Is it time to de-clutter your life?

Original article appeared in Balance by Deborah Hutton.


What is clutter exactly?

Clutter is technically a collection of things lying about in an untidy state. Clutter for me is anything you don’t need, use or love.

How does clutter affect us?

Clutter prevents us from living the life we want to life. It prevents us from moving forward and enjoying the things that are really important. Clutter weighs us down emotionally, and it really does affect us physically. Living with less lightens you emotionally and physically, you live with things that bring you joy and that can only be a good thing.

Why do we need to declutter?

We need to declutter to take control of our homes and our lives again. Living with piles of stuff is overwhelming and emotionally draining. My clients learn that de cluttering is actually fun when I help them get started. They just need a gentle push in helping them getting rid of things that they don’t need and that do not bring them joy then it becomes a life changing experience and I can actually see the pure joy on their faces.

So why do people keep clutter?

They keep it for many reasons….A false sense of security that living with more stuff makes them happier and more fulfilled. Something society has tricked us into thinking. Emotional clutter. Possessions that have been handed down that no longer serve their purpose but they feel too guilty to throw away. Gifts that have never been used. Clothes that have been handed down.

Any tips for letting go of clutter?

Ask yourself… Do I love it, need it, use it? If not it goes.

Donate. I love the feeling of donating goods, there are always people less fortunate than ourselves that would be absolutely thrilled with our donations.

Get a Professional Organiser in to help you get started, if not a friend, with no connection, emotional attachment to your objects. Start with the easiest area and work through to the hardest. Don’t start a new area until you have finished the previous.

Take unwanted goods immediately to your car, don’t leave them in bags lying around for days, chances are you will start taking things out again! Donate immediately!

Have a vision of how you want your home, space to look. If you can visualise it, you will try harder to declutter to achieve it.

Kitchen Bench

Can you identify the main clutter zones in our homes?

Bench tops – are always a magnet for clutter especially in the kitchen and dining area. A simple basket on the kitchen bench for non-related kitchen items helps to reduce clutter.
Fridges – I only allow 5 items that bring me joy on my fridge. Get a notice board for all the school notices, take away menus etc. and put in the office. If you love a photo enough to put it on the fridge, put it in a frame and on display where it deserves to be.
Bedroom floors – get into the habit of using baskets for shoes etc. so that everything has a home!
Bathroom cupboards – you don’t need to hold onto every hotel shampoo bottle that you have ever collected! Baskets in bathroom cupboard can help zone the products.
Pantries – pantries need to be zoned, just like every other area in the house to keep clutter at bay.

How do we stay clutter free?

A place for everything and everything in its place is the golden rule for keeping your home clutter free and organised. When things don’t have a home they are not respected, left lying around on bench tops, floors or other random areas and that’s when clutter creeps in. Zone your home into its defined areas and have the appropriate storage in these areas and all will be well!

Psychologically, is clutter just physical or are there ties to mental, emotional or even spiritual?

I believe clutter in some cases, such as hoarding, is tied to mental and emotional wellbeing. People’s past experiences can certainly lead to holding onto objects and a way of life that stops them moving forward and living healthy balanced lives. That is not my expertise and I have worked with clients such as these that I have referred onto professionals that are experts in this field. I have a great respect for them.

How did you become a Professional Organiser?

I have always been interested in interior design and well ordered, stylish, organised homes so becoming a Professional Organiser was the next progression for me. Attending my first Australian Association Professional Organisers’ conference was like finally finding my tribe! Talking with fellow organisers about all things organising for three days was absolute bliss!

SS Kitchen pantry

Tell us about Sarah’s House Shopping Tours

I started doing Sarah’s House Shopping Tours because just organising homes was not enough for me. I have a huge love for interior design and people would often ask me where I sourced my products in my home and my Instagram feed. I decided to start my own personalised, curated shopping tours to help others source beautiful objects that they love for their homes in a fun, friendly day out. I’m not advocating buying an excessive amount of products for your home, just providing access to all the wonderful stores Adelaide has to offer.

What’s on the horizon for you?

Building my business, getting my shopping tours established and I’m always dreaming of publishing my own coffee table book on all things organising, de cluttering, styling, lifestyle and food. A holistic approach to a happy, healthy, organised home!

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