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The short answer is decluttering!
When there’s so much going on in our day to day routine with work, school, activities, clothes to wash, cooking to do, friends to host and whatever else that fills up our life and our space, there’s nothing worse than coming back into a messy and cluttered house.
Our move to Algarve… our opportunity to declutter.
Since 2018, my family and I decided to experiment spending our winters in the sunshine of Algarve, Portugal. Therefore we rented a house and both our girls had to share a room.
They also had to choose what to bring with them and what to leave in Ireland. With all that, we have been doing a lot of decluttering!!!
Marine got rid of a lot of her toys the first year, and clothes. She’s a hoarder so she had a lot of stuff. But because she was going to share a room with Océane, she had to be selective and couldn’t bring too much stuff.
“It really made her realise that she didn’t need that much after all.”
Océane is rather minimalist – everything needs to be white and super tidy. A few plants, a mirror, a desk, a bed and that’s all. Same with her clothes – everything that she doesn’t wear anymore and that’s good gets sold on Depop! She doesn’t keep stuff that she doesn’t use.
“Decluttering has been amazing for all of us and it’s so much easier to keep the house clean and tidy. Now our house feels so nice and relaxing…”
Here are a few steps to start on your decluttering journey:
Do one room at the time over the period of a month.
Either throw away, give or sell what you don’t need anymore. For example:
In the kitchen:
– Get rid of anything you never use, all those ugly mugs, broken plates, utensils and things that don’t work anymore
- Check the expiry dates in your food cupboard and throw away everything that’s gone off
- Buy clear jars for your sugar, flour, pasta etc – it looks nicer than lots of food boxes and its easier to find what you need
- Get everyone (kids included) into the habit of either washing the dishes or rinsing them and putting them in the dish washer rather than leaving them in the sink or worse, on the table!
MAKE IT CLEAR WITH EVERYONE IN THE HOUSE FROM A YOUNG AGE THAT YOUR NOT THEIR HOUSEKEEPER!
In the living room:
This should be a room where you can relax as a family. All you need is nice couch with cushions, a small table, maybe TV, book shelf (for books only) and a few candles. Get rid of the books you don’t need anymore.
Get rid of any clothes that you don’t wear anymore or that you keep for when you will be a different size. Just keep what you love to wear and that suits you. Donate or sell the other things. Thats all.
General rules :
- Get everyone to do their beds in the morning
- Tell everyone to keep their stuff in their own room.
- Get your kids to tidy their own room from a young age.
As soon as my girls were able to empty a drawer, I taught them how to fill it up too. I had bought big boxes for their toys and after a friends visit or playing, they would have to clean up. I would help them but they got used to it.
We would also declutter their toys and clothes every summer and donate them. From the age of 7 if not before, they’ve been tidying & hoovering their own room and doing their own bed.
They also help me with housework for many years and they really enjoy living in a clean and tidy space. They don’t like mess! In fact, everyone is after Max as he’s the one who’s the most untidy in our house !!!
Start decluttering this weekend, just do one room. It will feel amazing and bring good vibes to your house, helping the energy to flow and creating space for good things to come in.
Once you’ve decluttered your house, look at your social media feed and get rid at what doesn’t bring you joy. It feels great too!