In a modern world that is increasingly full and materialistic, it's no wonder that we find ourselves surrounded by more and more clutter. While the first and most powerful step in de-cluttering involves buying less stuff, there are lots of practical things you can do to organise your existing possessions and make more sense of your personal space. Whether it's putting away the laundry before it piles up or taking time to clean up after the kids, it's important to value your space and have a regular de-cluttering schedule if you want to avoid a messy and dysfunctional home.
Dealing with your household clutter is a common issue that all people need to address. More than a simple practical measure that makes it easier for you to move around your home, de-cluttering is a way to free your mind and create a healthy relationship with your personal space. While we don't all want to live in an empty house or embrace a minimal aesthetic, there are lots of ways to downsize and trim the fat in your life. Not only will this make your home seem bigger and more attractive, it will also remind you of the things, and people, that really matter in your life.
According to clinical psychologist Noah Mankowski, how we deal with our possessions says a lot about our emotional life: “The way you perceive your clutter is the way you perceive yourself and your relationships,” he says, adding "When you clutter things, you can’t see the surface, you can’t see the carpet, you can’t see the floorboards, you can’t see the surroundings. Which actually allows you to not deal with it – it’s a way of coping.” Embracing a minimal lifestyle is not necessarily the answer, however, with an absence of clutter possibly suggesting "someone who is not able to tolerate the untidiness or uncertainty inherent in life and relationships.”
In order to find the perfect level of clutter for your home and your mind, perhaps you should do a little mind trick and work backwards. Instead of constantly trying to fill up your space by adding to your favourite belongings, perhaps you should think about what could be taken away. If your possessions were stolen or destroyed in a house fire, what would you really miss? What would you replace first if you lost it all? While lots of people do this when they downsize to a smaller property, it can be done at any time to trim excess from your life. If you haven't used something for months or even years, does it really deserve to be taking up space in your home?
Along with starting with an empty slate, it's much easier to manage your clutter when you have a regular schedule. Clutter is one of those things that just seems to happen over time, with de-cluttering efforts needing to be carried out at regular intervals. Try to work in small focused bursts rather than long sessions. Pick a room at a time instead of attempting to de-clutter your entire house. Start to integrate de-cluttering into your everyday lifestyle so it's something you just do rather than a chore you try to avoid. Last but not least, it's important to see this process in a positive light. You're not just getting rid of things, you're giving yourself the space to enjoy the things that really matter.