So, as you may all know lovely readers, we’re planning on moving in the future. Mum’s house is on the market, and The Gypsy Van is going to be moving to a new location at some point. You’ll also know I’m still slap bang in the middle of renovating the old girl, and I’m trying to design a more simplistic and minimalistic life for myself, my home and my little family (if a boyfriend and two cats can be called a family of course!).
One thing I’ve always been really crap at is keeping my clutter to a minimum. I’m such a natural hoarder and really like having nick-nacks lying around, but in a caravan that’s just not practical or a sensible use of what little storage space we have. I’ve been systematically clearing out and decluttering since I moved in and thanks to some really simple guidelines, it’s become a lot easier to be really strict with myself. So I thought I’d share them with you guys today as I know minimal living is a really big thing right now and someone may just find these tips useful!
If it’s not useful, beautiful or seriously sentimental, chuck it
A little mantra I learned from the Domestic Goddess herself, Anthea Turner. I was obsessed with her show ‘Perfect Housewife’ when I was younger and learned a lot from it. In particular, during a clear out you make three piles of things. One is things that you’re keeping, in which you place all the items that are useful, beautiful to you, and anything that has serious sentimental value. In the second pile you put anything that’s still in good condition and usable, and mark this all for donation to a charity shop. And the third pile is anything that’s broken, useless, or can’t be donated for whatever reason. This third pile goes in the bin. You can also throw anything away that’s maybe sentimental for negative reasons. An impartial and cruel, yet loving best friend is useful for telling you if something should go in the bin!
If you haven’t used it or worn it in 6 months, say goodbye
Particularly for clothing, makeup, accessories, and anything else like it. I’m trying to build a capsule wardrobe that gives me a ton of outfit options without having to own more than maybe 40 or so pieces of clothing. So far, I’m failing. So every now and again I sort through my clothes and anything I haven’t reached for in the last 6 months I either donate or throw away. If it’s something special, like an evening dress, my favourite heels, or anything I want to keep for sentimentality, then obviously these are exceptions. But generally, if it doesn’t fit, doesn’t work, or doesn’t go with anything else you own, chuck it out!
If it doesn’t fit your aesthetic, you know what to do
This is maybe the best tip for me as my clutter tends to be cute little ornaments I’ve bought without thinking. The Gypsy Van is going to be all white and grey, with vintage and Scandi inspired furniture and (hopefully) minimal clutter. I’m going for a ‘museum of our lives’ vibe with plenty of white wall space and beautiful items that reflect who we are in this home. When I moved into my caravan I brought everything with me that I owned and have since gotten rid of about 80% of it and replaced it with things that I either love the look of in my space, or actually need to live in here (like lights, or crockery).
If you want to create a home that’s got a theme or style to it that you find beautiful, you have to stick to that religiously. And that means getting rid of things that you maybe like a fair bit, but you can’t make them fit into your decor. Again, the exception for this is anything you’re seriously attached to on an emotional level; for me this exception is ballet themed plushies that look pretty cute sitting above the window in my dressing room, but definitely don’t fit my grown up style, I just love them too much to get rid of them!
So there are my personal favourite tips for when I’m decluttering. Hopefully these tips keep me on the right track with my Gypsy Van renovation like they have done so far. If you try any of these tips, let me know how you like them!