Declutter your home

declutter spring clean Liz Earle WellbeingIf your living space is full of books waiting be read, clothes that no longer fit, papers waiting to be filed, unwanted presents and myriad other items you are hanging on to ‘just in case,’ you’re not alone. Far from being a throwaway society, many of us are in danger of drowning in a sea of stuff – too busy, too guilty or too fearful to discard anything.

But too much stuff is more than just a scar on our living space; it can also have a huge effect on our emotional wellbeing. Clearing up the chaos could be one of the smartest moves we can make for our emotional health as well as saving us the frustration of hours spent hunting for things buried in ever-increasing mounds.

Whether you’re a die-hard hoarder or simply have a small stubborn area of stuff that you need to put in order, what better time than spring, the traditional time for clearing and cleaning, to address it.

Give yourself some space with our top tips:

Picture this

Before you start, visualise how you want your space to look once it’s clutter- free. How will you feel when your home is no longer a glorified dustbin? What will you be able to do that you can’t do now? Write this down so you can refer back to it to keep motivated.

Go for broke

While many experts advise tackling clutter bit by bit, Marie Kondo counsels eliminating it thoroughly and completely over a relatively short period of six months or less.

Sort by category not location

If you tidy up one room at a time, possessions have a tendency to just pop up somewhere different. Going through every single thing you own in a particular category reveals exactly how much you have and makes it easier to downsize. Start with clothes and books, and save more emotionally loaded items, such as photos and letters, for later when you’ve had some practice.

Don’t love it? Let it go

All too often we keep things for the wrong reasons – they were a present, they may come in useful, we spent good money on them. As you go through your belongings Kondo advises holding each one in your hand and thinking about what it means to you. If it truly makes you happy or “sparks joy” as Kondo puts it, it stays. If not, it’s time to pass it on. Finding it difficult to go it alone? Working with a professional organiser could help.

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