The complete beginner’s guide to decluttering

There is a certain wonderful satisfaction in getting rid of things. Whether it’s selling them, donating them, or even binning them – it feels good to have less stuff, right?

Complete beginner's guide to decluttering

It’s like there’s less holding you down. You just feel lighter.

Reducing your possessions can also make you feel more prosperous (as you realise how much you have) and less likely to buy more – which is a great win for the bank account!

However, it seems to me that no matter how much I reduce, reuse and recycle, there is always more to do… So here’s a starting point if you are looking for some inspiration to clean out a room or two.

Firstly, let’s get clear on clutter.

My guru for decluttering or “clutter clearing” as she calls it, is Feng Shui expert Karen Kingston. I love her book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. I downloaded it as an audiobook and listen to it whenever I need a reminder of why clearing clutter is so awesome:

“The reason why clutter clearing is so effective is that while you are putting your external world in order there are corresponding changes going on internally too. Everything around you, especially your home environment, mirrors your inner self. So by changing your home you also change the possibilities in your own life. Removing the obstacles to the harmonious flow of energy in your living environment creates more harmony in your life and the space for wonderful new opportunities to come to you.”

Kingston defines clutter as:

  • Things you don’t use or love
  • Things that are untidy or disorganised
  • Too many things in a small space
  • Anything unfinished

So, to get started you first need to take stock of the situation.

How does each room in your house feel at the moment? If there is one room or area in your home that just feels ‘stuck’, this is a good place to begin.

What’s in this area that you don’t use or love? If you’re in doubt about whether to keep something, pick it up and notice the energy. Does it make you feel good? Does keeping it make you feel heavier or lighter?

Next, get sorting. Find four bags or boxes you can use to sort through the things in that room or area. One box for items to donate, one items to sell, one for items to bin, and one for things you want to keep.

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As a general rule, if you haven’t used something in the past year, you probably don’t need it anymore, but someone else might. Make sure the things you are donating are in good working order though – no one wants your broken tape recorder from 1995.

After you’ve sorted, you need to consolidate and organise the items you’re going to keep. One of the easiest places to do this is in your wardrobe. Start hanging like with like – either by colour or category e.g. tops, bottoms, jackets, dresses.

Then you need to remind yourself to keep on top of it. Make sure you actually do donate or sell those items in your boxes and try to schedule a monthly or quarterly clear out. Pick one room each month or quarter and sort as per above. I find it amazing that each time I look through a room I find more stuff that I don’t need!

How do you feel about clearing clutter? Are there any other strategies that work for you?

2 thoughts on “The complete beginner’s guide to decluttering

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