Tenner Week Jan 2019: Day 7 – The art of completion


It’s the final day of our current Tenner Week, and we’re doing the last round of budgeting, making the most of things we already have, and finishing the tidying up. How are you getting on?

I’ve been enjoying getting my home more organised, dialling back the spending after the excesses of the festive season, and using up various Christmas leftovers and gifts. The fridge is emptying quite nicely but we’re still doing okay. I’m ready to do one more big declutter now, starting today, and I hope you are too.


Today’s declutter: The art of completion

So what on earth is ‘the art of completion’ then? It’s a two-part process that first gives you the satisfaction of getting each task properly finished, and then helps you to maintain your good intentions by fully or partly repurposing the space you’ve tidied so that the clutter doesn’t start building up again.

This will vary according to your personal preferences, the type of clutter that tends to build up, and the areas that it builds up in, but the first part of the process – finishing activities properly – includes the following:

  • Choose a task you can complete in a relatively short time frame, so you don’t get overwhelmed
  • Get the chosen area nice and clean, so it’s ready for the next step
  • Add temporary structure such as bags or boxes if needed to group like items together
  • Put all your ‘To keep’ items away (cleaning them first if needed)
  • Put all your ‘Keep, but should live somewhere else’ items away exactly where they should live – don’t skip this step or the mess will start migrating or building up somewhere else
  • Put rubbish and recycling into the bin, and ideally take it outside as well – it can bring a sense of relief or lightness just to physically get it out of your home
  • If you need to put any ‘To keep’ items onto your mending pile, commit to completing the repairs within a set time frame – or it might never happen… and mending them makes them useful again
  • Commit to taking your ‘Donate / give away’ items to the charity shop or drop-off point within one week – again, this can start piling up and spread the clutter if you don’t tackle it, plus you get the feel-good factor of helping local people or charities and keeping it out of landfill
  • Commit to listing your ‘To sell’ items within one week – the reward will be both the sense of getting rid of the last of the items and an extra boost from the financial benefit
  • Remember to add items to your shopping list if necessary


The second part of the art of completion – repurposing the space – is as follows:

  • Decide exactly how you want this space to work – should it be beautiful, useful or a mixture of both? How do you want to live in it?
  • Use a practical location that works well with your natural tendencies – make life more convenient for yourself (for example, if your coats are a mess then get rid of ones you don’t use and aim to fit a coat rack near the door so you can hang them up as soon as you arrive home)
  • Replace temporary storage solutions as soon as you reasonably can, and remember it’s often a bonus if the new storage looks attractive
  • Buy the right storage such as boxes or folders – structure is often missing and that contributes to messes
  • Arrange items in the storage grouped by type or function – if they have a designated home to live in they’re likely to stay there for when they’re needed
  • Make the things you use most often the easiest to get to


Things you can do today to gain a sense of completion include:

  • Emptying your bins or recycling, and getting their contents out of your house
  • Taking your ‘give away’ items to the charity shop or other drop off point, or offering them to people locally (such as Gumtree or Facebook groups)
  • Thinking about a big decluttering project and breaking it down into a number of smaller specific tasks
  • Thinking about how you can rearrange your home to make it nicer or more practical to live in, including leisure, dining, cooking, fitness or hobbies
  • Researching the kind of storage you might want to use
  • Listing your ‘To sell’ items on local sites, Facebook, auction sites, selling apps, etc, or finding a pitch for a car boot sale
  • Mending items on your mending pile
  • Rounding up any ‘Keep but put away somewhere else’ items that might still be hanging around, and putting them away exactly where they should live

You only need to do one of these activities today, but feel free to do a little more if you have time.


What’s happening here

Yesterday had a lot of financial filing going on here, and today I’ll be taking another bag of unwanted clutter to a drop-off point. On top of the daily declutters I’ve also completely tidied up my food cupboard in the kitchen, and got rid of some ancient hand towels, clothes and crockery. It’s a gooood feeling to get all of this sorted out, I feel so much lighter and happier now.

Today I’ll be doing a tiny bit of gardening, no more than half an hour, and later we’re going out to a free mini film festival in town. We might treat ourselves to some cake or a glass of wine, depending on how late everything finishes.

Then it’s time to go home and make a mini roast and vegetables, using up the last of the slightly sad potatoes to make roasties, and put our feet up and relax.

Spent yesterday: £0.00

Total spent so far this week: £1.20

I’m on target for the final budget total to be under £10.00, as long as I don’t accidentally overspend when I’m out in town.


Have you manged to do any or all of the decluttering this week? How did you get on with your budget?


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