As Christmas approaches, now is a great time of year to de-clutter, says a Sheffielder who makes her living by doing just that.
Expert organiser Moira Benson, who lives in Woodseats, runs Go with Mo, a business which helps people get organised and stay on top of their paperwork.
She said: “Evenings are longer and we spend more time indoors, so space is needed to help us feel less closed in.
“Many people will find they buy lots of stuff around Christmas time, so start now and make some space in your life and your home.
“Every member of the family will benefit from having more space and getting rid of things no longer needed. Clearing out stuff can help everyone to breathe easier again.”
Here’s her guide to help each member of the family de-clutter.
Children can learn that others will benefit from their old things if they take them to the charity shop. The good cause benefits from the sale and the purchaser has something new to enjoy. Even very young children can learn that the charity shop helps poorly people. Go through their things that they have outgrown and toys they no longer play with. Help your kids to see how short a life some things have. The things they nagged you to buy have soon become old and discarded. When your children ask for things now, use this as an opportunity to discuss with your children how long they think they will cherish those new things for.
Although teenagers often want to update to the latest styles, there will be a few things they want to hang on to, so don’t be too ruthless with getting rid of things. An old school book, soft toy or comic could bring back memories of happy times. Check with them first and give them the responsibility of sorting things out. Working through things can be a great way to spend time with your teens and you may find they confide in you while working alongside them. It can also be a good way to remind them of good times shared. You can help with the bagging up and delivery. Make up should not be kept longer than 12 months ideally and some toiletries will not keep more than this. Recycle the bottles and send the tops to Diabetes UK.
Parents and carers
Sort out books, CDs, DVDs and vinyl records for the charity shop or to sell. Sort out your clothing, but before you have a thorough clear-out, it’s worth having your colour and style analysed by experts like Sheffield Master image consultants at True Colours Style and Image. This helps both men and women to wear what suits them best and makes shopping easier.
Electrical items and furniture can be collected by the British Heart Foundation on 0844 248 9134.
Good quality clothing, shoes, boots, handbags, jewellery and accessories can be sold online or given to the charity shops. St Lukes, Save the Children, Fable, Age UK are all popular, but don’t neglect the smaller stores such as Kids Around The World at Woodseats.
Grandparents may have lots of things they want to pass on, give away or sell, especially if they are “downsizing”. Family photos can be shared out, swapped and digitized with a note of who/when/where. Clothes, books, DVDs and CDs can all be passed on or disposed of as above.
Letters, bank statements and paperwork no longer needed can be shredded at home or collected for secure shredding by Recycling Revolution.
Ring Mark McCann on 07973 343 458 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a joint family collection.
To find out more, go to www.gowithmo.co.uk.