floor lamp beside sofa and window

If my family, close friends or anyone who has ever lived with me sees this, they’ll laugh! I have always been known as a hoarder, as even though I didn’t have covered floors (at least not always!), I have always had SO much stuff! The fact that I’m starting a declutter series seems ironic almost, but last year I actively changed my ways when it comes to clutter and want to help others create a clutter free life.

The Declutter Series will include everything you need for a clutter free home, mind and life. We’ll be starting with the home and take it bit by bit, easing you in and changing the mindset of ‘stuff’ along the way.

This is not a minimalism series, you won’t have to love the white walls, nothing at home style of living, but it will help to create a home that is happier, easier to manage and more relaxed. And who doesn’t want that?

To kick off the series, which properly begins tomorrow, I wanted to give you a bit of backstory, and tell you why decluttering is important.

There’s hope! My previous cluttered life

A collector of clothes, accessories, DVDs, skincare, makeup, candles. You get the drift. And I only ever had one room to myself until I was living in my own place.

If somebody needed something, they’d joke that they knew I’d have it. I was definitely in the ‘might be handy one day’ or ‘its a waste’ camp. I’m into crafts too and for each new craft I tried, I’d go and buy all new stuff for it.

I came to Leeds with 2 suitcases and a large bag and that was it. I hadn’t taken my stuff from home so all I had was things I had collected in my few short years here. It is honestly shocking to look back on.

Something had to change!

But it didn’t. I just moved things from one cupboard to the next. Threw out a few bin bags and kept the other things boxed up. I never quite managed it all. Because I managed to tidy it all and keep it neat, it didn’t feel like I had that much. But every time I wanted to find something, or do come crafting, I’d have to rummage through everything to find what I needed. That in itself would make a mess, I’d tidy up, and repeat. 

I know so many people who get consumed in this way by physical clutter. One week, we went back to my parents, and they wanted their spare room back. I cleared everything out and kept only 8 boxes of memories and files, etc. That was my entire life until I was 25 (when I fully moved out) into 8 boxes. If I could do it there, surely I could do it for my things for the last 5 years?

How I started to create a clutter free life

I decided enough was enough and thought I’d start by reading Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up to give me an idea as to how to keep this up as a lifestyle change rather than another tidy up. It definitely helped me to think about the categories of items I owned and where to start. I’d recommend it as a read to give you that motivation to do the same and start to create a clutter free life.

I then came across a decluttering challenge to get rid of a number of items each day and that changed everything really. It wasn’t really the challenge itself, but the mindset change that I needed.

Once I had got used to throwing things away, I became much better at deciding whether or not I bought things too, and slowly but surely over 2018, I completely changed my mindset when it came to ‘stuff’.

I now have airy light and spacious rooms, know where everything is, and feel more organised and clutter free both physically and mentally.

Why declutter?

Not everyone wants to be a minimalist, but most people feel better in a tidy, clean and spacious home.

Clutter in the home can:

  • Stress you out mentally – its proven you can sleep less, become more frustrated, and generally feel lower in a cluttered space. Tidy home, tidy mind!
  • Cause disorganisation, and in turn money or extra stress. Pile of papers on the desk or put away in a folder? You’re more likely to forget about payments. Wardrobe stuffed with clothes, but still nothing to wear? Wasted money sitting at the back of a cupboard.
  • The germs and bugs! Sorry guys, but if you can’t see a surface, how can you clean it well? Germs and the amount of pests (bloody spiders!) are more likely to increase in a cluttered home.
  • It makes you late, adding again to your stress. Getting dressed, but not finding the right outfit, losing your favourite lipstick in a box full of makeup.

Where to start?

Marie Kondo suggests taking on your home by category of item. I personally agree to an extent and follow that loosely, but have a different system because I know how overwhelming that can be when you have a whole house to deal with, for example.

Ready to create a clutter free life?

The first challenge will be posted early tomorrow morning so you can choose to spend your Sunday sorting. Future challenges and posts in the series will be posted on a Friday for a weekend sort out. You can pin the posts, save them or just come back to the blog whenever you have time and fancy taking on a new decluttering challenge.

The most important thing needed to create a clutter free life is to change your mindset and realise that you will feel much better when the clutter is cleared. This is not a minimalism task at all, and you should only do what you feel comfortable with, but I hope I’m able to ease you into the task of decluttering your life and making you happier with your home.

Are you ready to create a clutter free life? What stops you having one?