The art of decluttering

Although hardly known just a couple of years ago, decluttering now seems to be a buzz word which is prompting magazine articles and TV shows. Many see the task of ridding themselves of the clutter as somewhere between onerous and impossible. However, there is no doubt that once done a sense of peace and harmony can be found, stress diminishes and one finds a feeling of relief at being ‘back in control’.

Declutter your home

There are many different methods employed in the decluttering process, from aggressively throwing out anything that hasn’t been used in 3-6 months, to a more gentle and facilitative process. Many people will have an attachment to articles, whether it be furniture, books or clothing, which may have been in their possession for years. Often these items will have a sentimental significance and they will need to work through the letting go process.

Decluttering is not about taking everything that has been hoarded for years and relegating it to the tip. It is more of a coaching process, working with the client to help them see whether indeed they wish to retain a specific item or not. It is therefore a very personal service in every way, particularly when inviting a stranger into your home or work environment, and requires a rapport and trust to be built up.

However, on a lighter note, creating harmony in a workplace or home can be a joyous activity, and fun. Working side by side with the client, room by room, or desk drawer by desk drawer, often invites confidences, memories and hilarity as forgotten items come to hand.

How to declutter your home

The most used expression by those surrounded by clutter is that they are ‘overwhelmed and don’t know where to start’. The simplest way to begin is to look around the room and visualise how you would like it to look. Then, starting in one corner of the room you work your way around the entire room clearing, shifting, reorganising and creating piles of items which can be either sold on or donated to local charities.

It is easiest to work on just one area at a time, therefore schedule an hour or two depending on the size of the area to be tackled, have your goal firmly in mind, and remain focused until the area is cleared. Begin with a small area such as a cupboard, kitchen pantry, or desk drawer.

Pull everything out onto the floor or a nearby table and start sorting. You’ll find quite quickly that there will be items which you know you will never use again and so the process starts. It’s like a snowball, once you start discarding items you get a feel for it and it becomes easier, and faster. Make sure you have a rubbish bag beside you so you can drop things into it right away without having a pile on the floor which you later may second-guess.

Then when you come to placing articles back in the drawer or cupboard, think about the system in which you will utilise those items eg what needs to be at the front of the drawer for easy retrieval, less often used articles can be put to the back of the drawer. If necessary, buy dividers for the drawer or use plastic containers so that pencils, pens and miscellaneous items such as rubbers, staplers etc are all captured in an orderly manner.

Once the smaller areas have been tackled, the larger ones will appear less daunting. A clutter-free environment and organised systems not only work for you and your family, but also provide you with immense satisfaction and pleasure.

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Testimonial

We were renovating our home with a view to selling it. Angella made my daunting and overwhelming task of decluttering my house of 10 years worth of stuff so much more manageable, achievable and enjoyable. She organised us, pitched in, worked fast and efficiently, all the while sharing her knowledge in her very positive uplifting way. I was not that organised as a person and Angella inspires me to get more organised and declutter. And we feel so much better for it.

Georgie Major