One minute uncluttering

Uncluttering isn’t just about the physical strength to shift stuff it’s a mental battle too. So this week to support me on my travels decided to revisit a favourite google find, from the land of fast food and want it now, the 1 minute meditation. Instant gratification even on a spiritual level. Despite my initial judgement based on stereotype and prejudice  it proved worth a try. After all you can spend a minute waiting for google to load on a slow internet day.

I then wondered could I take the 1 minute concept and translate it into a tip that would never fail for a moment to make my clutter disappear. I could and here it is.

Find a spot and a picture of a favourite uncluttered view. Look at pic for one minute then shut eyes and transport yourself there leaving those piles of stuff behind. Just for a minute stay there, for that moment be happy and contented in the land of unclutterment.

That’s cheating I hear you cry. I opened my eyes and my stuff was still there. How does this help. Because clutter is only stuff you perceive to be clutter so when you need to you can always go back to land of unclutterment again. If you want things different in the real world make the decision as to whether you want that stuff to still be there when you open your eyes.

If today has been a struggle and you want a more action based one minute uncluttering tip that would result in stuff moving. Then just click arrow and let lady luck decide what next.  Whatever you choose to do I wish you many clutter free moments today.


This week, a wander back in time to revisit some of the books and TV programmes which inspired a generation of litter-pickers and recyclers.

The Wombles


Underground, overground, Wombling free
The Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we    
Making good use of the things that we find
Things that the everyday folks leave behind

Surely the Wombles must be everybody’s favourite environmentalists. They’ve been clearing up Wimbledon Common since the nineteen sixties, putting other people’s rubbish to good use. I was enchanted by the books & the animated TV series narrated by Bernard Cribbens.


Mouse friends


We will find it, we will bind it,
We will stick it with glue, glue, glue
We will stickle it
Every little bit of it
We will fix it like new, new, new.

Do you remember Bagpuss? He was a lovable, saggy old cloth cat who would restore lost & discarded items to their former glory… ably assisted by his mousey friends. This programme transfixed a generation of children who adored Bagpuss & his odd assortment of friends (and hopefully instilled an ethos of rescuing and renewing things which have been discarded by others.)


Stig of the DumpStig of the Dump is one of my favourite childhood books, telling the tale of a caveman living in an old chalk pit filled with rubbish. He’s befriended by a boy named Barney who sets about improving Stig’s gloomy living arrangements by re-purposing some of the discarded items they find; windows are created from old glass jars and a chimney of tin cans clears smoke from the fire. Looking back, these two were my first introduction to upcycling.


Small and Tiny Clanger


 The Clangers appeared in the early nineteen seventies. Cute, pink knitted creatures who live on a strange, dustbin-lidded planet, they are experts at rescuing space debris and putting it to new purposes. They are my all-time favourite recycling experts; kind, caring, inventive & imaginative, the perfect guardians for a cluttered planet.

(Small & Tiny Clanger, hand-knitted by my mum)



These much loved recyclers, fixer-uppers, up-cyclers & environmentalists have all stood the test of time. Hopefully they’ll be joined by many more green role models for younger generations. Leave a comment if you have fond memories of a book or TV programme which taught you to care for our planet, or let us know which new characters are championing the environment today.

Books on the bridge

It is cold, it is wet, it is August. No this is not a test sentence set by my son to see if his pupils have learnt the months of the year. This is how it is. Cold and dark and wintry when we might instead have expected a little vit D top up. Such is life and the weather latest excuse for not tackling stuff. It is instead, perfect weather for spending too much time googling. Thus chanced across an article  which got me thinking about tackling stuff in a different way.

Public library … Shaheryar Malik’s books.After all, Shaheryar Malik felt better for deciding to empty his apartment of books by leaving them in huge heaps in public spaces across Manhattan.  Why not me too. What a good idea, book crossing but with a twist. Taking it one step further, instead of books could just take bags full of stuff and artistically leave piles of stuff around London as works of art and random regifting. Why had I not thought of this before.

Before you respond with outrage. It’s ok I did nothing. Still (for now) appreciate when crossing a line between guerrilla declutterer and criminal. My piles of stuff would clearly constitute flytipping.  No-one not even long suffering family or friends would view it as installation Art. Freeing himself, Malik , depending on your perspective either dumped his stuff on the rest of us or gave us a present. Truly a First World problem. Whether to choose to divest or keep stuff a luxury many don’t have. Lesson learnt is that piles of stuff can rule, ruin or enhance life as we choose.

Enough philosophy, action is what achieves results so I’ll finish by directing you to a post  The Bridge by Brooke McAlary that reminds me of this and encourages me to start even when don’t want to. Hope you find your bridge and please leave it clutter free.




If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

Frederick Douglass

…but today I’m focusing on my progress rather than the struggle.

This week, I’ve:

  1. Posted five items I sold on eBay.
  2. Left a bundle of books and magazines on the free book shelf in a train station.
  3. Sent used postage stamps to Bransby Horses Rescue & Welfare.
  4. Dropped off some ratty old towels at a recycling bin.
  5. Picked up all the windfall apples & added them to the compost heap.
  6. Recycled bags (apples, carrots, bread etc) in the carrier bag recycling bin.
  7. Took an accumulation of plastic packaging & tetra packs to the supermarket for recycling.
  8. Went to the local authority recycling centre with a heap of hard plastics, metal lids & light bulbs.

OK, I’m kidding myself if I claim all of these are “progress,” when most are already regular recycling tasks. Decluttering is more about tackling the stuff which is gathering dust; the mess of things which I struggle to ever sort out. But today I will not beat myself up over losing my battle against the muddle. In the last seven days, the number of books in my house has gone down rather than up (result!) Who knows, this really could be the start of reclaiming my living space.