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Less is more: eight ways to declutter your life

Posted at 10:15 am, February 9, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment
Less is more

Clearing out a cupboard? Pah! Sorting through old bills? Child’s play! Here’s how to take a seriously minimalistic approach to editing your life.

DITCH YOUR STUFF…

Get someone else to do it
The Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (yes, really) has some 25 London members ready help hoarders let go. Mess Goddess, for example, promises to ‘eliminate chaos’, while ‘de-junking consultant’ Clara Clutterbuster can help you reclaim your space. Think of them as anti-stashing superheroes… apdo.co.uk

Get the movers in
Imagine you’re moving house. Now be honest: would you really take the exercise bike you only use to hang the laundry on? If you don’t love it or need it, recycle it. Let a charitable scheme – like the London Re-use Network or Furniture Donation Network – know what homeware you’d like to be rid of and they’ll collect it, spruce it up and sell it cheaply to a worthy recipient. londonreuse.com; furnituredonationnetwork.org

Swap it
So the kitten onesie was funny on Christmas Day, but the joke’s over and it’s clogging up the cupboard. The solution: head to a swishing event and swap your fluffy number for something more foxy and less feral. The Grafton pub in Kentish town has a Clothing Swap on the second Saturday of every month, while the Southbank Centre’s oneoff Children’s Clothes Swap is on February 15. thegraftonnw5.co.uk; southbankcentre.co.uk

Digitise it
Think like a true minimalist and turn your back on those dust-covered CDs, DVDs and books. Instead, get yourself some decent online storage (such as the US-based Carbonite) for virtual versions and embrace digital media, from iTunes to Netflix. carbonite.co.uk

…THEN CLEAR YOUR MIND

Keep calm
When life’s little irritations get too much (‘I have to wait four minutes for the next Bank branch train?’), learn how to keep your cool at The School of Life’s ‘How to Stay Calm’ class. The session (next one is on March 12) is a crash course in shedding anxiety, so you can float through your commute in a zen-like state. theschooloflife.com

Practise your ‘om’
Get a little relief from your deafening thoughts by practising meditation – and no, it doesn’t have to involve spiritual whale song. Inner Space in Covent Garden offers practical free courses to help you streamline your thought processes. It also has halfhour Creative Meditation classes at lunchtimes. A sandwich with a side of serenity? You don’t have to overthink that. innerspace.org.uk

Find some headspace
Proving there really is an app for everything, Headspace is a downloadable digital meditation tool for the troubled smartphone generation. Just switch your mobile on, enjoy the cute little cartoon tutorials and then switch your mind off. getsomeheadspace.com

Unpick your thoughts
Getting rid of baggage – physical or metaphorical – is so much easier when you understand why you’re carrying it around. James Wallman’s brilliant new book ‘Stuffocation: Why We’ve Had Enough of Stuff and Why Experience Matters More Than Ever’ is an ideal tool in helping you make sense of any bad habits. You could buy it as book, but if you’ve learned anything at all, you’ll want the Kindle edition… stuffocation.org

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