I believe I am getting the clutter that tends to build up in my house under control. In spite of the tendency to hold onto bits and pieces 'just in case' I am getting better at parting with 'stuff' I will probably never use without feeling guilty. Sentimental memorabilia and study related boxes of paper are my biggest challenges. I borrowed a book called, 'no more clutter,' from the library and picked up some useful tips.
The author, Sue Kay, is a London psychologist who specialises in decluttering. She uses her personal experiences with clutter and also refers to some of the clients she has worked with. Her style is chatty, non judgemental and easy to read. There are plenty of headings so I was able to skim through the book, concentrating on sections relevant to my current challenges.
It was interesting to read about the psychology behind the habits of hoarding and why it can be difficult to part with things we never use and had, perhaps, even forgotten we still owned.
Kay offers different ways of approaching a decluttering session rather than a 'one size fits all' approach. There are repeated headings such as common pitfalls, your task and turnaround tips.
The final chapter, 'Clutter free forever,' contains many useful tips. There are sections on Change your mindset, Adjust your self image and Review your shopping habits. I found this chapter particularly useful because what is the point of doing all the hard work of decluttering if you then repeat old habits and over a period of time return to where you started?
Here are some tips from the book you may find helpful -
Do quick jobs such as putting empty tins into the recycle container immediately instead of leaving them on the sink.
Make decluttering fun by setting yourself small challenges.
Have a blitz at least annually. Decide whether this will be at the start of spring, after Christmas or at some other convenient time. Mark it in your diary or on your calendar.
If you are finding it difficult to part with an item you no longer use, set a date by which you must have used it. If the date comes and it is still unused, part with it that day.
Trust your instincts when it comes to clutter. If you find you are avoiding using/wearing something you used to love accept that times and your feelings have changed and part with it. Don't feel you have to over analyse why you no longer love it.
Kay ends her book by saying, 'At the end of the day, even our most treasured possessions are not as important as our well-being, our relationships, our talents and our dreams.' I think those words sum up getting our need for material possessions into perspective,