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My Decluttering Tips

26th September 2014
My Decluttering Tips | photo of cacti on top of magazines |

Declutter your life

There are many great reasons to declutter our lives and homes. They range from cutting down on housework – if you own less stuff there are fewer things to clean and maintain – to the simple desire for a calmer life. One with more time and space for the people and the things that bring you the greatest joy.

During 2014, after feeling continually busy, I decided to move towards a simpler life. To do this I donated over half of my possessions to charity, stopped buying unnecessary stuff and simplified everything that remained. It was a lot of work and even a few tears, but on reflection, it was worth every minute of my time and energy. As a result, my life feels lighter with more space, time and freedom.

My decluttering tips

Today I’m sharing my decluttering tips should you need a little help or motivation. When you’re decluttering, you could work on one room at a time, or you could address your possessions by type, for example, clothes, books and so on. Each area can be done in stages and approached as gently or as drastically as you wish. As with everything in life, it’s wise to go at your own pace to find out what works best for you.

My Decluttering Tips | photo of a calm and tidy living room |

How to declutter your home..

1. Getting started

Getting started is tough especially when there are so many ways to procrastinate! To ease yourself in, why not set yourself a few small goals – like addressing a cupboard or drawer. When you see and feel the benefits, I’m sure you’ll be motivated to continue.

2. What to remove

The hardest part for me was knowing what to let go of, so came up with two questions: do I use it? and do I love it? With these questions in mind, the decision making was simple, and it helped me to let go of the things I was saving because I thought I might need them one day. You may wish to create your own decluttering rules, ones that align with your lifestyle.

3. Duplicate items

When it came to duplicates I had an abundance of them; two tin openers, three bottle openers, literally hundreds of mugs, unused towels, bedding and so on. I recommend taking a moment to think about what you use and what you can comfortably live without. I decided to consider how many things I use at any given time, and I let go of the excess. The process liberated my cupboards and made everything that remained easier to locate.

4. Out-of-date items

I decided to remove all my out-of-date food and toiletries. This generated more space and it was liberating to let go of the toiletries and make-up I wasn’t using.

5. Unsure items

There were a few things I was unsure about letting go of so I did a little research for reassurance. After Googling ‘decluttering tips’ I found an article that suggested boxing them up to see if you miss them. So, I put the items in a box and six months later I donated them all to charity!

My Decluttering Tips | photo of a dining room table with plants |

6. Sentimental items

I scaled down my keepsakes and created one large box for sentimental items. I wouldn’t recommend letting go of your sentimental items, but if they’re taking up too much space and getting in the way, perhaps store them away in boxes.

7. Time

I’d been collecting for most of my life and so the decluttering process took a long time. I also found decluttering quite an emotional task. There was a lot of guilt wrapped up in the things I’d spent money on and never used, and it took a lot of time to physically sort through everything. At times I felt completely overwhelmed by all my stuff – the process has certainly made me think twice before I buy anything new!

8. What to do with it all

Your unloved and unused items can be sold or donated to charity. I sold a few of my collectable items on eBay and Gumtree and I took the remainder to local charity shops. I wanted the clutter out of my life and I didn’t want to spend the next few months or even years listing things on eBay, not to mention queuing at the post office! I’m convinced my neighbours thought we were moving house when they saw car-loads of stuff being driven away.

9. Have fun

Decluttering shouldn’t be a bore because the results are so positive. To make the task more enjoyable I cranked up the music and took plenty of tea breaks. I also pulled out drawers and boxes and sorted through them while watching films. If you have a lot of stuff, you could even ask your family and friends to help you.

10. The onward journey

What I use now probably won’t be the same in six month’s time and so I’m always evaluating what I have. Getting into the habit of purging my belongings keeps the process simple. I probably take a few items to charity each month and it’s easy to keep on top of things because there’s little to manage.

If you’re about to embark on a declutter I wish you the very best of luck!

Further reading

How to simplify your life
Ten things I gained when I decluttered my home
How to organise your schedule, surroundings and digital life
Ten ways I simplified my life

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a gorgeous day!

