“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. William Morris
The art of decluttering your physical surroundings has a direct link to decluttering you mind. Reducing stress and anxiety whilst improving time management, mindfulness and sleep quality.
Gently unravelling the complex web of emotions we attach to how we store and use our material possessions, immediately helps to lighten our mood, providing a calm clarity that can be applied to reorgainsing our lifestyles.
Whether its finally ditching the prom dress or acknowledging you will never be that person who pays and files their bills on the day they receive them (who are these people?!), it can be very liberating to let go of the past or expectations for the future. Deciding to create a space that works for you, now.
How I started…
My life isn’t naturally an organised affair. I have to actively work at it, and by-joes do I enjoy the process. That’s right, by-joes.
Started by my nan when I was yay-high, after I had exhausted her stack of games and remained restless and in need of mental occupation. I would be set the task of sorting her earrings by colour then by size and then occasion, removing odd or broken earrings along the way. Little did she know then that her cunning proxy-parenting, designed to keep me occupied, would lead to a lifelong infatuation with sorting, decluttering and organizing.
And whilst you may struggle to see the link between health and too many shoes, I assure you that decluttering really does make you feel calmer, happier and more free.
My original approach…
My approach to sorting always used to be, put everything that was out of place or didn’t have a home, on to my bed. This way, I get the immediate feeling of peace (just as long as I don’t look at the bed!). This is a massive positive for me, as otherwise I would end up just tidying and moving things from one room, to a random spot in another room. So more of a clutter-moving session rather than decluttering.
Once everything was on the bed, I would then go about sorting the items on the bed, putting ‘like with like’ and finding logical homes for everything. This will undoubtedly then lead to you also sorting the drawer you were about to put cables in, or the box you use for sentimental bits. So be warned, this approach is not for the faint hearted. As way leads on to way, you may very well end up having the entire contents of your cupboards on the bed, while you – slightly frazzled – try to get to sleep in the bath, as the bed is no longer visible.
But if you have the time, it is a lovely way to reconnect with your possessions. Whilst clearing out physical clutter, like that weird cherub statue your aunt bought you, or the jeans you wore on Spring Break circa 1997, is fantastic, it is also about appreciating the items you chose to keep. Make a point of playing your old vinyl records, or frame the photos that have been sat in boxes for years.
There are lots of different schools of thought on decluttering. So much so I may actually have to declutter my decluttering books!
Here are two options, one for those that would prefer the ‘little and often’ approach, the second for those that are ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’:
The 10-Minute daily declutter.
This approach is great for anyone that is time poor or simply doesn’t enjoy sorting. Its based on the premise of creating a new daily habit, which after 3 weeks becomes as normally as brushing your teeth. In this method, you systematically work your way through each room, one cupboard or draw at a time. Taking 10 minutes, no more and no less.
PROS: Little and often is a great way to get started with decluttering, avoiding the
overwhelming dread that comes with a big ‘Spring Clean’.
CONS: Whilst you may be able to gradually reduce clutter, it doesn’t necessarily
encourage you to look at the ‘big picture’.
Spark Joy – Marie Kondo
If you have even the slightest interest in decluttering or mindfulness then I would suggest you google Marie Kondo.
This approach aims to declutter and organize your home, encouraging you to assess
how/where things could be homed to best suit your lifestyle. Based around the
understanding that all possessions should ‘spark joy’ when you wear, use or view
By sorting by genre rather than location, you can then determine which items should
be kept and how much space you need to house them.
PROS: In this method, every item you own is given consideration in turn, as you
determine whether it ‘sparks joy’ or services a purpose. It is a very therapeutic
process and can really change the way you live in your home.
CONS: This approach takes real dedication as it may involve donating several days to
the cause. The constant decision-making can be exhausting.
If neither of these seems right for you, fear not. BOUND’s Organised Chaos service helps you declutter your home, providing motivation, advice, and strong coffee to keep you going.
Whichever approach you take, try to enjoy the process and trust that you will feel lighter when you finish.