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Welcome!

 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

The big declutter... an update

After setting big home organisation goals and embracing a more minimalist aesthetic for 2023, here's how it's going...

White desk with white items - minimalist interior decor

This is a quick checking-in kind of post. It's been a couple of weeks since I shared my big 2023 home update plan of decluttering and embracing minimalism (albeit in a slightly 'relaxed' way considering I have two vertically challenged housemates (9 & 5 years old)).

Minimalist decor, wooden shelves with spider plant

The good news for anyone toying with the idea of joining me in decluttering, is that once I got started it was totally addictive. Each bag that left the house, destined for the tip or the charity shop felt like a step in the right direction and that feeling of making progress spurred me on massively. This progress created more space in the house which was exciting (that sounds a bit weird, but we've felt quite suffocated at times living and working full time in our little house surrounded by clutter, so any extra space is such a win) and that led to more bags being filled. Here are the declutter wins so far and the top tips I've learnt in case they are useful.


Selling on Facebook Marketplace

A lady sitting on the floor packing a cardboard box with folded clothes

I have a love/hate relationship with FBMP. On one hand, its a place to find brilliant bargains and a tool to help make some extra cash after a good declutter from items you might have otherwise thrown away. On the other hand, there are a lot of people to deal with. I don't mean that rudely and have no issue with the nice people who respond, agree to collect, arrive on time, pay the agreed amount and leave. It's the others! The no-shows, the hagglers (I'm not opposed to negotiating discounts here and there, but when you are selling something for £5 or under, is it really necessary?!), the twenty messages back and forth to arrange the meeting point only to change their mind at the last minute. Those who want you to hold something for three weeks for them...you get the idea. "Is this still available?", arghhhh!


Over the course of 2-3 weeks I actually sold quite a lot of stuff and made about £180 which I was chuffed with. By then, I'd had enough of faffing about and decided to donate the rest to charity.


Top Tips for selling on FBMP:

  • Add lots of photos to reduce the number of questions you get.

  • Include details of any item flaws or damage and mention in the description.

  • Be realistic about the price

  • Agree the payment method in advance of collection

  • Offer delivery for larger items


Charity shop donations

A lady in a volunteer tshirt packing a cardboard box in a charity shop

After a good sort out and declutter, as long as things are in good, saleable condition, I'm a big believer in passing them on to charity, but I'm also quite good at bagging stuff up and then leaving it by the front door for weeks, or worse loading it into the car boot and driving it about for ages. This time, I was determined to actually deposit the donations in a timely manner so added a regular charity shop diversion to my morning routine and it's been a revelation. I've managed to donate about three bags a week and let me tell you, skipping out of the charity shop a whole bag of clutter lighter is quite the dopamine hit!


Top Tips for decluttering & donating to charity:

  • Tackle one small area at a time eg a cupboard or toy box

  • Clean / dust and check for breakages / lost bits before you pack

  • Pack small, light bags if you are likely to walk past a charity shop & leave by the front door

  • Check opening times (some, I found, open later than you think!)

  • Check local restrictions - some shops limit size / frequency of donations (eg two bag limit)


Trips to the recycling centre

three recycling boxes on a kitchen countertop

During the process of renovating & decorating the house we accumulate a lot of recyclable 'rubbish'. I also have a really bad habit of popping things outside the side or back door ready to take to the tip or put in the garage, but then not quite making it round to actually going! I also like to save leftover materials from DIY projects like tiles and offcuts of wood, great for upcycling... not so great for decluttering. Over the past couple of weeks I've gone through and sorted all of the above and after three trips to the recycling centre things are looking so much better.


Tips for the tip / recycling centre

  • Check if you need to book online before you go

  • Check restrictions including chargeable items

  • Sorting into categories and take in one go eg all the wood in one trip


Scrap metal collection

The inside of a washing machine

Scrap metal has value, so there are people who will collect it for free saving you the hassle of taking it to the recycling centre. This is especially useful for large appliances such as washing machines or ovens and items like old radiators that can be bulky and heavy to lift. Fridges and freezers are more tricky due to the refrigeration gasses in them, so these usually won't be collected for free, but you might be able to negotiate a deal if you have some more valuable scrap metal to be collected at the same time.


So, that's where I've been relocating all out extra stuff to, my next post is going to show you how I'm improving the extra space I've created and other decor & interiors related updates. One of which is adding doors to some open shelving so I can use it for practical storage and to make cleaning easier. Hit subscribe if you don't want to miss out.


Thanks for reading. I'd love to keep you up to date with future DIY, decorating, interior styling, and upcycling projects, if you would like to receive my (not more than weekly & no spamming I promise) emails then please subscribe (scroll down to the box at the bottom of the page). I've got lots more tips that I hope you'll love just click on one of the links below to be taken straight to the relevant page..

I've been busy revamping my kitchen DIY Kitchen Makeover - part 1 shows the before and the ideas and DIY kitchen revamp has the results. ...and why not pop over and give me a follow on Instagram too.

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