Updated: Mar 11, 2019
...once said: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." Fast-forward 150 years, and it's still an excellent piece of advice when it comes to decluttering your home.
Of course, if you can fill your home with things which are at once beautiful AND useful, then that's the holy grail. I give you, my watering can:
I use it for watering my beloved houseplants, and when it's not in use, it can be found sitting pretty on the window sill.
Stay where you are and look at a couple of the items surrounding you. Do you love them? And/or are they useful? If not, could you part with them? I put it to you that things in your home which are neither serving a useful function, nor bringing you visual or sentimental joy, are not earning their keep. Could you fill a carrier bag for the charity shop with ten such items right now? Or, if this seems too brutal, why not place the items in a bag and tuck it away somewhere for a few weeks. When you re-find it, you may realise you hadn't given those things a second thought since filling the bag.
The increase in disposable income over the past 30 years or so has led to an accumulation of stuff, much of it poorly designed with little regard as to what will happen to it once it is no longer functional or desirable. I truly believe that excess clutter stresses us out and detracts from the more important things in life. There are lots of great places to start if you are thinking about tackling the clutter. Marie Kondo is pretty inspiring: https://konmari.com/ and the Becoming Minimalist concept is gaining ground in the UK: https://www.becomingminimalist.com/
If you're not convinced, you could try watching some episodes of Consumed or Mari Kondo on Netflix from the comfort of your sofa. Notice how every family says their lives are happier now that the clutter has gone?
If you're feeling inspired, but don't know where to start, then do it the Vicky Silverthorn way, and 'start with your sock drawer'! https://www.youneedavicky.com/an-extract-from-start-with-your-sock-drawer-simple-living/. Vicky Silverthorn is a professional declutterer and home organiser, and she has lots of tips from her years of experience, including how to declutter your bathroom, how to treasure your childhood memories, and how to organise your paperwwork.