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I’ve mentioned on my blog before that I hate clutter and I’ve also provided a room-by-room guide to de-cluttering in the past. Thinking about it now though, I’m surprised I haven’t spoken about de-cluttering (and related topics) more because it really is an important part of my life. I love delving in minimalism and I’d love to live a more minimal lifestyle in the near future. I’m always striving to de-clutter my space and throw items away (or get rid of them in a sustainable manner) that I no longer need or want.

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

For me, when I know I have too much clutter, my mind feels cluttered as well. I can physically feel it building up and building up and my vision gets blurry (not my literal vision, my inner vision), my mind is racing and I definitely feel an energetic block in the way of my flow and creativity.

I just hate stuff. 

Of course not everyone has quite the deep connection with clutter that I have and some people just like to de-clutter to make more room in their house, which is a very valid reason to de-clutter. But whatever the reason is a good one. Because clutter takes up room in your house and in your mind and it has absolutely no need to be there.

Whilst I might love chucking everything away, I understand that it’s not quite as easy for some people. My boyfriend is very much a “I’ll keep that just in case” kind of person whereas I’m more of a “I haven’t thought about that item in 2 months, it’s going” kinda gal. But naturally, we can’t allow clutter to build up forever. We HAVE to throw things away eventually.

Whilst we’ve been in lockdown, my Mum and I have tackled our loft, which has been FULL to the brim of rubbish for years and years. Boxes on boxes of old crap from my childhood, old books, games, toys, artwork – thousands and thousands of things that not only had we not thought about in years… but also forgotten were up there entirely.

So now, after sorting out the loft, I could very easily fit all of my belongings in a shed (apart from furniture). And that makes me really happy to know that I don’t rely on so much “stuff” to make me happy and that I can be very selective about the items in which I find sentimental value or worth.

So enough with my personal life story, if you’re the kind of person that struggles de-cluttering, this is the post for you. A simple guide to getting started with de-cluttering your life:

Challenge your mindset towards clutter

Let’s face it, most of our clutter builds up because we put some sort of sentimental value towards an item. And I’m not saying bin everything because there are items which are special and hold a lot of value that naturally we won’t want to get rid of any time soon. But challenging your mindset towards the clutter you have is a great way to start disassociating sentiment with every item you own. Ask yourself:

  • Can I remember where I got this and why I bought it?
  • Was this a gift from someone special?
  • Have I thought about this item in the last 3 months?
  • What would change in my life if I threw this item out?

Start small and start somewhere

If you’ve accumulated a lot of clutter, it can be really hard to know where to start because it just seems so overwhelming. And I get that. That’s how we felt when we started on our loft. So start SMALL and start SOMEWHERE. The hardest part, is starting. So start with one box. One cupboard. One room.

Don’t throw everything out at once

If you are a sentimental person and you do struggle throwing things away then this point is for you. Elaborating on the above of starting small, it’s also helpful to not throw everything away at once if you like to hold on to things. So start by throwing out one bag, then two bags, then three – and go from there.

Consider storage as an option

If you do own items that you kinda wanna get rid of but kinda don’t. Items that you’re not ready to part with yet but also stuff that’s taking up valuable room in your house, then storage could be an option for you. It gets it out of your sight and hopefully out of your mind and by the time you’ve thought of it again, you’ll realise you actually don’t need it in your life after all! You can find storage in Ross on Wye here or wherever is closest to you.

Don’t forget the non-physical things

This point ties in with the messy space = messy mind point I made. So don’t forget that not all clutter is physical. De-clutter for the purpose of having a clearer mind and more space for the positive energy to flow extends into your online and digital footprint too. Here are 6 non-physical things to de-clutter from your life for a clearer mind.

Use the one in, one out method

A method which is really good for not allowing the clutter to build up is the one in, one out. Which is basically what it says on the tin. If you want to buy a new top, then remove one old top from your wardrobe and sell it or donate it to make room for the new item that you’ve bought.

Are you a de-clutterer like me? Or do you struggle throwing things away? Will you be using any of these tips next time you have to de-clutter?

111 Comments

  1. I’m an absolutely terrible hoarder, but we recently moved and reduced everything we owned in a 2-bed house down to about 15 small boxes and I feel FANTASTIC. I had stuff I’d been holding onto since high school which is mad! I just feel so much freer now, and know that everything I’ve kept means something to me. I love the one in, one out concept though – I think I might use that going forward!