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  • Avatar
    Reply Ingrid Orens 26th September 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I cannot persuade myself to declutter…
    My house is nice & tidy, but unfortunately it is quite big (well, more like huge), so I have a lot of space to store stuff. And oh yes, storing I did ;-)))
    I just seem to attach a sentimental value to everything, and I cannot get rid of things with a sentimental background…

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    Reply Heather @ my little red suitcase 26th September 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Making space for all those new experiences! great post, always trying to do this! Loved reading about your American adventure and Kate. Good times. X

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    Reply Katie Bedlow 26th September 2014 at 2:18 pm

    This is my task over the winter months this year, I am guilty of hiding everything away in cupboards in piles of clutter rather than letting it show, whoops! I know I can get rid of over 50% of my clothes without really noticing, I'll only use ebay for the obviously popular bits and donate the rest to my local hospice charity – it's all for the best! 🙂 x

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    Reply Jo 26th September 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Really interesting post. I'm very impressed by how much you've decluttered this year! I try to keep my hoarding in check by having mini culls two or three times a year and a big cull every couple of years. I like owning pretty things but don't want to feel overwhelmed by "stuff". Only problem is that quite a few of my things are in storage at the moment (moved home after uni and still here) until I can afford a place of my own so I actually own more than I think. I can barely remember what's in the attic, other than all my art portfolios and a massive bag full of mugs! It'll be exciting and terrifying when I eventually unpack it all.

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    Reply bubblesarah 26th September 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I have been doing the same! it is so much fun clearing stuff out and revamping and finding new ways to work what you have left over!

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    Reply CraveCute 26th September 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I declutter constantly but my hubby keeps buying stuff! Great tips!

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    Reply Patchwork Harmony 27th September 2014 at 5:45 am

    So inspiring Natasha! I've been trying to do the same lately. The thing I feel most guilty about is unwanted gifts from people, seems so mean getting rid of them!

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    Reply found and sewn 27th September 2014 at 10:04 am

    I'm really inspired by this post! Thanks for all the great tips…I've already started on my living room, next the kitchen xx

  • Avatar
    Reply KatGotTheCream 27th September 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post and can identify a few areas of our home that need similar attention – hello toiletries cabinet!

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    Reply Katie 28th September 2014 at 8:38 am

    My friend's home is meticulously tidy and clutter free. I joked that we should do our own version of "Hoarders" and she could come and help sort me and creative clutter out. She took me up on it and I had a big panic to have a sort out before she came. She was still shocked when she saw the state of my mess, but really helped me to get rid of things. I think it was the shame of justifying my junk to her that really spurred me on to get rid of things. Now I just wish she would come and help with the rest of the house! I totally agree that Less Stuff=more freedom!

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    Reply 28th September 2014 at 8:55 am

    "Less stuff more freedom" totally agree with this! After holidays I started looking around me in my home! So many stuff! I started with my dressed closet and I couldn't stop it! I give it to an association. Once I made a "vide grenier" (a market) with a friend, we sold a lot of things and we had so much fun! Have a nice sunday 😉
    I enjoyed reading your post, very interesting!

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    Reply tinajo 28th September 2014 at 9:56 am

    I try to do this now and then, it´s always a relief afterwards. 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Victoria Eales 29th September 2014 at 10:21 am

    Whilst I still like my 'knick knacks' I am finding the older I get the less I want 'stuff' around me and I'm constantly having decluttering sessions and am always amazed by how much I get rid of.


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    Reply Olivia W 18th January 2015 at 6:17 pm

    This is so inspiring. Although I can't do this on a large scale I can definitely do this to my room. There is so much in there that I just don't need!

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    Reply Josh 22nd September 2015 at 11:51 am

    Great post Natasha! I’m a notorious clutter fiend and always overdue a clear out.
    We loved this post so we included it in our recent blog about tips to help you enjoy your home.

    Good stuff! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Yukova 20th October 2015 at 10:15 am

    Very useful tips, love it. Here is my article on a same topic. Feel free to visit for more wardrobe detox tips
    Yukova x

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