Decluttering: The Key Steps

“The trick to decluttering is to do it in stages

- but head on.” –Barbara Toner

declutter fresh flowers

Clutter is a symptom either of lack of organisation, lack of control in your life, poor time-management or over-spending.

Here are some escape routes:

  1. You’ve got to be ruthless. Respect yourself and reward yourself. This is about clearing out your life and that’s good. You’ll only get it wrong if you downsize in a panic. Let’s say your bedroom is chaotic, which is horrible. Begin with your wardrobe and, as with elsewhere, take everything out and do an audit. Do I wear it? Will I ever wear it again? Is it so precious that I will miss if if I give it away? If you won’t wear it, will anyone else? Don’t say you’ll mend it one day – you won’t. Take it to the menders, or get rid of it. Nor will you fit into it one day. If it’s in good nick, give to charity. Or throw an eco-friendly, ethical Swishing Party with family and friends!
  2. You need to accommodate your habits. Make an extra shelf for all that reading material and bedside storage for the night cream and eye pads. If your home is not set up for you, and your idiosyncracies, it will feel like a hostile environment. If you have to wade through a jungle of stuff every time you go to cook something, you are going to feel constantly thwarted. The clutter is nagging you, over-working you, making it take longer to clean your home – it can drag you down.
  3. Your relationship to our belongings changes, just as we change during the different changes and challenges of our lives. Our belongings make us feel we belong. But we do move on, emotionally and at different life stages, so some of the things that once held sentimantal value  for us may cease to be that important and that’s a good moment to part with them.


7-step decluttering

by Jon Ramsay of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers

1. Do a little de-cluttering, and do it often

2. Buy only what you need.

3. For clothing, the rule is: one in, one out.

4. Decide what you need to buy in advance and try to stick to it. Impulse buys are often mistakes.

5. Realise you’re not tied to possessions; they’re only a very small and unimportant part of you.

6. Enjoy your new feeling of freedom. Unburdened by excess possessions you can move on in life without all tht clutter weighing you down.

7. Live in the space you’ve created, and not the one clutter created for you.


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