decluttering the same as getting organised?
One of the
reasons that many people get confused and overwhelmed by sorting out clutter
is they muddle up decluttering and getting organised. This month I'd like
to clarify the difference between these 2 processes that are essential
if you want to get your home in order.
Decluttering is the first phase - it's the paring down of excess, letting
go of the old and parting with objects that have no useful function anymore
in your life. Last month we looked at the powerful emotions like fear
and guilt that can arise when we decide whether to hold onto our material
possessions. If you find decluttering an emotional rollercoaster, you're
Let's say you have 9 pairs of jeans of which you only wear 3 on a regular
basis. Your first task is to look at the neglected 6 pairs and decide
their fate. Be honest with yourself - why aren't you wearing them - do
the stonewashed ones look dated, have you outgrown ripped ones or do those
low cut ones show more of your muffin tops than you'd like? If you don't
feel good in them it's time to part company. In the short term this may
feel painful and uncomfortable. That's why it's always important to fix
the bigger picture in your mind - a wardrobe with only clothes that look
great and fit beautifully.
Another upside is you may rediscover a couple of pairs stuffed at the
back of your wardrobe or still packed in your holiday suitcase that you'd
forgotten about and will enjoy wearing again.
When you've whittled your original 9 pairs of jeans down to 5 then it's
time to get organised. This process will be much more logical and in many
- Get everything
into working order - in this case wash and mend your jeans so they are
ready to wear.
storage. Do you want to store them flat in a drawer on hang them in
your wardrobe? Do you need to invest in some new hangers rather than
those old wire ones you've been hoarding?
it's a lot simpler to organise your jeans that it it to file your paperwork
but the same principles apply. You can't begin to get things in order
until you've reduced the mountain of stuff by decluttering.
Remember you're aiming to find things easily and to have a system that
works for you. Don't get hung up on doing it the "right" way
or waiting for months until you find the perfect storage solution. That
way you can start enjoying the new order in your life now.
For more details on how to get motivated have a look at my new book Hoarder
published in the summer. It's part of a series called Get a Life and takes
a straightforward 100 day approach to sorting out your home by spending
just 30 minutes a day getting organised. And don't forget my first book
Thank you to everyone who took part in last month's competition with their
ideas on how to overcome emotional blocks to decluttering. It was hard
to choose as I was inspired by them all. The winner of a copy of Hoarder
to Order is Bev H. Here's her suggestion:
"With regard to emotional attachment to things - just eliminate
the words "try" and "guilt" from your vocabulary -
whether spoken out loud, muttered to yourself or processed in your head.
Instead use "do" or "move on" - it works for me!"
Thanks also to Sue P.who pointed out that I hadn't included grief in the
last newsletter as one of the greatest blocks to letting go. Next year
I'll dedicate a whole newsletter to this as I know it touches all of our
Finally have a look at this month's tip - Buy
nothing day on Nov 25th.
Good luck with both your decluttering and getting organised this November!
Sue 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 020 8444 5149, email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or check out the website at www.nomoreclutter.co.uk