no more clutter logo no more clutter newsletter for May/June 2008

Choice, Indulgence or Excess?

As I was waiting at the M&S checkout in Marble Arch the other day I overheard two old ladies talking. The first one said, "It's unbelievable. This lingerie department just goes on forever." Her friend replied, "Women these days must do nothing but buy bras!"

I couldn't help laughing at their outrage but also at the fact that they'd hit the nail on the head. We are all buying more and more stuff. No matter how pretty or desirable or affordable something is, do we really need to buy more and more of the same things? Of couse we all appreciate that the answer is NO. So why do we persist in cramming our homes with excess possessions?

I guess for the following reasons:

  • Because we all love to treat ourselves
  • Because we are feeling low, under the weather, miserable about the state of our homes and want to cheer ourselves up
  • Because we've seen it in a magazine or a friend has one
  • Because there's a special offer on and we can never resist a buy-one-get-one-free deal
  • Because we've forgotten or can't find the suntan lotion, sunglasses or the flip-flops we bought last year
  • Because we are scared if we say no we'll end up with only scruffy greying underwear and we'll feel miserable and deprived.

How to get your life back into balance

It's important to become aware of what's really going on for you every time you drift off to the shops and come back laden with carrier bags.

It's not about deprivation or being joyless. It's about using the decluttering process to get back in touch with what you own in the first place, and then targeting your shopping to suit your needs.

So when I sorted out my underwear drawer I realised most of my knickers were getting tatty. I bought myself a dozen new ones and recycled the old ones. The end result is I feel better - there has been no waste and my drawers aren't crammed to overflowing - I can see what I own and enjoy it.

If decluttering still feels overwhelming to you apply these principles to one small area of our life - your swimwear, your towels, your pens and pencils, your summer jackets or jeans - just make sure you follow the 4 part strategy:

  • Gather up everything that is similar - take stock and only keep the best. Count up how many you have of each thing - if you only have one decent bikini and you're about to go on holiday it's time to add a couple more
  • Shop with a list - so you limit yourself to the two bikinis you decided on in advance
  • Do something responsible with the stuff you are replacing - take it to charity or to textile recycling.
  • Feel good about the fact you are regaining control and enjoying the things you own.


Ne'er cast a clout 'til May is out

How true this little Scotticism has shown itself this year. Since the last newsletter in March, we've had snow in Central London, nearly two weeks of heatwave, punctuated by near-tropical downpours. It's an unpredictable time to try and organise your wardrobe, at least in the UK. I've had to unpack my winter woollies on more than one occasion! But don't give up - even a quick sort through of your winter clothes will free up space for your summer wardrobe.

Expert slot

No expert slot this month - check back next time when we'll doing a special on paper organising.

Interesting Website

I'd love to have your suggestions for websites to feature each edition.

Here's a website that's been recommended to me by many people, and I can relate to it...

I'm not suggesting any of you are living in squalor, by the way, but do let me know what you think!

Brilliant Book

Much as I love decluttering, I loathe cleaning so I recently bought myself "Speed Cleaning" by Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming. It promises a spotless house in just 15 minutes a day which is about my limit! I'll let you know how I get on - but it looks great and I enjoyed their tip about having a clutter bucket to take from room to room to gather up misplaced items.

Do email me with your suggestions for books that have helped you in your clutter struggle.

And don't forget my books page (here).

These are just my initial ideas - if you would like to see anything else featured then email I know that a lot of newsletter subscribers are not based in the UK - I'd love to hear from experts worldwide, and recommendations for great books and websites from all around the world.

May/June tip

At this time of year, it's traditional to start your Spring Clean. Check out the tip (here) for a couple of ideas on how to maintain the commitment and momentum for the year's big decluttering season.

Get professional help

For a more personal approach and hands on help and support, I'd be delighted to visit your home and really help you blitz your clutter effectively. I charge £150 for a 3 hour session including a free copy of one of my books No more Clutter or Hoarder to Order. I work throughout London and will also travel within the southeast to places that are accessible from London mainline stations. I'm always happy to have an informal chat with you about what a session involves so do get in touch

Contact details

Sue Kay
no more clutter
14A New Quebec St.
London, W1H 7RS,
t: 020-7616-9465
m: 07974-076-675

Have a great sort out this spring!



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