reason that I loved the colour and wanted to replace them. I took note of the names of the brands and colours in Evernote then tossed the empties.

makeup-drawer-before-&-after

I must confess I still have frequently-used lipsticks/glosses stashed in every handbag and I clearly need to consolidate my eyeshadow collection. But overall, definitely a big improvement in only ten minutes.

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gift card wrapping ideas
Gift card wrapping idea by So Shelli

I love choosing gifts for loved ones. But it can be tricky if your recipient:

  • struggles with clutter
  • has expressed desire to unclutter
  • lives far away from you
  • lives in a small space
  • is in a temporary living situation (eg dorm)
  • is moving soon or moves frequently
  • says they don’t need/want presents
  • is a person who ‘has everything’

I’ve had to buy for people in all of these situations (and am in a couple of them myself) so I thought I’d do a roundup of some no-clutter gift ideas to follow up from yesterday’s worst clutter gifts post.

Tickets

Who wouldn’t want to be gifted a special night out?

  • Concerts
  • Movies
  • Theatre
  • Art exhibitions

Experiences

Experiences make wonderful and memorable gifts. Great for kids who have more than enough toys!

  • Zoo trip
  • Golf session
  • Travel voucher
  • Wine tasting

Classes

A great option but you’ll have to be sure it’s something the recipient is interested in and that they have time for it.

Services

Services can be some of the best uncluttered gifts. Choose from me-time treats or time-saving practical options, depending on what your recipient would appreciate most.

  • Hairdressing
  • Manicure / pedicure
  • Massage
  • House cleaning
  • Car washing

IOUs

A homemade voucher is an especially good gift for new parents or if you are on a tight budget. I provided some meals to my friend after the birth of her first baby last year and she’s still talking about it as one of the most appreciated gifts.

  • Homemade meal
  • Babysitting
  • House cleaning
  • Car washing
  • Preparing taxes
  • House painting
  • Gardening

Consumables

An oldie but a goodie. Make sure they’re nicer than your normal plonk or biccies they would buy for themselves.

  • Wine
  • Spirits
  • Chocolates / sweets
  • Chutneys / jams / sauces

Digital media

Books, music and movies used to be some of the worst clutter offenders. Not anymore!

Charitable donation

A particularly good option if your recipient is known for their social conscience, is a bit older and ‘has everything’ or is experiencing a bereavement (as an alternative to flowers). The ones where you can sign up for a particular thing are good – a pair of slippers wouldn’t have meant much to my auntie but she was chuffed knowing that someone had been given the gift of sight in her name. Select a charity that resonates with the interests of your loved one. Here are a few:

Gift cards / cash

Obviously they could end up buying something ‘cluttery’ with it but the choice is theirs.

Tangible gifts

If you’re like me and prefer giving tangible gifts, there are still ways to keep it uncluttered.

  • To replace something else if you think they would appreciate it (eg a new lamp to replace a broken one, bonus points if it’s a versatile item that can replace more than one thing)
  • Something they need and would buy anyway, such as clothes (consider making it better quality than they would buy for themselves so it still feels special)
  • Something that will help get them organised (eg labels, scanner, calendar)
  • Chip in with others to purchase one more substantial or better quality item (give the newlyweds one kick-arse coffee machine instead of 20 platters)
  • Flowers!

So, what do you think? Anything you’d add to the list?

What are your favourite uncluttered gifts to give and receive?

P.S. Happy birthday to The Man!! The last year of our twenties and I’m sure it’ll be a good one. xxoo

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I think you’ll all agree when I say that paperwork is one of the biggest clutter culprits in most homes. ‘Going paperless’ is a semi-regular series on eliminating paper from your home in order to save time, reduce clutter and benefit the environment.

I’m so looking forward to diving into this new series with you, because I truly believe that reducing the amount of paper in your home can make your daily life a whole lot easier.

Step 1: Prevention

The first step is to stop more paper coming into your home. Does this scene look familiar to you?

Pile of paper on kitchen table

Every day we were receiving a ton of mail that ended up in a dumping ground on the kitchen table. It was a daily struggle to keep on top of it.

Most of it was catalogues, many of which were immediately tossed and therefore a complete waste and others we gave only a cursory flip through.

No junk mail sign

A couple of dollars later, I had a ‘No junk mail’ sign attached to our (really attractive 1970s) letterbox and the constant stream of unwanted advertising material is gone, leaving us with only a few letters to deal with each day. As a bonus we’re not bombarded with temptation to buy things we don’t really need.

What about the catalogues you do want to receive, I hear you ask? The only catalogue I regularly used was for my supermarket, so now when I’m planning our weekly meals I simply hop onto their website and take a squizz through the specials. If I’m in the market for a particular item such as furniture or electronics I go to Lasoo and read only the relevant catalogues (this is Australian; perhaps some overseas readers can chime in with your local equivalent).

I’d love to know, how do you deal with your junk mail?

Next time: Dealing with other types of mail

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before&after.gif

Under stairs before Under stairs after

We’ve had a teensy issue under our stairs. Bear in mind that this is not hidden in some rarely used corner, it’s right in the middle of our small open-plan living/dining room.

It started when The Man and I got engaged, oh, almost two years ago. We (er, I…) started collecting decorations for the engagement party, then the wedding. After the wedding the boxes just, well, stayed there.

I have sloooowly been picking away at the pile, donating something here, repurposing something there. Until finally, miracle of miracles, it is now back to how it should be and I’m no longer ashamed to have anyone see it.

Does anyone else have that one problem area in your home? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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