1.02.2012

Happy New Year and the Clutter Free Home



Happy new year everyone! I hope you had a great holiday with your families.

I had a refreshing week and a half off although I wouldn’t call it relaxing. I spent the majority of my time de-cluttering. Just like in spring when the spring cleaning bug hits, new year has always been a time where I’ve felt compelled to tackle the clutter hotspots that have formed in my home.

I like to think I keep a relatively clutter-free home but I realize that a clutter-free home doesn’t maintain itself and requires constant upkeep. I found that clutter was forming in the most peculiar places. For example, the mantle on our fireplace was becoming a gathering place for everything from children’s books, to magazines, to photo albums, to golf balls (don’t ask). Clutter was also forming behind the armchair in our living room (I warned you it was forming in the strangest places). A large indoor putting green my husband purchased was folded behind the chair along with various parts that belong to a baby playpen. These things had been sitting there for months! Surely there was a better place for them…

And there is. I’ve found more appropriate places to keep these various things (putting green is now in the garage, children’s books on the book shelf, photo albums in our trunk, etc.)

Even clearing these minor clutter hotspots gives me a strong sense of accomplishment. I actually take joy out of doing it! Now I need to channel that joy and tackle our home office…

As a word of advice if you have a large de-cluttering task in front of you, may I suggest you only tackle one clutter hotspot a day? Doing so will keep you motivated and not overwhelm you. It is very easy to burn out on de-cluttering if you become inundated with piles to sort through. So tackle one drawer at a time, one hotspot at a time...

Along with clearing the clutter in our homes now is a great time to assess our belongings and only use the best things we have. Doing so can also help to clear the clutter. I discuss the concept of only using our best in the above video. If you are unable to see the video click here, look in the sidebar of this blog or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Blog and Book News:

Over the holidays my book, Lessons from Madame Chic, was mentioned on four really great blogs. Rayna at Bright Copper Kettles, Joanne at Daily Joy, Michelle at Italiagal and Michal at A Renaissance Girl all have great things to say about Madame Chic! Check out their fabulous blogs to read their mentions and reviews.

Also The Daily Connoisseur was honored with the Versatile Blogger award by food bloggers Sandra and Kathy at Sandra & Kathy's Corners. Thank you ladies!


So until next time... I would love to know… what is the state of clutter in your home? Any hot spots?



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28 comments:

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Clutter be gone is "my new mantra"....

I did not receive your book for Christmas....
perhaps you'll arrange a give away in the near future!

I'd LOVE to host a giveaway on my blog....if you would consider it!

Merveilleux said...

I love decluttering.. I have a drawer in the kitchen filled with coupon and other "junk" that I'm constantly trying to clear out.. I have a bookcase I need to tackle soon too.

Pug1 said...

Happy New Year! I'm starting the new year with decluttering! CHEERS! Michele

Shelley said...

Hot spots? This house is on fire! It is mostly out of sight, fortunately, and I'm not into the minimalist look, but our storage is definitely bulging. This year's priority, I think! Best wishes for 2012!

Rayna@BrightCopperKettles said...

Thank you, Jennifer, for the kind mention! Good luck with the de-cluttering (I saw the Twitter photo of your husband's indoor putting green, and it made me laugh)!

Beautiful Things said...

Happy New Year to you too!

I can't abide clutter but it seems to grow against my will in my place. It's a very grey, rainy day here in London so I intend to spend the afternoon wisely tackling it.

maven said...

I have a lot of book clutter and that is always a struggle for me. My goal this year is to have every book on a proper bookshelf (not in a closet or stacked on the floor) and if I have too many, I must donate until I have a place for each one. I like decluttering guru Peter Walsh for his ideas on this topic.

I ordered your book from Amazon over the weekend and am making time today to evaluate at least one bookshelf so that I will have a place to put it once it arrives! (Can't wait!)

I also struggle with my "in" box. It is much too full! I realized the other day that I keep ugly things on my desk and pretty/interesting things in the drawers. I am going to try to rectify that!

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

Unfortunately, our walk-in closet became a dumping ground for "stuff" while cleaning up before and after Christmas. Now that the company has left, it's time to tackle the closet and get rid of empty boxes, which I loathe!!

Joanne said...

Thank you so much for mentioning my blog www.dailyjoy.me . Your book is bringing me daily joy as I read it. I am savoring it like a great French meal, reading it slowly as to not finish it too quickly and miss any of the pleasure. All the best! Joanne

arenaissancegirl said...

Thank you so much for mentioning my review. It made my day! I really enjoyed the book and am now slowly re-reading it as I work on implementing various pointers into daily life.

Luli said...

Ah decluttering. I really must get to it even though I dread it. But once I finish decluttering I feel so great!

Catherine said...

I read it and loved it!
Cleaned out the huge storage area under my bathroom sink, both of my small closets and my chest of drawers (tons of stuff went to the thrift store) and all the junk drawers in the kitchen....it was a great start.
I sometimes think I'm a 'closet hoarder'. Is that an oxymoron?

lagatta à montréal said...

In the wintertime up here, the problem is taking the discarded clutter somewhere to recycle it. It is harder to carry things to charity shops, to say nothing of the "écocentre" (dump centred on sorting and recycling/repurposing). In more clement weather I just cycle there, with big Dutch panniers.

I've got rid of a huge load of stuff, but it is a never-ending struggle, working in books and papers. Computers have NOT brought about the much vaunted "paperless office".

Hmm, only use "best things"... What if you are decluttering or doing more strenuous housework. Wouldn't you be wearing old clothes?

PANNA said...

