5 Tips To Help De-Clutter Your Home in 2015

5 Tips To Help De-Clutter Your Home in 2015

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning Articles & Guides From the Author Inspiration Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

De-clutter Your Home In 2015

It’s the beginning of a brand new year and everyone is full of resolutions and hope for the upcoming 12 months. As well as promising to lose weight or join a gym, I’d like you to promise one thing to your home for the next year…To de-clutter it. All of it.

We all lead crazy busy lives and lives that are filled with convenience and “stuff”. Lots of  stuff. We are a nation of work hard, spend hard people and our houses are full to busting point of things we do not wear or use.

Couple of interesting facts for y’all – Did you know that the average UK  adult has over £1,000 worth of stuff/clutter that they could sell or donate just lying around their home? Also, did you know that many psychologists believe having an overcrowded and cluttered house can lead to depression, anxiety and even weight gain? Things that make you go hmm right?

Now I understand that you may not want to throw away that stripy bat-winged jumper that you looked good in when you were 17, just in case, one day,  it should make a miraculous return to the catwalks of the world. However, sometimes we just have to face facts and be hard on ourselves and admit that we would never (ever) wear that jumper again anyway, even if the great Anna Wintour herself declared it chic. The thing is, the memories you have of being a footloose and fancy free bat-winged-jumper-wearing-individual are not trapped in a jumper and they won’t erase if we got rid of the jumper.

This is were de-cluttering becomes hard, we have to separate the emotions from all the stuff…

5 Tips To Make de-Cluttering Easier

1. Make a plan. Tackle your house room by room.

Don’t try and do your house in a day or in one weekend as, unless you live in a tiny house, you won’t manage it and that will  just make you feel fed up and discouraged to carry on. Instead of throwing yourself aimlessly at your home, be strategic and make a plan of what you will do and on what days. You have a year to get everything straight so don’t panic. Just think about it for a second – it took yeeeeaaaaars to collect all the stuff you have right? It will take a while to sort out and get rid of. Rome was not built in a day…

Plan pic

2. Start with the “lived in” areas first

Start in your lounge, for example, and then work through your home from the most used rooms to the least. As you start to de-clutter the most used spaces of your home you should start to begin to feel and see the benefits of less clutter almost immediately. Your room will look bigger and brighter AND it will now take less time to tidy and keep clean, hurrah!

3. Get a 3 box system going in your home

Have 3 boxes or large bags with you when you de-clutter each room to keep you focused and working to a system. The boxes are i) Skip/Recycle ii) Keep/Relocate iii) Charity/Sell. As you go around the room place objects into one of the three boxes. Once done, the room will be ready to be cleaned and the ‘kept’ items put back. If you have the space in a utility or garage, try to keep a regular 2 box system for skip/recycle items and for charity items and make sure everyone in your home knows about and uses them.

5 De-Cluttering Tips from Mrs Mopp

4. Find a charity close to your heart

To give is always better than to receive and if it is possible for you to do so, please think about having a regular charity box in your home. A charity that means something to you will give you motivation to keep the de-cluttering effort going. If you have good quality items or clothing, find a a charity that moves you and one you that you would love to help and be involved in. Not everyone has time to volunteer or has the money to set up a charity monthly direct debit, so donating your un-wanted items is the next best thing and very much appreciated by the charities. Donating to your chosen charity is a win-win for everyone involved – Your home gets de-cluttered, the charity makes money for their cause and someone goes home happy with a new stripy bat-winged jumper. Yay!

The Mrs Mopp charity of choice for 2015 for clothes, household items and furniture is the Shropshire Community Project – If you live in the local area, please click the link after you’ve finished reading this post (Obvs), to learn more about them and the very wonderful work they do in our County. Thank you.

5. Hold a Clothes Swapping Party

Get all your chums to sort out their wardrobes, shoes and accessories, that they no longer wear and arrange a get together to swap with each other whilst holding your own private fashion show. A good giggle, you get to see your friends in one space and everyone goes home with something new and exciting to wear without even spending a penny!

5 De-cluttering tips from Mrs Mopp

Do you have any tips for de-cluttering and learning how to let go of things you no longer need or use? Please share them below if you do, we would love to hear them.

