Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A decluttering giveaway!

I'm the very last person you should come to if you want advice about decluttering. 

I'm the queen of big topply piles of papers, books and laundry.

Time for some filing...

Too many books...

Trying to be green means that we try to recycle and reuse everything properly rather than chucking it in a black bin liner and forgetting about it, so attempts at decluttering result in more piles of clutter to be disposed of in different directions. A 'hand-me-downs for the cousins' pile, a recycling pile, a charity shop pile, a 'borrowed-things-waiting-to-be-returned-to-their owners' pile, an Ebay pile, a 'move-to-another-part-of-the-house' pile....

Trying to be frugal means things are kept kept in case a use is found for them at a later date. Just take a look in our garage and you'll see what I mean...

My general rule of thumb is that there are lots of things I'd rather be doing than worrying about clutter, so it doesn't unduly bother me as long as the piles aren't becoming too much of a health and safety hazard and as long as I can still see small patches of carpet in Son's bedroom, under all the Lego and clothes.

BUT part of the motivation for joining in the Slim Your Bin project was to work on slimming our clutter too. Week 7 of the project focused on all the ways you can get rid of stuff without it going to landfill.

As if by magic, at the same time as we were slimming our bin, a decluttering fairy arrived in my email inbox, waving her virtual wand. She goes by the name of Tiffany Muehlbauer, an ex pat American living in Berlin, of the blog No Ordinary Homestead. Tiffany, a 'sustainable living guru' (and mother who understands the clutter of family life), was looking for people to try out her new online decluttering programme, Decluttering Made Easy.


Tiffany: declutterer extraordinaire and creator of the 'ultimate decluttering course!'

Husband laughed long and hard when I told him that I thought I'd give it a go, and said something along the lines of, "It will have to be a very good programme if it's going to have any effect on you..." But with the Slim Your Bin project up and running in our house, the timing seemed right, and besides, Tiffany was offering a membership for me to give away on the blog too.

In the name of you, my blog readers, I have been trying out the programme. 

What does it entail? Well, armed with a user name and password, you are ready to run. It's not scary at all. You don't get bombarded with emails and instructions - I think the content is pitched at just the right amount. It's not just another online thing to waste precious time that could be better spent on, let's say, decluttering! A ten minute video featuring Tiffany's friendly face and natural approach arrives weekly, with an acccompanying PDF document and other goodies eg blank templates of 'to do' lists and calendars. There's a 'members only' Facebook page if you like that sort of thing.

As a hopeless declutterer, the pace suits me. The membership is for a year, so there's no expectation to perform immediate miracles. Good advice abounds, such as reminders of the benefits of 15 minute bursts of tidying and acquiring the knack of 'just doing' chores that will only take a couple of minutes when you notice they need doing, plus suggestions for how to get the family on board. Improving your time management skills is also an important part of the course too. 

If you've been to my house recently (and some of you will have been) and you're wondering why it's not yet a minimalist haven, then it's because I'm only up to week 6 and it's been a gentle decluttering ride so far. In fact, although there's been a fair amount of tidying, not much actual decluttering has been done, but I think things are about to get serious. Who knows, I might even give you the odd update!

If you've ever thought about buying a decluttering book or thought about simplifying your possessions, or if you're in the process of decluttering and would like bit of a helping hand from Tiffany, then this could be the very thing for you!

If you'd like to enter the giveaway for free membership to 'Decluttering made easy', just leave a comment below by Saturday 23 March, midday (GMT) and I'll pick a winner at random. (If you do enter, please remember to check back to see if you've won later on that Saturday!)

I may not be the person to come to if you want advice about decluttering but I sure am the person to come to if you want a giveaway about decluttering!

29 comments:

  1. If you are concerned about where the stuff you get rid of goes, decluttering can be quite an overwhelming task. That's why you have to have the attitude of slow and steady wins the race. I'm sure your efforts will pay off. We could use some decluttering efforts around here also, but we're much better than we used to be.

    Since I have already won one of your prizes, I'm not entering this contest. Good luck to everyone else.

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    1. I'm definitely slow and steady but the problem with this is that stuff comes in slowly and steadily too. I'm hoping this year to get the stuff leaving the house to outweigh the stuff coming in!!

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  2. I also generate lots of piles when I'm decluttering! I think that decluttering when trying to be 'green' can make it a much more stressful experience as I don't want to waste things when they could be reused but trying to find the appropriate ''place' for them can sometimes be difficult so it is often easier to live with the clutter lol! Please can you enter me into the giveaway thanks :)

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  3. I thought you were going to give away some of the stuff you were decluttering...!

