no more clutter logo no more clutter newsletter for June 2005

Take a decluttered Spring into Summer

The summer sales are nearly upon us. Before you empty your wallet and clutter your home up with a load more stuff - stop and think about what's going on. That set of white towels that are 50% off are only a bargain if you need them and plan to use them now. Otherwise there's just more bulky stuff you're going to have to find storage space for. Here's a few tips to make the sales work for you:

  • If your home is completely overrun with clutter - steer clear of the shops while the sales are on!
  • Make a list of things you actually need - like a new set of cutlery or a summer jacket. Then set a budget for it and go out and see if you can net a bargain.
  • If you get mesmerised by the shops and always emerge with endless carrier bags - then leave your credit cards at home and only take cash with you. Somehow paying with real money makes it easier to say no to some dubious item.
  • Never buy anything in the wrong size or colour even if it is a designer label with the price is slashed.
  • Ask yourself the storage question before buying - do you have room for it in your home?
  • Remember the one-in one out rule - for every new thing you bring in - let one thing go. If you're really cluttered why not get rid of 2 items for every thing you bring in!

June mini challenges

My advice to everyone who is struggling with clutter is to start small and easy. Leave the loft, the boxes full of photos and the garage for the time being and see this June how many of these mini-challenges you can complete:

  • Recycle any out of date holiday brochures or phone directories
  • Get rid of take-away menus or taxi cards you never use
  • Give away speciality items such as avocado dishes, sherry glasses or fish knives that you never use
  • Sort out your nightwear - if you only wear a T-shirt or boxers or even less - streamline your pyjamas, dressing gown or slipper collection
  • Chuck any suntan lotion over two years old (it is no longer as effective). Use a permanent marker to date new bottles.
  • Sort out your shorts and swimwear ready for summer and holidays.
  • Ebay computer or Playstation games you or your kids no longer play
  • Fill a carrier bag for charity with chicklit or detective novels you'll never read again
  • Organise a drawer or shelf with your stationery supplies. Then you'll know where to find a new roll of sellotape or small envelope.
  • Look at your cushions - do you still like them or is it time to buy new covers? Do you have too many? Do you want to go for a cleaner more minimal look?
  • If your freezer is iced up and full of mystery items - use up what's there in June and then defrost. Use a permanent marker to date and label in future.
  • Clear out your jewellery. Tackle watches, bracelets, necklaces, cufflinks, earrings in turn. Take anything broken or watches that need a new battery to the jewellers.
  • Let go exercise videos or DVDs that are never used.
  • Look at your craft equipment - charity shops will take excess supplies- such as wool and tools in good condition.

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"

no more clutter - the book

June Tip

Swap, don't shop

June's Clutter Clinic

Cath asks

"Any tips on how to persuade elderly relatives to let me declutter their homes?"

Sue answers

I often get asked this question. It's always tough to get someone else motivated - my experience is if you push a hoarder before they are ready to declutter, they will dig their heels in. I'll give you an example I was teasing my mother about how many watering cans she owned. She gave me a lengthy explanation of why she needed them all. Tonight she told me she is now planning to buy a couple more. So if you challenge someone it may mean they get worse.

Elderly relatives will have lived through the war, so will often have a waste not-want not philosophy. If you can persuade them their things will have a good new home - like donating to a charity they support - it may help. Taking photos of items before letting them go eases the pain of letting go. Or raising money for a holiday or cruise may be a good carrot. Perhaps you could help them with the selling process - like organising an auctioneer or putting things on eBay.

Good luck 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

And finally...

Tara asked me if I knew of anyone doing a similar job in Australia who might give her some tips on starting up. If you can help email Tara directly on, she'd really appreciate it.

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


© 2002-2007 no more clutter to unsubscribe from this newsletter, send a blank email to, with the subject line: "unsubscribe newsletter"