And so we roll into June (June?! Really?) which brings us to the Month of Change.
As part of the 2013 in 2013 Declutter Challenge, June sees us decluttering the linen cupboard, decor, seasonal clothing and parts of the garage/basement. Specifically though, we are looking at those seasonal items that are switched out at this time of year. And while your thoughts might be with red wine and fireside chats, or camping trips and lake swimming (depending on your Hemisphere!) this month is the perfect opportunity to do a little work – and save yourself a lot of time later in the year.
To jump straight into the challenge, you can download the June checklist here. Or keep reading to find the full list, as well as added tips and suggestions below.
(If you haven’t started the challenge yet, it’s never too late to join. Click here to find the first six checklists, as well as the Slow Your Home forums, where many of us are keeping track of the clutter leaving our homes.)
At the beginning of May I got a phonecall from my Dad saying he and mum had been inspired to clear out their storeroom at home. The downside was they had found four huge boxes of my stuff and wanted me to pick them up. Some were filled with wedding gifts, some from my days living in the city. Some from school and others from University.
Suffice to say, I had kept a whole heap of crap for no apparent reason and the majority of it never made it in the door of our home.
The combination of those four boxes, and working through the kitchen, dining and storage spaces has made it an interesting month.
This month I…
- textbooks x 12
- photo albums and boxes x 17
- notepads/journals x 8
- folders x 14
- miscellaneous papers x 37
- cutlery x 28
- crockery x 12
- wine glasses x 12
- martini glasses x 9
- kids crockery sets x 2
- wine carafe
- wine bottle holder
- chopping boards x 2
- board game
- salad servers x 2
- second-hand paving bricks x 180
TOTAL: 338 items
Progress to Date: 1348 unwanted items are gone!
(Over halfway there – and it’s feeling awesome at this stage.)
And now on to this month’s checklist.
June is the Month of Change
For us in the Southern Hemisphere, the change is all about winter sheets, chilly mornings and ugg boots as the footwear of choice. But for those in the Northern Hemisphere, June brings longer days, warmer temperatures, pretty blooms and the end of the school year.
I’ve found that building this seasonal switch into our yearly rhythm helps in maintaining not only our level of stuff, but also the little tasks around the house that need doing once or twice a year. Viewing June as the Month of Change means you’re less likely to forget to clear the gutters or wash the curtains – they’re simply part of your rhythm.
Anything seasonal will either be packed away or brought out at this time of year, and you should ask yourself the fail-safe decluttering questions, to avoid keeping a heap of stuff you don’t even want or like.
- Did I use this (last season)?
- Do I like this?
- Do I want it, or will I need it?
- Is it in good condition?
- Do I like it enough to have it repaired or cleaned?
Using these questions as your guidelines, work through the areas of your home listed below.
The June Declutter Checklist
- guest linens (how many do you really need?)
Yes, we have just worked through the wardrobes, but this is a good opportunity to establish what we actually wore over the past 6 months, and only store that. As we pull out our winter coats and scarves, or our swimming costumes and sun dresses we can now judge what we want to keep, what is still in good condition and what we need. The rest can be donated.
- adults winter/summer wardrobes
- winter coats
- kids wardrobes
- winter uniforms for school, sport etc
- lightweight clothing
- cold weather clothing
- specialist clothing – wetsuit; hiking or snow gear
- seasonal hobby gear – fishing or snow gear, camping equipment
- beach equipment – shelters, umbrellas, body boards, surf boards
- outdoor furniture
Some people like to swap out decor for the seasons. To be honest, we don’t have much so haven’t seen the need to swap things around. But if you do, it’s a good idea to approach the process in a similar way to your clothing.
Whatever you do, don’t use it as an opportunity to add useless stuff or clutter back in to your spaces. In fact, you will likely find you have much less need for the bulk of your decor. And this (to me) is an added bonus of simplifying your home. Less to dust!
- soft furnishings – cushions, throw rugs etc
- prints, wall hangings etc
- quilts, decorative linen on beds
- tabletop decor – vases, bowls, etc
- mantlepiece, coffee table and hall stand decor
Again, the June Checklist can be found here.
Establish Your Own Seasonal System
If you don’t yet have a system where you swap out your seasonal clothes, linen, decor or recreational gear, this is a great opportunity to start. Storing what isn’t currently needed means you keep the wardrobes, cupboards and garage much less cluttered. You can see at a glance what you own, what you need and what to wear. Plus, you’re more likely to pull out the surfboard and head to the beach if you can actually reach it without an avalanche of stuff coming down with it!
For clothing and linen, I simply have a lidded storage box that holds the gear I don’t currently need. I keep it stored out of the way and don’t think about it for another six months. For bulkier items (surf and snow gear, outdoor furniture etc) after decluttering, I simply rotate them to the back of the storage space when they are out of season. It’s a simple solution that works.
I’d love to hear how you’re finding the challenge. I know many of you aren’t keeping count (and who can blame you!) but let me know your best guess. How much have you gotten rid of in the first five months of the year?