no more clutter logo no more clutter newsletter for August 2004

What's clutter costing you?

Now it’s the height of summer you may well be tempted to delay decluttering until the autumn. After all who wants to sort out their cupboards on a beautiful sunny day! The only problem is until getting organised becomes a priority there will always be a reason to procrastinate. I’ve worked with many clients who regretted leaving it until things were completely out of hand. People often say they feel like their possessions are malevolent and taking over. They swear that half the stuff has just appeared magically in their homes.

So this month we’re going to look at both the costs of having a cluttered home and the benefits you’ll reap from sorting it out.

What is clutter?

First I’d like to have a quick recap of what clutter actually is. Clutter is anything you haven’t used or worn in the last year and it’s things you don’t enjoy having around you or cherish in some way. Here’s ten examples of true clutter

  • Spices that are years past their sell-by date
  • Shoes that are the wrong size
  • Expensive crystal wine glasses you were given as a wedding present and can’t stand
  • Odd socks – that have been lying around solo for more than a month
  • Newspapers over a week old
  • Junk mail
  • Out of date catalogues and holiday brochures
  • Rusty cutlery or chipped mugs
  • Dried up cosmetics or grooming products
  • Books you will never look at again

What are the costs of all this clutter?

So why bother to declutter this stuff? After all it’s been around for ages what difference will it make to keep it for another few months or years?


It is very stressful trying to find important things like your car keys, passport or cheque book if they are submerged under a pile of junk. If you have a lot of clutter then it can easily lead to feeling overwhelmed, hopeless and even depressed as you fight your possessions.

Wasting Money

The homes we live in cost us money either in mortgage payments or rental costs. If you live in a two bedroom flat – think how much of that money you are actually paying out to store junk and cardboard boxes in your spare room.

Clutter also costs because so many people I work with end up buying new items because they can’t find the old – I’ve known people buy new blenders, makeup, bags and even cameras and camcorders because they can’t find the original.

For anyone with a phobia about opening the post the cost of unpaid fines can soon mount up too!

Losing Time

All this searching for lost stuff, shopping for replacements or simply navigating your way round all the objects in your home can take up a lot of your valuable time. Wouldn’t you rather get organised and have time to relax and read a book or meet a friend instead?

Crowded Space

Clutter takes up a lot of physical space. As few of us live in mansions, we need to maximise the storage in our homes and make it feel as spacious as possible. Junk and unwanted stuff will stand in the way of us having a relaxing home.

The Benefits of Decluttering

So you’re wasting space, time, money and getting stressed into the bargain. Now we’ve counted the cost of clutter, it’s time to look at the benefits of decluttering. Personally I believe that letting go of clutter can be a life-changing experience. I’m going to let people I’ve worked with tell you what how it transformed their lives both in big and small ways.

"I still can’t believe that living alone I had enough junk to fill a skip! Saying goodbye to it feels like some huge block is out of the way and I can finally explore my plans to move out of London" - Katy

"When I saw how easily my boys filled charity bags with their toys I realised they weren’t as bothered about “stuff” as I’d thought. I started to feel less guilty about being a supermum. Stopped compensating my kids with things because I work full time" - Jane

"It helped me to reclaim and begin to reshape my home after my divorce. I no longer needed to treat myself to endless DVDs and gadgets to make myself feel better" - George

"I feel like I can breathe again. I sent 3 carloads to charity and I’m not done yet. I was shocked at how much makeup I’d bought and I’m not going to buy anything for the next 3 months. I chucked out most of my tatty bags and treated myself to a Prada one – which feels great." – Mary

"My desk was so bad that I used to turn it into a joke. Now it’s organised I feel like I’m much more on top of work and my colleagues are treating me with more respect. It’s great to be able to find things when I’m on the phone now instead of having to call people back all the time." - John

So next time you’re thinking of delaying, think what a difference it could make to your life.

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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


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