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December Declutter


Within the next week, we’ll be putting up all our Christmas decorations. And, if you know me, you’ll know that that means our entire house is about to get covered in colourful tinsel and other tacky things. The brighter, the better!

So, with the festive holidays looming, there’s never been a better time to declutter. As you know, I’m on a major minimalism mission, which I hope to kick into overdrive in the coming weeks and months. There’ll be an influx of new toys and trinkets soon and it’s important to make space, lest I end up swallowed in a pile of playthings. (I know not everyone celebrates Christmas but, let’s face it, pretty much everyone could stand to streamline their possessions.)

The truth is, everywhere I look, I see piles and piles of stuff. It’s not necessarily all crap but, at this stage, there’s so much stuff that it’s hard to see what’s good and what’s not at a glance. Even as I speak, there are two magazine folders to my right that house all manner of bits and bobs. It’s mostly papers, but I’ve also got my laptop cover squashed in there, along with my headphones, one of Scout’s books, and an empty plastic file folder.

Other than those visible things, could I tell you what’s in there? Nope. I know it’s papers, but could I tell you what kind of papers? Nope. Could I tell you if they hold vital information, or if they require immediate attention? Nope. Could it all be junk that just needs shredding? Quite possibly.

The offending folders
The offending folders

So here’s the deal: before December 1st hits, I’m going to go through those magazine files and do whatever’s necessary to get them back on track. I’ll use my ‘A PROPOS’ technique. I’ve already assessed what needs doing, so the next step is to quickly go through the files and purge anything that’s useless. I’m sure that, upon re-assessing, I’ll discover that two magazine folders is completely unnecessary, so I’ll end up purging/re-homing one of those too.

Then I’ll organise all the remaining stuff into categories — things that need to be filed away (thankfully, I have a semi-organised filing system); things that need to be returned from whence they came; and things that require some action first, like forms that need to be filled in (which is exactly what the magazine folders were supposed to be for in the first place).

Clearly, just having the folders there isn’t working, so I’ll need to devise a new system. One that means I don’t end up just dumping stuff in there, never to be seen again. Then I just need to keep an eye on it to make sure it’s working as needed, and tweak things if necessary.

So that’s it. Nothing major. I’m not hauling out everything in the office, or turning the house upside down. Instead, I’m going for one little area that has been bugging me and, if worked on for less than five minutes, could finally turn into the useful space it was intended to be.

And I want you to do the same! Come December 1st, we’ll all have worked on a little project that will make our lives that bit easier and that bit lighter. We’ll have gained control over one little area of our world and, with any luck, we’ll be spreading the decluttering cheer throughout the month of December.

Not only will we be making space for those inevitable gifts, but it also means we’ll be starting 2015 with a little less chaos.

Here are some very quick questions that I find helpful when deciding whether to declutter something:


  • Have I ever used it? When was the last time?
  • Will I ever use it (again)? Really? REALLY?!
  • Would it look better somewhere else? Like a friend’s house… or a charity shop window… or a dump…
  • How much time have I spent cleaning it, dusting it, moving it, fixing it, falling over it, etc?
  • How much time have I spent rummaging through it to see if I can find what I’m actually looking for?
  • How much space is it taking up? Wouldn’t it be lovely to replace that eyesore with something better? Something I use/love?
  • When are you gonna cop on and just ditch this shit already?!


So who’s up for a little December declutter?


{ I’ll be posting pictures of my progress over on Instagram with the #HowToGYST and #DecemberDeclutter hashtags. Why not join in? }


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2 Responses

  1. I’m planning my brain dump Monday, notebook at the ready. I’m getting my shit together before the start of 2015. Wish me luck

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