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    1. Sorry to disappoint you ladies! Give me a few weeks/months and there may well be some more decluttering giveaways from the fruits of my decluttering!!

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  4. Perfect timing as I was just about to jump in and do just that in my home!

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    1. With spring in the air, it's a good time for decluttering!

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  5. I would love to win this because, having just moved into a much smaller place with no storage, I need to get rid of some stuff!

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    1. Good luck! I think you'll make a very successful declutterer.

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  6. I seem to have had a life long battle with clutter and it still rages on.My problem i think is memories and sentimentality.I still am working towards letting go and we recently renovated the house which has helped as i dont want to ruin it by becoming overwhelmed.so most things are PILED awaiting SORTING lol.Love reading about others and how they conquer theirs so keep up the great work. Helen x

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    1. I can identify absolutely with the difficulty of getting rid of memories and sentimental stuff and I am definitely a piler rather than a sorter too!!

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  7. A friend of mine once hand-built new windows for his house and made sure all the window sills sloped at 45% - so his wife couldn't fill them with 'stuff'! I am absolutely NOT a clutterer, and even find it hard to work when my desk is messy. But each to their own way I guess.

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    1. I like your friend's idea but if I was his wife I'd have still found plenty of other alternatives for 'stuff'...chests of drawer tops, book shelves, floors, kitchen work surfaces....(unless they were similarly angled...)

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  8. My clutter seems to eventually accumulate in one room - and I am having trouble getting in to it now! I think I need that book.

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    1. We don't have any spare rooms so we don't have that problem, but it just means the clutter is evenly distributed around the house...I don't know which is worse! BTW it's an online course not a book (although you could print out the PDF documents if you like having things in print).

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  9. Part of me says, Oh yes! Please! But the other part asks whether I'm serious: would I keep it up?

    I've just taken up the opportunity to buy the flat I've been renting for nearly 15 years, as the owner now wishes to sell. Whether or not it's a good purchase I can scarcely tell, as I am so relieved not to have to face moving and all the de-cluttering that would involve. So you can tell I am a truly desperate avoider of de-cluttering, to the extent of preferring to face living on a much reduced income. Yes, I really do need this programme. Please.

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    1. The good thing is that nobody will be coming to check up on you to see if you are keeping it up! I'm looking at it as helping me with the ever ongoing process of decluttering!

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  10. I'm pretty good at keeping the clutter down (by my own standards, at least), which probably came for a year of daily reading of www.365lessthings.com an Aussie blogger who posts 5 times a week, to help people get rid of one thing a day (as in decide it's leaving, not take something to the thrift shop daily - that WOULD be overwhelming!)

    So don't put me in for the course, but hopefully I can cheer you along and support you?

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    1. Thank you live to list!! I'll have to check out 365 less things.

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  11. I've been trying to declutter this past year - but I still have some hot spots!

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  12. Please add me to the entry list. I always seem to be decluttering! ;-) Lisa

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  13. I can declutter. In one area and then as soon as I turn my back to do somewhere else the first area falls apart. Having a family who seem congenitally unable to put things away after themselves doesn't help, but I also empathise with all the previous comments- sentimentality (nurtured by my mother. Thanks Mum.), trying to find the best/greenest home for things, 'it-might-come-in-useful-one-day'...

    Thanks for doing this!

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  14. I would love this as I am an 'attempter'. I have been quite hard on dvds and books but I pulled a few back from the pile before it got to the charity shop!

    I actually like clear space but life's paperwork defeats me. I also have a friend who has more emotional clutter than me so I could help her too.
    All the best with your blog.
    Sue

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  15. Anything that can motivate or guide us in the right direction as far as de-cluttering goes sounds fantastic to me. The best thing about the need for a programme like this one is that it means I'm not the only one in a mess! Love your blog by the way; I arrived here via Economies of Kale in Brisbane, Australia. Best of luck with it, Glenne :)

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  16. Not entering the giveaway, as we will be moving shortly so decluttering will inevitably be of the short sharp shock variety. However really interested in your decluttering progress - please report back!

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  17. I have decluttered quite a lot, having just moved into rented, now buying a house, so more decluttering before we move in there. It is far more challenging, when you can't just stick it all in a black bin bag & forget it!
    I love to help people declutter wardrobes and blog about upcyling too. Clothes are of course easy to dispose of - charity shops are great!

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