Decluttering is not just a case of physically getting rid of stuff, but more a way of transforming our physical and mental space. It provides us with what most of us really want – beauty, peace, order, a balanced life and fulfilling relationships. Clutter is scary, unhealthy and may seem overpowering. It can be a source of pain and shame. Often clutter is difficult to fight against; we feel controlled by our possessions and doomed to be forever disorganised.
How to Kickstart Your Decluttering Today
Have you ever wondered how clutter impacts your health?
Studies have shown that the more clutter we have, the more stress we are. Research indicates that women especially have an increased level of the stress hormone cortisol when living in a cluttered home because they associate clutter with mess. This leads to tiredness and frustration, therefore having a negative impact on vital decision-making skills.
Clutter also promotes over-eating. It is easier to eat ‘comfort’ food than think healthily when we are overwhelmed by our living environment. Chocolate rather than a piece of fruit may be more appealing to our taste senses but think of the inches that the chocolate will eventually pile on!
Do yourself a favour!
You do not need to live in a home full of crap. Possessing items does not always lead to a harmonious living space. If you’ve been struggling with the idea of decluttering your home, you need to get yourself a copy of this guide. I’d ask you to trust me, but I’d rather you found out for yourself. The easy, actionable steps in this guide have been so helpful for me, and the best part was that I’ve been able to rinse and repeat to keep it all at a manageable state!
Clutter can also be expensive:
You missed a payment because an unopened bill became hidden under a pile of papers. How much was the late-payment fee, and how easily could it have been avoided?
Clutter breeds dirt:
Germs and insects adore a cluttered environment! If you can’t see a surface, how can you keep it clean?
Clutter makes you always the late one:
You can’t find the car keys. The children can’t find their reading bag. Stress levels are rising, and those few extra minutes that you spend having to search will invariably make you late … again.
Clutter can be physically dangerous:
You bang your knee; trip and fall; twist your back while manoeuvring around your clutter.
How to kick-start decluttering
Feeling Overwhelmed and wondering how to declutter?
Consider the following tips:
- Think first about what you want your space to look like. Focus on a goal before you start and return to that image during your decluttering process.
- Make a list of what you want to achieve.
- Don’t buy new until you have removed the old and unwanted. You have enough to do before adding more!
- Realise that de-cluttering will take time. Set yourself a space on the calendar, but don’t block out days.
- Set a specific amount of time whether it is fifteen minutes or three hours.
- Remember that there are other things in life such as friends, relaxing and doing what you enjoy.
Some Questions To Consider Before You Start Decluttering
- What are you going to do with the clutter you are removing? Is it going to the rubbish tip, be recycled or taken to the charity shop? Co-ordinate the piles according to where your clutter will go.
- Get everything you need before you start – bin bags, boxes – this will help you become more organised and more motivated to carry out the task.
- Which space bothers you the most? Tackling the biggest problem first will spur you on to continue.
- Start with what you can see before tackling the hidden clutter.
- Remember to notice big things such as furniture as well as the knick-knacks.
- Is this useful and do I use it?
- Does this enhance my life in some way?
If the answer is ‘no’ then say goodbye!
Try not to be too sentimental during your decluttering process. Live for the future, not in the past.
Don’t Know Where To Start?
Remember your goal and stick to it.
If you struggle with decluttering, don’t worry. It can be easy for items to build up around your home. We spoke to Juliet Landau-Pope, decluttering expert, professional organiser and Director of JLP Coach, to find out the best way to start your decluttering journey.
She told us
“Kickstart your decluttering by focusing on an area in your home that will make a difference but not challenge you too much. Clearing clutter from the hallway, for example, can lift your mood when you arrive home. Creating space and order in your bedroom can improve your quality of sleep. The key thing is to start with small steps, set micro-goals and celebrate progress rather than perfection.”
Are You A Procrastinator?
If you’re procrastinating, let’s review the assumptions that you’re making. Do you really lack time, or are you simply giving priority to other tasks? Do you need to hold onto certain items ‘just in case’ or do you have a specific purpose in mind? Once you delve deeper into stories that you’re telling yourself (and possibly others) you’ll find it easier to shift habits as well as surplus stuff.”
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