Until the next time, happy Cleaning!

K x

 

5 Signs You Need To Hire A Cleaner

5 Signs You Need To Hire A Cleaner

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Okay, so you have just found that T-shirt you have been looking for all summer; as the last leaves start falling from the trees. The t-shirt was found under that big pile of laundry, you have been meaning to sort through, that was at the side of the pile of paperwork and bills that you are going to organise when you get a minute, next to the plastic tub full of bits of toys, old jigsaw pieces and random socks. Sound familiar? Maybe you need a little help.

See our top 5 signs that you may need to think about hiring a cleaner

1.  You spend your weekend/only available down-time cleaning house. Are you sure there is not something else, other than scrubbing your bathroom, you would rather be doing?

Image Via Someecards.com

Image Via Someecards.com

2. You are very good at making piles and stacking things.. in a neat way of course. You are not entirely sure what is in each pile and, if you are honest, you don’t want to disturb them to find out. 

3. You are simply overwhelmed and feel disorganised by the sheer amount of things you have to do in your  day-to-day life and just never ever seem to find the time for any of it. You feel like you are constantly putting out fires and chasing your proverbial tail.

4. Your cobwebs have a dark colour to them, there are dust bugs on your windowsills and shelves (really) or tumble weeds blowing down your hallway (not really.. well possible, tiny ones)

5. Doing a “quick tidy up” for house guests takes you waaaaaaay longer than an hour; in fact a quick tidy up for guests means putting all the clutter in the nearest room or cupboard and jamming the door shut!

Any of the above sound familiar to you? Maybe it is time to think about hiring a cleaner to help out for a few hours a week. See our guide on finding a cleaning service to suit you and what to look for in a cleaner, to help. If you are living in Telford or Shrewsbury, then please take a look at our services and drop us a line.

As always we would love to have you feedback or comments and please do come and say hello to us on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest or Google+

Mrs Mopp x

 

 

I need some help in my home… now what?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Modern life is busy – we have demanding jobs, demanding relationships, demanding children and demanding social lives. So how do we “have it all” and stay on top of this game called life? Well, just as in business, there comes a time when you need to delegate the jobs you just don’t have time for/are no good at/take you an age to do/you don’t have the skills for etc. by employing some outside help.

So, before you start to drown in your martyr-dom of trying to do everything… take your underware off from the outside of your trousers and look for some help!

Do you drown in the demands on your time? Maybe time for some outside help!

 

There are many ways that we can all relieve the stress from our daily lives by hiring other people to take on the burdens for us; there are life organisers, like Tick It Off, who will take on anything you have going on; from de-cluttering tasks, to organising a party, to organising your home office or schedule, to returning your library books. There are pet groomers, pet walkers, gardeners, window cleaners, child minders, painters, repair men and, of course, cleaners.

So now that we have admitted to our self we need help, what are the next stages?

1. Do your research

Weather you are looking for a dog groomer, a life coach or a cleaner you need to do your homework. With the wonderful world of the online web, you don’t even have to leave your chair to do this! Use search engines to type in what you are looking for and in what area, then have a look at several websites (also check out any Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Google+ etc sites they may have). How does their online presence look? What types of things do they post about? Do they have a large following? Do they have recommendations or testimonials online about their business? Do they interact with their audience?

You can find out a lot on a person/business from the internet – does the business you are looking at relate to you? Do you like how they write/interact? Do they provide value to their online visitors?

2. Have 3 quotes

So you’ve looked online, there are a couple of websites you like the look of and their Facebook profiles seem to be exactly what you are looking for. Now what?

Make contact. Call them, email them or submit a website query form – How did they answer? How long did it take for someone to come back to you? Did they sound friendly and keen for your business?

