You know how it happens, stuff, it just builds up. You put something down over there, a moment later your flatmates or your better half puts something on top of it, before you know it a clutter tower has developed. After that all hope is lost. Soon there is a clutter extension (no planning permission required) and then there is a clutter village beginning to develop.
Clutter .n 1. Things lying about untidily 2. An untidy state .v. Cover or fill with clutter.
Take a deep breath. Go into Zen mode. Find the brave de-clutter warrior within. Help is at hand.
1. The all-in-one de-clutter strategy
You pick a date, everyone pulls together, you buy a lot of bin bags and boxes. This is what you have decided: Each person will look through their own belongings and get rid of the things they do not need or want any more. This will be placed in a pile in a corner of their room. On the day of the all-in-one de-clutter, the pile can be taken down to a main sorting room and separated into other piles: charity shop, give to friends, recycling through freecycle or freegle, rubbish etc.
Pro: It is all done in one day and you can see the difference immediately.
Con: Works well if everyone plays ball. Beware - people sometimes have an irrational attachment to "stuff", especially kids.
2. The gradual de-clutter strategy
Pick a category and, like a killer drone, sweep the house for it. For example, start with clothes. Take out all the clothes no longer worn, that no longer fit (yours as well as the kids), are never likely to be worn again. Gather together and take either to a local charity shop or the Council clothes collection. Work steadily through a list: books and newspapers/magazines, defunct gadgets, kids toys, exercise equipment, furniture items and so on.
Pro: It is less painful than an all-in-one de-clutter.
Con: It takes time and you run the risk of being distracted, allowing new clutter to accumulate.
3. The room-by-room de-clutter strategy
Similar to the gradual de-clutter, this involves selecting a specific room for treatment. This works particularly well if it is a room that attracts the majority of your clutter. For some it may be the spare room, others the attic. It is where you put the things you do not know where to put anywhere else but think you might need at some later date. Some of that junk has been there for years... the doll with the broken neck Maisy was fond of, the second-hand bike you bought from a car boot sale on a whim, the old wardrobe that used to be in the main bedroom, the deck chairs you inherited from your parents, and so on.
Pro: You clear a space, a big space and have one that you can do something with.
Con: Clutter is attracted to space. It will want to fill it. Beware.
There is no doubt that a good de-clutter make you feel better and give you a lot more space into the bargain. A final tip on getting rid of all that clutter? Be brave, be ruthless, be logical. Take a deep, deep breath and get it done.
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