When Denise Welch lost weight with LighterLife, she realised there were other areas of her life where she wanted to lose the excess baggage. So she enrolled professional organiser Louise Barson to help her declutter her life…
Here are some Louise’s tips to start the process of decluttering.
Accept the situation
Let go of any anger, guilt or embarrassment associated with your clutter. There’s no point in feeling bad about it. You’ve accepted that something needs to be done, and this is the first step.
Set a time
If you have an untidy kitchen that you think will take six hours to declutter, dedicate half an hour a day to it. Spend the last five minutes of that half hour clearing up what you’ve managed to sort – for example, remove any boxes for recycling or for charity.
Make a plan
If it’s a certain room or area of the house that needs tidying, start in one place and methodically work around it. Don’t dart here and there; you’ll only end up feeling disillusioned because you won’t see the results.
Have a clear process
Start each tidying session with clearly labelled destination boxes – eg keep/can’t decide/go, and then subdivide the go pile into recycle/charity/sell. Also, don’t be tempted to walk around your house finding new homes for items. If you want to keep something, just set it aside and put it away later. This will help you to avoid losing focus.
Avoid impulse buying
To avoid buying things you don’t need, I recommend that if you see something you like, make a note of it, where it’s from and if you still want it at a later date go back for it. What you need to ask yourself is, “Do I really need it?”
Ask for help
If you’re feeling truly overwhelmed, it can help to have a fresh pair of eyes and an objective viewpoint. Ask someone who is non-judgemental to offer a helping hand. Often, someone who doesn’t live with you can help you see things in a whole new light.
Don’t get sentimental
William Morris once said, “Don’t have things that are neither useful nor beautiful.” This is a good mantra to live by if you’re guiltily hanging on to those placemats your aunt gave you for Christmas that you never use. Avoid becoming weighed down by sentiment and get rid of things that are gathering dust.
Decluttering can be hard at first but once you’ve had a clear-out you’ll feel so much better. By establishing new behaviours around how you organise your home, you’ll feel like a cloud has been lifted, and you’ll be able to enjoy the space you live in.