People often ask me why they
find it so hard to let go of things they will never use again or things
that they don't even like. Why can't they just get on with it? They know
that all this clutter is standing in the way of them having the life and
home they want. But still it feels unnerving and difficult to actually
let go of things.
I've thought long and hard about this over the years. My background in
psychology means I'm interested in why we hoard and why decluttering is
a real challenge for most people. This is not because they are lazy or
were born disorganised. It's because it is emotionally uncomfortable as
it challenges long held beliefs that are common in our society.
Are these 5 beliefs standing in your
"I have to get your money's worth"
What does that mean to you? Do you believe you have to wear a pair of
shoes until they fall apart? Would you really wear a pair of cowboy boots
or platform heels you felt ridiculous in just to make sure you got good
value. Isn't it more important to enjoy your life than to squeeze every
last penny's worth out of something. Why use up a body lotion that you
hate the smell of? I believe by passing on our unwanted stuff to charity
or friends we can let go of any guilt and let someone else have the pleasure.
"I hate to admit I've made a mistake"
We've all had a funny five minutes in the changing room when we think
we look good in orange. Or we indulge in a fantasy that we'll get up every
morning and make fresh juice. A year later the juicer is gathering dust
in the spare room. Be kind to yourself and try and see the funny side.
You're human - accept we all make mistakes from time to time. Let the
orange shirt and the juicer go. Trust me you'll never miss them and feel
"I'll need something the minute
I give it away"
This is a convenient reason to hold onto things just in case they might
be useful. We all worry that we'll regret giving something away. I can
honestly say that over the years I've given things to charity I've rarely
missed anything apart from the odd CD. If you worry about this put things
in a holding place for a couple of weeks and see if they call you back.
My rule is if you don't wake up at 3am thinking I do want to keep that
vase, then you'll soon forget about it.
"I can't let it go - it was a present"
Presents are tough. It's easy to feel ungrateful if you don't want to
keep something you were given. But what is the alternative - shoving it
in the back of the cupboard and yanking it out once a year when your relatives
visit? Try and sidestep the guilt and go back to basics. Ask yourself
will you use it and do you enjoy having it around? Otherwise it is clutter.
Find the courage to let it go. If the opportunity arises in future why
not signpost what you really want for your next present?
"I should be able to declutter
on my own"
How many times have you started to declutter and given up? For some people
having practical and emotional support makes all the difference. There's
no shame in needing help. I find people often start our sessions with
a flurry of apologies about the state of their home and what a mess they
are in. But the way I see it is we all have different talents and abilities.
I enjoy decluttering and getting organised but struggle with technology.
Why feel bad if this is something you need help with? Feel good that you
are finally coming to grips with something you've struggled with in the
Share your thoughts and win a calendar
I'd love to hear your thoughts about what is standing in the way of you
sorting out your clutter. I've got a Family Organizer calendar from www.organizedmum.co.uk
to give away for the best contribution which I'll include in next month's
Mum is a brand new company that is selling calendars and diaries that
are perfect for busy homes. The Family Organizer costs just £9.99
and has huge squares to put all your familys comings and goings
and includes lots of fun stickers to flag up the important things you
dont want to miss! It lasts for 16 months starting in September
so you dont have to wait to start using it!
out this month's tip:
things are clutter!
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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 07974 076 675 or 020 8444 5149 or check out the website at www.nomoreclutter.co.uk