in the mood to declutter
have you walked away from the spare room or shoved all your unruly possessions
back into the overstuffed drawer, because you simply aren't in the mood.
You tell yourself that tomorrow will be better or maybe next week.you'll
deal with it...... So months pass and more junk is added to the pile and
every time you look you're even less in the mood. I know this feeling
so well - yet I'm often amazed when I get round to the ironing or grooming
my dog Barney (who is old, blind and grumpy) it's not nearly as bad as
Use the bad days to your advantage
I'm a big fan of decluttering when I'm in a bad mood. There's something
about being in a temper that seems to loosen my attachment to things I've
been holding onto needlessly. They just don't seem very important in the
scheme of things. So next time life is getting you down throw out some
clutter. I bet you'll feel a lot better. If you're scared you'll make
a mistake allow yourself a day to cool off before you cart the bags off
to the charity shop. Probably best to avoid important paperwork if you're
in a mood. Though many people have told me they thoroughly enjoy shredding
or ripping old paperwork.
Better days and clutter
Summer weather make us all feel lighter and happier. So why not take small
decluttering projects outdoors - that way you get to enjoy the sunshine
and get organised at the same time. Dig out old packs of photos and do
an initial sort and discard all the blurry ones, endless duplicates or
my least favourite - views of places you can't remember. Memory does fade
so it's worth writing on the back of snaps where (and of who) they are.
Or take a stack of old magazines out that you've been keeping because
you want to pull out the article on Feng Shui or cut price DVD recorders.
Flick through quickly before recycling and file the article or put it
in your action tray.
Take advantage of the summer to actually hold that car boot sale you've
been talking about for the past few years. Perhaps get together with a
friend - search the local newspaper and put a date in the diary. Having
a target to work towards and someone to do it with - is a great motivator.
Have a look round your garden and discard any broken kid's toys or general
detritus that is lying around. If you're well on the way on your decluttering
journey it's a good time to tackle the shed or garage. Both these places
tend to be dumping places for clutter to go and lurk before it is finally
discarded or in many cases disintegrates. Do think about the recycling
potential of things like paint that is still OK or the metal in broken
gardening tools can be reused. Things like excess plant pots - I'd just
stick out in front of my house and say "Take me." It never fails
in north London!
If you would
like more ideas on how to kick-start and then maintain the decluttering
process plus gain insight into the psychology behind hoarding have a look
at my new book "No more clutter"
I can never decide quickly about anything. I hum and ha - finally put
something in the box for donating. Then I feel odd and take it back out
again. In the past I've found I usually regret things I've got rid of.
What can I do?
There's quite a lot of fear attached to hoarding. Do you really regret
everything you've given away or is it just the odd thing? Life isn't perfect
and there is bound to be the odd mistake. But don't dwell on this or let
it stop you getting your home in order.
I recently read the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell which I can thoroughly
recommend. He talks about how experts often make unconscious but correct
decisions in seconds. He uses the example of various art experts knowing
immediately a piece of sculpture is a fake. Yet they then they allow scientific
facts and test results to dissuade them of their first right instinct.
In the same way I think we all know pretty quickly how we feel about objects
but we too allow the facts - the price, who gave it to us, how long we've
had it to change our minds. Try "blinking" your response to
each thing. Do you really want to keep it. Trust your gut instinct and
you'll rarely go wrong.
and I hope that helps. I'd be delighted to hear any successful strategies
that have worked or any other decluttering ideas you have at
it or lose it
Prima magazine are planning to do a feature on decluttering. It will involve
them taking photos of the problem areas of your home and then I'll be
giving advice on how to solve them. You'll get your make-up and hair professionally
done for your photo in the magazine. It's UK only - if you are interested
email me by the 8th July at email@example.com
This summer really start to be honest with yourself about whether you
are going to use things ever again. Identify areas like cleaning products,
shampoo or tinned tomatoes where you have enough to last a year or more.
Stop buying them and start to work your way through your stocks. With
all the money you'll save, reward yourself with a great bottle of wine
to enjoy in the summer sunshine.
I'm going to take my own advice and dust off those pink trainers and expensive
suede sandals I bought last summer. As far as I remember I wore the trainers
once and felt like mutton dressed as lamb. The sandals gave me terrible
blisters. So I'll free them from the back of the wardrobe - wear them
or donate them straight to charity!
no newsletter in August but in the meantime do keep your ideas, comments
and questions coming. Have a fantastic summer.
Kay works with a wide range of clients to organise home offices, small
businesses, declutter before a house move, prepare your spare room for
a new baby and organise your wardrobe ready for the new season. If you're
selling your home, she can help you present it clutter-free for the market
to achieve a quick and profitable sale. For practical sympathetic help
call Sue on 07974 076 675 or 020 8444 5149 or check out the website at