  2. I love this post.. my fiance is such a hoarder and I am the opposite. I love to declutter and need to do it often so that my brain can function!
    Rosie

  3. Great advice! My husband was one of those people who assigned emotions to everything when we met. It took a lot of time to work through why he allowed physical objects to hold such an important part in his life, and then to adjust to living with me – someone who moved so often that it was easier not to keep much at all that mattered.

  4. I’m a complete hoarder when it comes to clutter (and blogging has made me even worse as I convince myself that everything is some sort of photo prop) but I did recently complete a major house decluttering. It was cathartic! Now time to build it all back up…

  5. Great article, thank you Jenny! I am the constant declutter . That is the only way i can work, create and think. I even teach my young cooking students to clean and get rid of all the unnecessary items around them. Less is best.
    xoxo Giangi

  6. OMG I hate stuff too. I’m always throwing/donating things I don’t want and it feels SO MUCH better to declutter regularly.

  7. Great tips. I love the idea of one in and one out, I feel like thats something I should start doing because I do end up just having loads and loads of clutter because of it. I have quite a big storage at the moment of things I couldn’t get rid of, seems to be my go-to thing when it comes to de-cluttering, just putting things in storage haha.

    Chloe xx

  8. Love this! I’m like you, I definitely hate clutter. Lots of clutter makes me very anxious. I do not like stuff. Twice I have made big moves with only a carry on and one large duffle bag (the first time from Arizona to Washington state, and then from Washington to Hawaii). Clothes, books, and adventure gear is mostly what I own.

  9. Keeping it in small bites is great advice. I’ve got a sheet on the fridge and every time I donate/throw something out I mark a box. It’s actually helped keep me going.

    Thanks for the tips.

  10. Thank you for this lesson in decluttering. I must admit I have sentimental feelings when it comes to decluttering, especially with my shoes or clothes. I have a hard time parting with them cuz I consider them my “babies”. Lol so silly I know haha

  11. This is a great post, those prompts are really helpful! I’ve gotten a lot better over the years but I think I still have quite a lot of clutter, there’s never been a better time to organise it all!

  12. I definitely used to keep hold of so much unnecessary stuff. It wasn’t until I temporarily moved abroad for 7 months and had to live out of a suitcase amount of stuff that I realised the room of belonging I had back at home I just didn’t need. These are great tips, thanks for sharing!

    Nat x | https://www.nataliehanson.co.uk

  13. I used to be someone who kept onto things ‘just in case’, but in the last year or so I’ve definitely got a lot better and get rid of things I don’t want as I haven’t used it in ages! And I completely agree with messy/cluttered space = messy/cluttered mind, any messy of clutter anywhere stresses me out so much! 🙈😂

  14. I need tips like this because I do have trouble throwing stuff out. Just yesterday I got a new Keurig coffee maker I’d ordered and I thought about keeping my old one because it still works sometimes and what if my new one conks out? Dumb, right? But mostly, I’m sentimental and keep things because of that. Thanks for the tips.

  15. I’m also a sentimental person so I like the fact that you reminded that one should not throw out things at once ,this an awakening post thank you for sharing.

  16. Very good post! Starting small, but starting somewhere is such good advice. I think this is one area where people make it too complicated; they become overwhelmed before they begin. They end up doing nothing! And you are so right…you need a good mindset to begin in the first place! 🙂

  17. These are such great tips Jenny thanks so much much for sharing 😊

    I always try to use the one in one out method to help me keep a normal amount of stuff and not get overloaded!

    Love Lozza xo

  18. I am not a massive fan of clutter! I only keep things that have a meaning now a days. Thank you for sharing this post I will deffo be taking some of these ideas on when I move into my own flat!

    Amber – The Unpredicted Page

  19. Okay, I’m all for a clutter free and clean workspace. My digital life is very clean and tidy 99% of the time. But wow I get so emotionally attached to the physical things and find it very very hard to throw certain things away. My bedroom is a loft conversion so thankfully we don’t have a ‘junk room’ but I still have things I don’t need at all. Like a box of all of my childhood teddies. That I absolutely 100% refuse to throw away 😂 x

    Sophie