Spring cleaning in Autumn

I am poor on space. I live in a pokey one bedroom flat, which was already full when I got here (Ben had already been living here for several years).

As I move in more and more (it’s been a gradual process – every time I go to visit my mum, I pick up a handful of books, or cram a backpack with clothes) I realise that some things simply have to go. There are certain things that I will never part with: my enormous library of books is a fine example. However, certain things can easily be “streamlined”. OK, so I love certain clothes, but I think it’s time to accept that I will never fit into/wear things ever again, so they can go to charity. We don’t need two sets of crockery, because there’s only two of us, and with no dining room, we won’t be hosting any dinner parties any time soon.

So, Ben and I have been gradually packing off things that have no place here. If you haven’t done this before, then why not? It’s cathartic, it gives you a bit of a reality check and you’d be amazed at home much more you enjoy the things you’ve KEPT, now that you can actually get at them…

One of the first things Ben did was to pull out all of our electrical appliances and rewire them (in bedroom and living room), using those cable tidy tube… things. The long and short of it is that the cables and wires are now tidy, and they don’t gather nearly as much dust. Did I mention they look tidy?

Next up, I said above that I can’t part with my books. There is an obvious issue here: in a small flat, there is not much room for bookshelves. But I can MAKE space. The first thing that needed to go was Ben’s collection of 1000+ CDs.

It’s ok, it’s ok! I don’t mean I literally threw them out. We got hold of a good piece of CD ripping software (we used Exact Audio Copy), ripped all of the CDs to our external harddrive, then put the CDs into storage boxes in the garage.

We now have 82gb of music easily available! We pop the music on an iPod, use it with the in-car stereo, etc. etc. Plus, those shelves can now be used for books! Hurrah 🙂

Another problem is clothes – you may not believe this, but Ben has far more clothes than me. The best way to keep on top of your wardrobe is to give it the occasional clear out and be brutally honest with yourself. Do I wear this? Does it even fit me?

If you can’t actually bear giving it to charity or throwing it out, then at least take it out of your main wardrobe. You can greatly reduce the amount of space excess clothes take up (and store them safely) by getting some of those vacuum pack storage bags – you just stuff them with your clothes, zip them shut, and stick a hoover nozzle against the valve. Screw on the cap and you’re done.

This way, I put my suit away for the year (well, I’m a student for the time being!) and tucked away my summer dresses for the time being (in lieu of the fact that Autumn is blatantly upon us).

Ben also filled an entire bin bag with some of his clothes to go to charity, and another bag full of “skinny clothes” which he intends to one day fit in to again.

We’re working on the rest, but we’re getting there, bit by bit!

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