The Cluttereur

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The gorgeous home and wardrobe of Annabel Tollman, via The Coveteur

Have you ever paid a visit to The Coveteur? For those not in the know, it's a spectacularly glamorous blog that delves into the homes of designers and fashonistas, and decks their halls with the contents of their indecently desirable wardrobes. Every image is positively dripping with gorgeousness. Ropes of pearls and glittering clutches adorn every available surface, Chanel jackets hang alongside original artwork and scarlet-heeled shoes peep from every orifice. The subjects themselves invariably have ridiculously amazing job titles, like "Creative Ambassador-at-large", or "Director of Entertainment for Jimmy Choo". (Where were these jobs at my high school careers fair, hm?)

Now I like an aspirational shoe as much as the next girl, and while there is a definite dark pleasure in lusting after such beauty, such glamour, such balls-out decadence, it does leave me feeling a little... inadequate. So what, you may wonder, has prompted this little departure from my usual reading matter? Well, the Hubster and I are eyeing some potential changes to our current living arrangements in the not-too-distant future, and when even the distant prospect of maybe one day having to pack up all of our belongings made me want to break down and cry, I realised it was time to take a cold, hard look at the contents of our flat.

Let me tell you, it was not a pretty sight.

The hideous home and wardrobe of me, via ten twenty-seven years of living like a slob.

Wardrobes bulging with clothes I don't wear, bookcases crammed with books we never read, God-knows-what lurking in the shadowy underbelly of our spare room... it's depressing. And, more importantly, it's unsustainable. I cannot keep topping up my wardrobe with yellow skirts and jelly shoes without releasing pressure somewhere else. There's no more room. This thing's about to blow.

And so begins the event that I have solemnly christened as: The Great Decluttering of 2011

Okay, so it's not super catchy, but you get the idea. Essentially, our aim is to rid ourselves of as much (for want of a better word) crap as we possibly can by the end of the year. Ebay, charity shops, clothing swaps, giveaways, recycling, freecycling - we will need every weapon at our disposal if Light and Space are to triumph over Darkness and Squalor. 

So if anyone has any top tips for ridding ourselves of the trappings of modern consumerist society, or maybe just knows a better way to store shoes than piled up on a flipping bookshelf (or, let's be honest, scattered in heaps on the floor), I'd love to know. This weekend, we're tackling The Clothes. Wish us luck... 

14 boats moored

  1. you can try selling your stuff at the Corn Exchange car boot sale! one's clutter could be someone else's treasure:)

  2. This post made me I should be up packing for our move tomorrow but just one more blog read....
    No advice just to say having lived in a studio, sorted for Warmth to move in, moved flat and then prepared to move into our house all in two and a half years clutter just appears.I like having a box to put things in and if it's not been opened for more than a year you know it can go. Happy sorting.

  3. Oh yeah... where do you put all those shoes. I don-t even consider myself a shoe addict, or anything of the sort. (Still on our last trip to Italy I couldn-t help myself but to buy a pair, that you can see here: )As soon as we find a solution for the shoes we will let you know, we are thinking of making a custom made closet in a corner that we have.
    Our new apartment is so small that we definitely have to start a great decluttering as well. I have a million summer dresses, that are just not suitable for the weather here. But I don't really wanna let go off them, maybe I will bring them to my sis or something.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes ! And those pic apartments are like WOOW

  4. Oh yes, car boot sales! Totally forgot about those, have added to the list.

  5. When you are done you could come round to ours and do the same!

    Im currently looking at our bursting spare room and wondering where baby & all its stuff will go!

  6. I'm a massive hoarder but we've been through the Great Decluttering over the past two years and I feel SO much better for doing it. Our loft also appreciates it as it's not about to cave in under the weight of so much junk. It's hard but worth it!

    Re: the shoe storage, as a person with a number of shoes that makes my husband weep (35 at last count), neat storage is paramount. I use those blue plastic crates you can get from fruit shops for free and lie the shoes on their sides. You can get between 3-6 pairs in each (depending on type of shoe). They then stack very neatly on top of each other at the bottom of my wardrobe. Neat shoes = happy husband.

  7. If you have Sky tv I recommend watching the Bio Channel. They have an American tv show on it called Hoarders, featuring people that compulsively hoard, to the point where it is ruining their life and relationships with others. I swear, I watched one episode one Saturday and was so shocked and horrified by what i saw that I spent the rest of the weekend decluttering Like my life depended on it! Anything that I swithered over was consigned to eBay or charity! So far not regretted anything that I got rid of!

  8. The best way to get rid of clothes is to use the three-pile system and a black trash bag. As follows:

    Pile 1: Doesn't Fit/Ugly/Hate It = Give Away
    Pile 2: Keep! (Nothing can go in the Keep pile if you haven't worn it in a year unless it's something you only need once every few years like your funeral dress)
    Pile 3: Keep but needs fixing! If trousers need hemming or a button needs replacing or something it goes in this pile and you have to vow to go get said things repaired within 3 days of the sort.
    Black Garbage Bag: Say you have something you're just not sure about, or a nostalgic T-shirt that looks terrible on you but you love it, etc. What then? Well, then you put it in a black garbage bag and stow it under your bed for six months. In six months before opening the bag you have to try and remember what was in it. If you can't remember what you put in there (and you never went looking for said item in the intervening six months) then you clearly don't love it that much, so get rid of it.

    Hope this helps! (I love helping people declutter. I'm sure it's a treatable condition).

  9. And also don't throw clothes in the trash! Textile recycling makes mother earth happy:

  10. watch "Hoarders" on a regular basis, and I do mean regular. that'll keep you going when you just don't think you can any more. true story.

    on a side note, we're de-cluttering, too. to the point of going through stuff in our "storage" corner of the "office" (aka, the-room-that-shall-not-be-named-because-it-gives-me-an-anxiety-attack room).

    please post updates! I need to know I'm not being OCD (as, ahem, Boyfriend insists I am).

  11. We did a lot of clearing out in preparation for putting the flat on the market, and I've not missed any of it so far. It's scary how much stuff you can accumulate (and how little we used it!).

    One really useful exercise for us was going through the maaaaassive pile of books/cds/dvds/games/videos and getting rid. Especially the old 'taped-off-the-tv football games'! We then used Music Magpie ( to sell the salvageable cds etc to, as they give you a piddly price for almost any title, and free postage. Cleared shelves, saved time, got to be a little geeky and made money. We also discovered that obscure CDs and computer games get more pennies so managed to convince the boy to let go of some of the less desirable items in his collection. Result for me!

  12. I try to do this all the time. But I live with a compulsive hoarder :(

    On the shoe front, at least yours are on shelves. Mine are piled in the bottom of the wardrobe and in the big bottom drawer of a bookcase. Finding 2 matching ones is about as much as I can hope for!

    Good luck!

  13. Thanks so much for all the tips ladies, will definitely be putting these into action!

  14. This has been at the back of my mind for a long while, also. But somehow I never really get very far, and end up adding to the mix rather than subtracted. Like very recently when I came home from London with a new yellow skirt. Tee hee!


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