I was drowning in clutter. It made me mad. Miserable. And ashamed of my own home.
I spent hours - whole weekends - trying different decluttering approaches, including Marie Kondo, but they didn't help.
And the clutter kept coming in.
UNTIL I discovered simple methods for letting go of all the stuff I am happier without.
I still don't have a squeaky clean home, all minimalist and pristine. Far from it. To be honest, I rather like life a little bit messy.
BUT I have let go of hundreds of bags of stuff:
My declutter journey has created a space I can organize and clean and look after simply. A space I actually enjoy living in again.
And it has eased my deep down anxiety and explosive anger. I am simply happier with a simpler, less cluttered life.
If you struggle with clutter I hope I can help.
I am sharing here the easy ideas and tips that help me declutter and organise, including:
These resources will hold your hand through each step of your declutter journey AND they are all completely FREE.
So do save this page for easy reference.
I'll briefly introduce each declutter tool below. For the quick index whiz down to section 8.
I tried the KonMari method to decluttering because so many people swear by it, but it did NOT work for me. My 3 big problems were it:
Marie Kondo didn't help me either with:
AND it did not make me happier. Yanking everything out actually made me more anxious. And that made it harder to let stuff go.
Luckily, I discovered two simple methods that addressed all these challenges and made me happier in the process. They are called:
I love the Just 10 Things declutter method.
It takes only 5 or 10 minutes a day, but helped me clear thousands of items of clutter.
It's amazingly powerful because it turns decluttering into a simple habit we can succeed at even when we're exhausted.
AND it makes us feel happier every single day.
Read this simple guide to get started.
I top up Just 10 Things with the Power Purge method. Especially, when I am fuming and furious with my family.
It channels all our angry energy BUT doesn't create a big old mess on the floor.
We all have our own variety of crazy clutter. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff I hoarded.
But these handy checklists open our eyes to lots of the obvious clutter we are ignoring:
Use these checklists with either of my declutter methods or with one of your own.
And you can get the whole family involved by turning them into bingo sheets - whoever says goodbye to the most, wins.
For more hands on support, use these daily declutter challenges to turn decluttering into a simple daily habit, you can follow as easily as cleaning your teeth.
Each day's challenge focuses on just one area. This stops us from being overwhelmed by all the possible stuff we could let go.
And helps us get down to true essentials.
Every day we let stuff go, it becomes easier the next day to let go of even more.
Clutter gets everywhere, doesn't it? And that's one of the horrible things about it.
But we also have hotspots don't we? Huge clutter monsters we are scared to take on.
So I have step by step guides to tackle the big 3:
We all know about selling on eBay but most clutter is low value and not worth the effort.
The thing is, it all adds up. 100 things worth £10 or $10 is a £1,000 or $ we can use to pay off debt or start an emergency fund.
And with Just 10 Things we can easily let go of thousands of small value items that could help our families financially.
So I developed this simple trick for selling clutter on Facebook with very little effort.
It won't sell everything but it will help.
Clutter sneaks into our homes every day in so many different ways, doesn't it?
From the grocery store. In the mail box. In kids' bags. And partner's cases. Off Amazon. After shopping binges. And THEN there's Christmas. And birthdays. And Easter. And Valentines. And Halloween. And Mothers' Day.
An endless trail of new stuff, we don't have time to enjoy or space to look after in.
To help you shut the door on clutter I have got two clutter free gift guides:
I have also got some practical simple tips to help keep every day clutter out.
But we also need to change our mindset about stuff, and I found these four simple ways to enjoy living with less particularly powerful
We all know we want to declutter, don't we? And that's why Marie Kondo is such a hit. She seems to offer us a clear path to letting stuff go.
But I know so many people who are desperate to declutter and bought the book, then never got started. Or managed one drawer.
Because it needed hours of free time and created - initially - more chaos. Yanking everything out - or even the thought of it - made them crumple. It was too much for them.
That's why I am passionate about sharing a simple alternative for those of us for whom Marie Kondo just didn't work.
We truly can reclaim our homes with a gentle decluttering rhythm that lets a little go daily.
I found that this habit of daily decluttering was amazing motivation in it's own right; every day we can feel the calm of letting things go:
And the daily declutter prompts helped build the habit, but I also found it motivating to truly acknowledge the pain clutter causes me and focus on the key benefits of letting clutter go:
These have helped me clear hundreds of bags and boxes of stuff I am happier without.
But like most people I did cling on initially to sentimental things from loved ones.
They were tucked away in boxes, so no they didn't bring joy but recognising that didn't make it any easier to let go.
What helped much more was to weave a wealth of other ways of remembering into my daily life. To help you with this I've shared:
My final secret for successful decluttering was everyday support from friends who:
BUT felt life was far too short to spend endless weekends yanking everything out, making a mess and interrogating every item we own.
Knowing I wasn't alone with my clutter truly helped. Friends inspired me to keep going even when life was hectic and to believe in my vision of a simpler more joyful life.
So please do:
Hopefully, you will find here all the resources you need to reclaim your home. Do save this planner so you can dip in when you need to.
And please share it with friends.
And spread the word that Marie Kondo may be wonderful for some, but there is another way. And it's a whole lot simpler.