Have you ever looked and wondered how you can declutter your house? It can seem like an insurmountable task especially when you are time poor. Saying that, even with time on your hands, the thought of decluttering can seem utterly exhausting.
I often ask my clients to tell me about the one area that really gets on their nerves. The one that keeps them up at night and the area that feels so overwhelming you feel exhausted even stepping inside!
Recently I worked with a client whose needs were quite limited, just a few rooms that were not working for her. Rooms that made her feel ashamed. But her biggest bugbear? A cupboard in the hall. Once useful and full of stuff she needed it was now full of stuff she probably didn’t need plus lots of things she did not even know she had!
How on earth do we start, she asked?
Just like this I said. With that, I slowly emptied the cupboard until it was bare.
We then worked through the items left on the floor. First off, putting like with like, and then systematically going through each category of items. Once we got started, it became quite easy, but it was interesting to see what was in the cupboard. Old lamps that no longer worked, lightbulbs for lights she did not own, pieces of rope, carrier bags, Sellotape, and various car parts (for a car which was owned by her ex-husband). We laughed about how this ‘stuff’ had accumulated in the first place as it was quite overwhelming. A quick trip to the tip quickly disposed of much of the stuff and luckily 99% could be recycled too.
When we finished and all the items she wished to keep, were put back, it was amazing how different the cupboard felt. More spacious and most importantly, my client was able to find what she was looking for!
But let’s face it, if it were only a cupboard that needed decluttering, we could probably manage well enough, if we could find what we were looking for.
But what about when the clutter becomes larger and larger and what started as a messy cupboard, becomes a messy room and eventually a messy house?
Maybe then you shout out “Can someone please Declutter my house?” And I don’t blame you. It is so much easier to call in professional help than try and tackle the monumental task on your own.
I get my clients to create a plan with me, to work out which area of the house needs decluttering and what we will tackle first.
Without sounding brutal it really is a case of being strong and getting rid of anything that no longer serves you. Things that are just cluttering up your cupboards, your rooms, your house, your life. We all have them, items we acquired and sometimes cannot even recall where they came from in the first place!
I think the most common thing I see is when someone has bought too much of the same item. That is often because you cannot see what you need as you have too much of that very thing! It’s so easy to do. After if you think you have run out, as it’s not visible, it’s so much easier to just go out and re-buy the same item. I say easy, easy is dangerous if it’s not affordable.
I work with so many people who want to create systems and have purchased storage containers and the like to help them get organised. The thing is it always must start with the declutter first. The prettiest basket will not serve any purpose until you have less stuff!
But let’s go much deeper, why do we gather clutter? For some, it’s a case of having too much stuff, for others, its over-buying, enjoying the moment of shopping, the thrill of the purchase. For some, clutter is a kind of security blanket, and every single item has a meaning or a use. I link it to perfectionism. When I over shopped, it was to create perfection in my life, when I wasn’t happy. Every time I bought, I would tell myself it was the last time, until the next time that was. My spending addiction eventually put me on the road to decluttering my house and helping others to declutter theirs.
There is no one person who resembles the other, although the same clutter issues do come up time and time again. I put it down to mass consumerism. Once upon a time we were never encouraged to buy two and get the third half price, or buy one, get one free. Now, it seems to be the norm and who can resist? It is appealing but often we don’t have the space to store the extra items and then clutter builds up. The internet has made shopping so much easier for all and the satisfying plop of the Amazon package is hard to resist. I always suggest to my clients that they slow the shopping down by doing the following
- Place your order in the normal way right through to check out
- And then pause, do not complete your purchase (don’t worry it will still be in the basket)
- Come back to it the next day
- And ask yourself
- Do you need it?
- Do you already have one?
- Do you have room for it?
- Is it affordable?
- Can the purchase wait
Learning to have less and be truly happy, is one of the most gratifying gifts to yourself.
Simplifying and stripping back, will reap benefits not only for your mental health but that of your entire family and friendship circle. The words “declutter my house” will become a thing of the past, as you learn to live with no more than you need and with everything in its place.