Tips for Successful Decluttering – Summer 2019 Article

Written by Lisa Pantling – Professional Declutterer and Organiser 

There are many reasons why you might be thinking about decluttering, maybe you are planning to move, or just feel a little overwhelmed by all the stuff and would like to streamline your home a little. 

Here are just a few tips about where to start, and the benefits you might see along the way.

  • To get started, try to identify the area of your home that is causing you the most concern, this is the best place to start as you will feel motivated to change it and you will feel the positive effects straight away.
  • Get 3 bags ready, 1 for recycling, 1 for rubbish and 1 for charity donations.
  • Take your time and start with the ‘easy’ decisions first, there is no point in starting with a really difficult category such as photo’s or something you are really attached to as you will likely find this overwhelming.
  • Keep a ‘donation station’ – have a box or bag somewhere in the house so that whenever you come across something that can be donated to charity, you pop it straight in, and when it’s full – head down to your favourite charity shop.
  • Try to only handle items once, if you keep going back to the same things and picking them up you will reaffirm your attachment to them, and make it more difficult to be objective about whether you actually want or need them.

How does clutter affect us????

  • Clutter can affect your ability to focus and process information
  • It can cause stress and anxiety
  • CHAOS – cant have anyone over syndrome!
  • Shame and embarrassment
  • Feel ‘stuck or frozen’ – so anxious about doing it that you just never start
  • Clutter in the bedroom can affect the quality of your sleep and ability to really ‘switch off’
  • High levels of paper clutter can pose an increased fire risk
  • Piles of stuff on the floor can increase the risk of trips and falls
  • Homes with a high level of clutter fall into a state of disrepair more easily as it is more difficult to access pipework  or electrics.

The benefits of Decluttering:

  • Save money – it is very common to buy duplicates of things that we already have when we can’t find the original – in an organised, clutter free home you will know what you have and where it is.
  • Save time – when everything has a home, you never have to waste time looking for it
  • The less stuff you have, the less you have to clean.

Questions to ask yourself when decluttering ….

  • Have I used it?
  • Will ever I use it (again)?
  • Do I have duplicates or something similar that does the same job?
  • Do I have something better?
  • Is it broken, out of date, age appropriate?
  • Does it make me happy?

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