Next, invite them to your home – personally I suggest seeing the top 3 you liked the look of online. Try and see the prospective businesses on the same day, if you can, so that the meetings stay fresh in your mind and are easier to compare. Ask all to bring copies of their insurance, their references and evidence of their work if applicable, then…

3. Interview the potential business

Any personal service worth their salt should be able to answer any question you throw at them regarding their services. Don’t be afraid to draw up a list of questions so that you don’t forget or get caught up with the sales pitch without actually finding out if that service fits your needs. Some questions I would suggest are as follows;

1. How long have you been trading?

2. What did you do before this business?

3. Who does the work, you or do you have staff?

4. How do you train and vet your staff?

5. Have you ever had to claim against your insurance?

6. How do you monitor your quality?

7. What do I do if I ever have a problem or am not happy with an element of your service?

8. How do I pay you?

9. What makes you different from your competitors?

10. (The million dollar question) Do you have references I can contact who will validate your service?

Just as you would at work – get the best people for the job in your home

 

Now that you have looked at the businesses online, had 3 quotes to compare and interviewed each business inside-and-out, you should have all the information you need to employ your outside help. So, make that call, offer that work to the service business and then go and sit down with a cup of tea and decide what you are going to do with that free time you have just given yourself…

 

How To De-Clutter Your Bedroom

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

So far this week we have sorted out your Junk Mail and de-cluttered your Office Space but today we move onto the house… We can’t delay it anymore, we have to tackle the big stuff!

As with all cleaning, one should start up and work down and we are going to do exactly that, starting with the bedroom…

Is your bedroom your sanctuary? Is it a tranquil place that you can unwind and relax in or is it cluttered, with clothes strewn across chairs and in piles, DVDs/CDs/Books stacked in every corner or bulging from shelves or wires from chargers, straightener’s and alarm clocks in every socket? In our busy and active lives our bedrooms should be a pleasure room for relaxation and sleep only, not to work in, haggle in, pay bills in… just to relax and sleep.

In this post we are going to look at 3 main areas of the bedroom to  de-clutter and offer you 5 tips on how to stay on top of it all once you have a achieved you peaceful, zen like bedroom.

Where Do I Start?

 

1. Furniture

Have a look at the furniture in your bedroom and what it’s function is – ask yourself if it’s needed or if there is a better way of storing it’s contents. Do you really need all your coats and jumpers in your wardrobe all year round? Do you really need every one of your 73 pairs of shoes in the bottom of your wardrobe? Do you really need a drawer full of scarfs?

As with anything you have constant contact with,  it can become hard to see the wood for the trees and I would recommend asking a friend to help with their fresh eyes. Ask your friend how they would lay your bedroom out if it were their room, if they think it is streamlined and using the space you have efficiently; sometimes even shifting a wardrobe from one wall to another can make a huge difference to the feel of space in a room

When reviewing your furniture, should you find a particular piece that is redundant in your bedroom, look at using it elsewhere in your home, donate it to a charity (http://www.netcycler.co.uk or  http://www.frn.org.uk/)  or sell it on in your local newspaper (most local newspaper offer a free selling service for items under £200)

 

2. Clothing

Clothing will be the biggest hurdle to your de-cluttering effort in your bedroom, as most people will own far more of it than they will actually need.  In todays society we will have winter and summer wardrobes, shoes, boots, belts, scarfs, accessories, hats, bags, jumpers… Where does it all live and do we need it all?

The first task is to open your wardrobe doors (and with your tough mind from the office de-clutter), be honest with yourself, in scrutinising your clothes and ask yourself the following questions

1) Do I wear it?

2) When was the last time I wore it? (My rule is a 6 months – If you have not wore one of your winter jumpers from October to April, remove it from the wardrobe)

3) Does it fit me? – Now this may sound like a crazy question but I know plenty of folk who keep clothes that are too small as they are their “Inspirational” clothes or they keep clothes too big for them “just in case”

4) Do I like it? – Again, not a crazy question, from personal experinace, I had a dress that I very much liked on the hanger, however, it does nothing for me in real life; I would take it out of the wardrobe, try it on, hate it, take it off, hang it back up and repeat the pattern weeks/months later… Let it go

5) Will I wear it in the next 6 months? – I recommend splitting your wardrobe into Spring/Summer, Autumn/Winter. When you are in one season the other half is packed up and put in the attic, under the bed, in a storage cupboard… you don’t need your snow boots and woolly jumpers in July!

