Taking Control of Clutter

Taking Control of Clutter

, by Maeve Reidy, 5 min reading time

Hands up who made a New Year Resolution to Declutter?! We all like to think we could lead a calmer, less stressful life if our homes and offices were less cluttered. We look enviously at the almost-show-house homes of our neighbours, family or friends, or even drool at the television and wish we had a calm, ordered, minimalist-type home.

Hands up who made a New Year Resolution to (finally!) declutter the house?! In the next few days it'll be time to take the Christmas decorations down :-( but it's a perfect opportunity to get started on that Resolution to declutter the house once and for all!

We all like to think we could lead a calmer, less stressful life if our homes and offices were less cluttered. We look enviously at the almost-show-house homes of our neighbours, family or friends, or even drool at the television and wish we had a calm, ordered, minimalist-type home.

But it’s true – if everything is stored neatly away and we only keep the things we really need then it’s easy to find the things we do need, and so life is calmer.

De-cluttering can help you reduce the amount of stress in your life, live a calmer existence and be able to think more clearly. It helps you appreciate the possessions that are special enough to keep, and can even help support a local charity. That sounds like a big bonus for what is essentially just tidying up and getting rid of the things we don’t need.

But it really does work!

If you're moving house, you will know that every Moving House Guide starts by getting you to declutter. Even if you're not moving house at the moment, you know at an instinctive level, that decluttering your space is a good thing to do.

If De-cluttering is so good for us, why do we have to be encouraged/forced/shamed into doing it?

No matter how much we might like the idea of de-cluttering (we watch the TV programmes & get the books!), often the reality of sorting out our possessions and clearing out anything that we don’t need or want any longer is too daunting a task for us to know where to begin. In a very cluttered home it can even be hard to find the space to sort through all our belongings.

Also, human beings are instinctive hoarders – we have all done it – keeping something “just in case we need it”. And if you happen to have plenty of storage space then there can seem to be no good reason not to keep those “just in case” items! With garages no longer just for cars and attic spaces no longer just for old suitcases, we tend to pack these storage spaces full of items we simply can’t bear to part with or haven’t the time to sort out and decide what to keep. And there is a definite truth that, in the space that a human being inhabits, they will eventually expand to fill the space they inhabit!

But the excuse of not having enough time to sort through everything is just that – an excuse – and not a very good one! If you had a more clutter-free home you would be surprised at how much extra time you have because you are not constantly rummaging around looking for important paperwork or whatever it is you find yourself hunting for in your home on a regular basis.

What exactly is Decluttering?

Everybody has one ... the cupboard under the stair that is so chock-full of stuff that you can only toss whatever it is in and try to get the door closed again; or the box bedroom that you can only stand at the threshold and lob your stuff in before breathing a sigh of relief and closing the door!

But it is not simply tidying and finding a storage place for everything, but actually drastically reducing the amount of stuff we own ... and keeping it that way!

There will always be some things that need to be stored away – particularly seasonal items like bicycles, surf-boards, gardening tools, out-of-season clothes or Christmas decorations. There are also items with genuine sentimental value – wedding photos, pictures of your children when they were small, treasured books and CDs that you will always want to keep. But anything that doesn’t fall into one of these categories is, let’s face it, just junk. Any clothes, shoes or bags that you haven’t worn for a few years can also be classified as junk unless they have real sentimental value.

De-cluttering is not intended to destroy our memories but to clear out everyday items to create a clutter-free environment that will allow us to think more clearly and act more calmly.

So forget the excuses and start to make your home a sanctuary instead of a place that adds to the stresses of everyday life! But if you really can’t bring yourself to throw away or give away your possessions, then why not rent a self-storage unit for a few months and store everything there? You will soon find out whether you actually can live without all that stuff and will start to see the benefits for yourself of taking control of your clutter!

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