Tara Button believes that no matter how much we try to tidy, the way we buy things is broken so she wrote A Life Less Throwaway as a step-by-step guide to fixing our relationship with things. The result? “A calm, beautiful home and wardrobe, and a life you love,” she claims. “I call my process Mindful Curation.”
Do you ever look around your home and wonder where all this clutter came from, or open your full wardrobe and sag with the feeling you have nothing to wear? Same.
One woman had the exact same problem so she decided to delve deep into the reasons why and how she could create a clutter-free life to clear her mind.
Here she shares her top 5 tips for achieving Mindful Curation with UK…
1. Discover your A-Team
It’s amazing how stuff we don’t even use lurks in our corners and clutters up our homes. Choose a 20-day stretch when you’ll mainly be at home to do this exercise. Then, get a pack of dot stickers and put a sheet in every room of the house. Any time you use or appreciate an object in that room, put a sticker on it. At the end of the 20 days, notice all the things that don’t have a sticker. The stuff you don’t use or appreciate. Make these objects fight for their right to stay. Anything that doesn’t cut it should go into a ‘sell’, ‘donate’ or ‘recycle’ box.
Next, take each category at a time (I like to start small, with underwear to build up confidence). Pick out all those items that you would naturally choose to use first if all your items were washed and in the drawer, the ones that you love to wear. This is your A-team, take time to admire it. Make notes on your A-team items so you know which items to purchase in the future. Anything outside of your A-team need to justify its place in your home. Go through each product category in your home doing this and tick them off as you go.
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2. Give “I’ll use them someday” items a sell by date
We all have those items that we feel we should use. For me, it’s treadmills, fancy cocktail glasses, sports equipment, muffin trays, instruments and hobby sets. What I recommend is to put a ‘best before date’ sticker on these items. This means that if you don’t use it within the time you’ve set for yourself, it has ‘gone off’ and you can get rid of it with lighter heart.
Any items that make you feel guilty, like you should like them because someone gave them to you, get rid of as soon as possible. Why have something in your house that makes you feel bad about yourself? It’s a waste of space, and someone else might love it!
3. Buy according to your real priorities
Once you’ve really thought about all the things that bring you long-term happiness and meaning, run through them. Break them down into activities and physical items. All these things take time, money and often, equipment, so make sure adverts and our consumer culture aren’t manipulating you into putting money into stuff that doesn’t really help. A bike might help you explore and go on trips with your friend and families, and so help you with your purpose. A newer, flashier watch on the other hand, might give you a momentary rush of excitement, but might not ultimately add anything meaningful into your life.
4. Get off the trend treadmill
Opening a stuffed wardrobe and feeling you have nothing to wear is a new phenomenon. There used to be 2 fashion seasons, Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. Nowadays, there are 52, with fashion changing every week to get us spending at a frantic rate! The trick to getting off the treadmill is to ignore the trends and find your own style, and then buy fewer, higher quality items that you will feel amazing in every time you put them on. Opening a wardrobe that only contains your A-team is a lovely feeling and saves you time and stress in the mornings, too.
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5. Go deep on style research
Finding this A-team is fun. Put aside a day to find your true personal style. Go to the biggest shop you can find, but not to buy anything. Spend the morning just looking at colour and what different tones, shades and qualities of colour does when its put against your skin. The right colours will make your eyes seem alive and your skin glowy. Spend the afternoon looking at shape. Which necklines, waistlines, hemlines and sleeves create the most pleasing shapes for you? This is about finding your soul style… Like a soul-mate but in cute-outfit form. Do the same for décor – creating moodboards along the way.
Together, all these tips should help declutter your home and free you from impulse buying so it never gets cluttered again.