I did the exact same thing over my 10-day break! Decluttered the kitchen junk drawer; got rid of expired beauty and bath products from all the bathrooms; transitioned my little girl into a real bed and gave away all crib-associated bedding and outgrown clothes; supervised my son in tidying up his room and together collected two garbage bags of outgrown clothes and toys destined for Goodwill; organized my linen closet; and lastly purged the master BR closet of unwanted clothes, documents, books, etc. Also managed to create a one-stop giftwrapping spot with gift bags organized by size and occasion -- I think I am most proud of this, haha. :-)

It really gave me a sense of accomplishment, and by tackling one task a day I did not feel overwhelmed and was still able to enjoy my holiday break.

Happy new year, Jennifer and all the best to you and your family, esp with the litle one cooking in the oven!

PANNA said...

ps I just ordered your book, and should have it by Friday. So excited!

Kristi said...

Hostess of the Humble Bungalow -- I suggest you treat yourself, like I did, and buy the book as a present to yourself. I think we are all worth it!
J, I also spent the winter break decluttering. I am a minimalist and still find I can donate to charitable organizations every time they come around and over to pick up miscellaneous items. It feels so good. Also, I am taking a keen eye to everything as we will be moving to smaller quarters this summer.
I love, love, love your top in the video. The color is great on you, as well. Do you still keep to your minimum wardrobe? Would love to see a post on your armoire again.
I've refined my style and have a uniform I hope I'll stick with for quite some time. As a result, I have a very minimalist closet again and am really loving it. I think we have similar style in many ways so I like to see what you are wearing. I still love that navy Velvet dress with the deep V you have on in some videos. That is totally my style and I would wear something liek that to death. Hope you are finding time to write in the new year. My kids are FINALLY back at school this week and I hope to start writing again today.
xoxox
K

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Thank you to all for your comments! I am so glad I am not alone with the de-cluttering fever for the new year :) I've gotten so much done in the last ten days it is unbelievable. You know you're making headway when people come over and say "Wow- you've been busy!"

I love to hear about your de-cluttering plans- it helps to motivate me so thank you for all of your input. We can do this!

And thank you to those of you who mentioned you've ordered the book. I hope you enjoy it as much as others have!

Kristi- the blouse I am wearing in the video is Rebecca Taylor. I've had it for years- it was given to me as a gift from my mother- in- law. I have very little that fits me from my non-maternity wardrobe and this is one of the last things I can wear because it is so billowy. I do have a 10 item maternity wardrobe of sorts but to be candid I LOATHE my maternity clothes and cannot wait to get back into my normal clothes. I just don't want to spend unnecessary money on maternity clothes that I will only wear for a few months. I am sure many of you can relate!

Sending love to you all XO

J. said...

I work on getting rid of clutter on a weekly basis (I have a husband and two dogs who would not mind clutter at all, so I am the only one keeping the house clutter free). It works pretty well for me, I prefer to work a little on it often than a lot on it a few times a year. So I guess I follow your suggestion, just in a slightly different way :)

TatiKto said...

I am reading your book... LOVELY!... I hope to finish it by the weekend.

I developed a ritual for declutter, every end of the year.
I take all years all the clothes that I do not use anymore (for multiple reasons) and I give them away.

This year was specially rewarding because I took a lot of clothes that were in very good conditions and I gave all them all to the person that helps my Mom with the house, I recenlty spoke to her and she was very happy with the gift! she said that his daughter will start working and all the clothes I sent "came from heaven" because she nows have a presentable wardrobe.

I felt happy... those clothes hanging in there with no use... were doing no good for me or anybody!

Now some one really appreciates them and enjoy.

Besos from Mexico.

PANNA said...

So your book arrived today and I promptly shut my door to read a few pages. I had to come here and tell you that I found myself reading with your voice and pace of speaking in my head! This is the first time this has happened to me, and perhaps it's because I've seen your videos and heard you speaking in them? :-)

The Daily Connoisseur said...

J and Tatikto- Love hearing your experiences! Thank you...

Panna- Yes I definitely write like I talk- people either love it or hate it :) Hope you love it! Enjoy the book xo

Michelle said...

Thank you for the (italiagal) blog mention. It has already connected another Italophile with me!

I finished your book and loved it! Thank you for all the inspiration there.

Jennings and Gates said...

Great post. Deep breath and one. drawer. each. day.

blackwatertown said...

Good advice - and Maven's points about releasing the beautiful and useful - except books can never be clutter.... whether regimented, reclinging, leaning casually at the corner or lurking where you least expect them. Things of beauty and joys forever.

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

This is a timely post for me. I am a real hoarder but trying to overcome my clutter. May 2012 be the year I succeed. Happy New Year to you and your family. xx

Cindy La Ferle said...

My closets are a lifelong challenge, although I keep trying to weed them out twice a year. I would love to get down to the "10 wardrobe items" goal in your book. (Problem is, I work occasionally as a background extra in films, and often have to supply my own wardrobe.) But I'm working on it. Over the past year, I've been wearing my "good clothes" on a daily basis, rather than saving them for special occasions. This is one of the most important tips in your book, yes!

Speaking of your book, I ordered it earlier this month. I intended to dip into it a little at a time, but sat down with it earlier this week and couldn't put it down. Everything you wrote resonated with me. I wish you continued success!

Cindy La Ferle said...

P.S. Forgot to add: Will try to review your book on my site (or one of my papers) soon.

wildflower said...

Hello I just discovered your blog yesterday and really enjoy reading it. I like your minimalist/good quality mindset. Not sure if you know about a blog 'Be More With Less- A Life On Purpose', but it seems like something you'd appreciate: :http://www.bemorewithless.com/ It has helped me a great deal with decluttering my flat and focussing on important things in life. Keep up the good work with your blog! You are very inspiring. Greetings from Sweden. :)

 
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