no more clutter logo no more clutter newsletter for February 2007

Turn decluttering into a positive experience

A recent survey by the furniture-maker Hammonds found that the average Briton accumulates more than a ton of clutter at home. Even I found that pretty shocking! This hefty overload is shoved into every nook and cranny from the loft to under the stairs. A quarter of the population can no longer use a room because of all the junk stored there. Only 20% of the people surveyed were happy to throw things away. The remaining 80% said they were reluctant, sad or even hated to do it. Does that ring a bell with you - has January slipped by and you've found a million and one excuses to put off the dreaded task?

So this month I want to look at how you can transform your attitude about decluttering and join the 20% who are happy to let things go.

  • Start focusing on the positives
    • all the benefits of having a clutter free home or office.
  • Daydream for a few minutes and imagine turning your junk room into an office or guest room.
  • Fantasise about
    • a wardrobe that works,
    • beating back the sea of paper
    • finding things quickly without daily dramas.
  • Don't dwell continually on everything that could go wrong. Maybe
    • you're scared of making a mistake and missing something after it's gone.
    • you really don't want to face up to how much money you have wasted
    • you worry your unwanted stuff will be valuable in a few years or that your kids or grandkids will want it in the future
    • and so on

I'm sure that you can fill in the "and so on" with lots of other fears you have about decluttering.

It might even help you to write these down so you can become familiar with these nagging voices that undermine your progress. Get the situation in perspective by using these counter arguments:

  • Yes you might occasionally miss something. When I saw all the yellow in the spring collections my mind cast back to a fantastic yellow 1950s coat I used to own. For a moment I felt a pang of loss. But I know it wouldn't fit me now, and I gave it away for a good reason - I look dreadful in yellow!
  • We all make shopping mistakes from time to time because we're human and fallible. Let them go and learn from the experience and be doubly aware of truly loving everything you buy in future.
  • You need to balance storing things for the future against the space it will take up in your home, possibly for many years. Keep only the very special items not old magazines or every school project or drawing your kids ever did.

Make time. Write it into your diary and make it a priority. If your days feel squeezed to breaking point have a look at The Life Audit by Caroline Righton. I'm using it in my own life at the moment and think it's a great way to honestly look at how you spend your time.

For kids

I can recommend the BBC2 show (also shown on CBBC) - Clutter Nutters. It's aimed at primary school kids and turns decluttering into a fun competition that really motivates. It's upbeat and also responsible as it looks at giving as much stuff as possible to charity and for recycling. I'm not sure if it's shown outside the UK yet but do watch out for it. One of my clients' kids are habitually late for school when it's on.

I use one of their ideas as February's tip Weigh your clutter. See how much lighter your life is going to be.

Get professional help

I'd be delighted to visit your home in the London area and really help you blitz your clutter effectively. I charge £150 for a 3 hour session and as a special offer this January and February I will also include a free copy of No more Clutter.

If you are out of London I can still help with a monthly support package. It's £100 for an initial hour's phone call and 4x 15 minute follow-up weekly calls when we can talk through your clutter issues and set weekly goals. I will also include a copy of No More Clutter for anyone who books in January or February.


Finally have a look at my books cover and cover not to mention all the other books on my recommended reading list for lots more of fun ideas.

Contact or call me on 020 8444 5149


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