For the clothes you have managed to part company with you can donate them to your local charity shop, in a clothes bank or have it collected from a national organisation (www.clothesaid.co.uk) or sell them (Ebay, PreLoved, BigWardrobe to name a few)

 

3. Bedding

Do you have bright colours, abstract designs or many colours, patterns and fabrics mish-mashed together? Your bedding may be too busy, making the room look cluttered or smaller than it is. Take a look at the below three points to help

1) Use White or neutral bedspreads and curtains to keep the room simple and fresh looking

2) Pillows – Less is more; do you really need a gazillion “show” pillows on your bed that you have to take on and off on a twice daily basis… really??

3) Cuddly toys – If you are under 10, we should have a review of how many you have and come to a mutually beneficial solution… if you are over 10 we need to talk! The odd teddy bear, even in a grown up bedroom, can be cute but to have a collection of 15 teddy bears is too much, looks too much, attracts too many bed bugs and lots of dust. Again, less is more sometimes

 

Okay you have reviewed your furniture, ransacked your wardrobes and drawers, removed 43 teddy bears and changed your bedding from flouresent pink to white with a hint of pink… now what?

Daily Tips 

1. Make your bed as soon as you get up and out of it

2. Open blinds/curtains straight away and open a window to air the room, even if only for the 10 minutes you are in the shower

3. When you get home from work/being out hang up your clothes or put them in the laundry, resist the urge to put on a chair (in fact let’s remove the chair!)

4. Avoid bedside clutter – you only need 1 drink, 1 pair of slippers, 1 reading book, 1 tube of hand cream etc

5. Keep an eye on yourself! Review new items you buy for your bedroom and where it will live, do you have space and do you even need it?

And so to bed…

 

 

Clear Your Mind, Clear your Office

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Day two of our mission to help you de-clutter your lives and living space. Today we talk about your office/desk space… now hands up, who has a desk that looks like a bomb has hit it?

I'm sure I had a stapler here somewhere...

Top 5 Tips to Cleaning Up Your Office

1. Clear your desk – That’s right, everything off!

Now you have a visible surface to polish and also a clean slate on which to start. Take a look at all the items that are now on the floor and ask yourself two things 1) What do I use on a DAILY basis? 2) What needs to be in reach? (This is where you have to be tough) ONLY the answers from those two questions get to make it back onto the desk everything else needs to be binned, recycled, filed or sold!

2. Book Cases, cupboards and shelves

A book case or storage cupboard is an invaluable asset in your office for giving items somewhere to live, however it is not to be used as a permanent filing stop gap for folders, books and binders, and so here’s what we are going to do…

1) Look at all books that you own and ask yourself do you need it? Is it relevant now (what are you keeping that 1980’s version of stream line your office for)? Will you ever read/re-read it?  Depending on your answers…

a) Sell them (Psst! Try not to rush out and buy more books to replace the old ones!)

www.amazon.co.uk/trade-in

www.cash4books.net

www.fatbrain.co.uk

b) Donate them to your local library, Chamber of Commerce or Local Business Hub (not your Mills & Boon stuff obviously)

c) If you really must keep all of your books, think about storing them elsewhere if they are not needed regularly. See this great post I came across to give you some ideas and inspiration “Top 5 Book Storage Ideas You Wish You Thought Of”

3. Paper, paper, paper

Ah paper, the life blood of us office types. We have masses of paper all over our offices; in drawers, binders, filing cabinets, folders, old notebooks etc. But how do we cut down on it and how do we aim to reach the utopia of a paperless office?

1) Remove your name from mailing lists – see our post yesterday about Junk Mail 

2) Paperless Billing – By swapping to electronic bills you will not only save trees but it is claimed 171 pounds of greenhouses gases, 63 gallons of water and 4.5 gallons of fuel annually for each paperless household, pretty impressive right for a small switch? Now if we could just find a way to stop them billing us in the first place…

3) If you still have to use “Snail Mail” for remote clients or friends why not tech it up a little by using digital snail mail over the internet? Will save you have stores of paper, envelopes, stamps etc and free up a tad more space in your office

www.pc2paper.co.uk

www.ukpostbox.com

4.  Manage it – You will need a recycle box/bin and a two tiered filing tray labeled with “To Do” and “To File” – now go through your piles and they can only end up in one of 3 places!

