Confession time – I’m a reformed messy person. I’m not even that reformed if I’m honest. I leave shit everywhere. If I come to your house I’ll leave a pile of crap in my wake. Shoes, my bag, often little piles of jewellery I’ve taken off. My sunglasses, a scarf. Growing up I was the butt of family jokes. My parents called my wardrobe the Avalanche because when you opened the doors a landslide of books, toys and clothes would come spilling out.
I’m also a reformed maximalist, particularly when it comes to clothing and makeup. I used to have a literal chest of drawers full of accessories. I worked in a bead store and I made dozens of necklaces, hardly any of which I actually wore. At one stage I owned over 50 satin scarves because I read that Anna Wintour collected scarves and for some reason that seemed like a good idea to me. I didn’t even particularly like Vogue or Anna Wintour, so it’s anyone’s guess why I decided to do that. Probably a weird mid-20s reinvention I was embarking upon.
I can remember back when I first started making tracks as a blogger, I somehow wound up on the freebie list of a major make-up brand and they would send me their entire makeup range four times a year. It was amazing. Every quarter this epic box would arrive full of lipstick and eyeshadow. My girlfriends would come over and drink wine and scavenge around to grab the best colours. Well, that happened after the first box arrived. When the second one arrived, my friends had barely finished the free foundation they got last time so they weren’t interested. I took it to the school I worked out at and the teachers went wild for it. I had nowhere to take the next box so I sent a bunch of packages to some long time readers. The fourth box? Sat on my shelf for months until I donated it to a Share The Dignity style charity. I asked to be removed from the list after that. The stress of trying to offload the free makeup wasn’t fun and I hated all the waste.
I started to feel the same way about everything. My bulging closet was freaking me out – I only wore about 10% of the items in it. I had like 10 different winter scarves and I never wore any of them. Our kitchen drawers were full of weird things we never used and weren’t quite sure why we bought them in the first place.
This was about 10 years ago. We did a massive cleanout and I’m pleased to say we’ve been relatively minimalist ever since.
In my opinion, it’s almost impossible to be tidy when you have too much stuff. The less stuff you have, the easier it is to manage.
This episode is all about keeping things tidy but not in a detailed and realistic way. Also, I made sure all of these tips are properly accessible. There’s no requirement to spend $400 on storage boxes.
In this episode, I chat about…
• Being a reformed maximalist
• The statistics on clutter and how it affects well being
• The science experiment that shows a correlation between tidy homes and cortisol rises resulting in stress as a result of cluttered spaces
• How being untidy often isn’t laziness it’s more emotional than that
• The Box Method for keeping drawers and cupboards tidy
• The Place for Everything Theory
• The Elimination of Transient Storage Spaces
• Scheduling Tidying
• The Long Term Tidy List
If you want to get back on top of your tidying, this episode is for you. Even if you’re already pretty tidy, I bet there’s something useful in here for you.
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This week’s episode also comes with a Tidy House Checklist that will help you declutter in 15 days. You can get your hands on it by becoming Patreon here.