4. Let’s Not Get Too Personal

It is nice to personalise your office; have some comforts and make it individual to you, however, a little too much personalisation can distract you and I take it you are at a desk to work and be productive? Ask yourself (time to be tough again) Do you really need 14 pictures of your children/dog/recent holiday/loved ones?? Yes we know you love them but resit the urge to daydream or get lost in the picture by keeping it for the home

5. Tidy up Time!

Impose your own clear desk policy, especially if you are a home worker. At the end of every day the last 10 minutes should be sent getting your desk in order for the following day  – In a survey conducted by OfficeMax it was said that 77% of people claimed that a messy office had a negative impact on their productivity, we don’t want that, we want to be in the 23% of productive people, we have goals to achieve this year, yes?

Now let’s get cracking… everything off your desk!


Top 10 tips to de-cluttering

Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Are you someone who is a victim of the evil clutter fairy? Do you hold onto everything “Just in case” ? If you are let us help you out with our TEN TOP TIPS of De-cluttering, to help you start to part with the unnescessary objects and clutter you keep – We promise you’ll feel better for it!

1) Don’t procastinate any longer – set a date for the decluttering to start and stick to it

2) Get someone you know and trust to help you, be that a friend or a professional service – another person with you will give you the motivation and confidence to be tough with your throwing out!

3) Pick one room and keep on that room until it is cleared in full – Clear out the cupboards, the drawers, the wardrobes, under beds, on top of wardrobes etc and don’t start on another room until that room is done

4) If you just cannot face a massive onslaught on your clutter, let’s start with nice, easy bite size chunks of 15 miniutes every day – little by little you will start to feel better as you see the light (and spacious worktops) at the end of the tunnel.. One room at a time though

5) When making a cup of tea, whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, spend those 3 minutes tidying the kitchen – start sorting through your “junk drawer” (every house is guilty of having one!) throw away old tupperware tubs with no lids, throw out the empty/almost empty bottles under your sink etc,  remember little and easy!

6)  The 1 In – 2 out rule. In order to not re-clutter, for every new item brought into the home/office, two items must leave… no cheating though, throwing out a piece of paper and empty toliet roll tube does not count! This rule will curb your spontanous buying and may even save you money too! Yay!

7)  The clothing rule – If you have not worn it, or even looked at it, in the past 12 months, bag it and deliver it it to your local charity shop

8 ) The Twelve Month rule – If you just cannot face to throw certain items away as it plays on your mind that you may just wear it one day (acid house smiley tops are NEVER coming back trust me!) or you think you may use it, fix it, need it etc put all these “in case the world ends” items into a box, seal up the box and put the box in the loft… IF you get to 12 months and you have not opened the box, donate the whole box to a charity shop of your choice (without opening, as that would only tempt you again) If you didn’t need it in a year, you do not need it at all!

9) The “Do I really need it?” rule – Every time you are shopping or out and about and feel the urge to buy the latest gadget or gismo or yet another pair of shoes, write it down on a list. Not only will your list give you time to reflect on the descion rather than impluse buying  but it will also give you time to think if you have a place for the new item to live within your home/office, will you even use/wear it and it may even stop you buying all togther, both saving you space in your home and keeping money in your bank – double yay!

10) For those of you that have problems detaching emotions from items and blackmail yourself into keeping items – i.e. “I can’t throw away that peach knitted toilet roll doll cover” (remember them?) as my Great Aunty Betty gave it to me, seven Christmas’ ago”  I have this little system for you…

Ask yourself these 3 questions

1) Do I LOVE it?    2) Do I NEED it?  3) Is it ESSENTIAL?

The (honest) answers will lead you to the following

1) Yes you love it, can use it and it is in working order = you can keep it

2) No = Donate to charity or skip

3) No = Donate to charity or skip

We all get caught up in our possessions and ‘stuff’,  its built into our I want it now consumer society but if you were hand-on-heart-honest, how much to your really use?  A third of it? Less?

So in the season of the Spring Clean, make your job easier, free up the space, take the plunge, get tough and declare war on your junk drawers!