De-cluttering as a conversation starter… by Doodle

I was at a wedding last weekend and I didn’t know anyone among the 170 others  there apart from the groom. But I tell you what at the reception, I only had to mention that I sometimes work as a professional de-clutterer and I had a whole host of new friends intrigued and plying questions, lol. First up we had the familiar, groaning husband; “Please come and sort my wife out!” followed by the another woman silently pointing at her husband while mouthing the words ‘We need to down size, help!’ and pulling faces. I would add that the groaning husband was standing next to his wife at the time, Continue reading

Clothes to the left of me, clothes to the right of me, clothes as far as the eye can see…

When I first started helping people de-clutter their stuff, I hoped no one would ask for help with their wardrobe, because I am not a fashionista and felt ill qualified. So when I got my first ‘clothes job’ I was a little unsure…until I started and then I took to it like a duck to water. Now it’s my favourite kind of job. Because you don’t need to know anything about fashion, or what looks good other people. You just apply the same principles as you would to anything else they own and ask one simple question: Does it make you feel great when you have it on? If yes keep, if no, throw. My Continue reading

When you’ve been clearing stuff out but can’t yet see a difference.

A friend messaged me this week, with pictures of numerous bags of stuff on their way to a local charity shop, but bewailing the fact her home stills looks over full of stuff. Where am I going wrong she asked? After congratulating her on what she had achieved so far – any clutter going is great and builds up your de-clutter muscle, I came up with a few suggestions: I recommended now  focusing on one room. Choose the room that bothers you the most. Within the room, choose one cupboard or shelf and systematically go through every single item on/in it: handle each one and ask yourself: do Continue reading

How do you shrink your Paperwork Mountain?

This post is based on  a reply I gave to Moni a few months ago, but I think we all get overwhelmed by paperwork so it is  a subject worth revisiting. The best way to handle paperwork is to have a system that means you touch that piece of paper a minimum number of times. Don’t have a complicated system: keep it simple. I open post straight away, standing by the recycled box in the kitchen. Empty envelopes and bumpf goes straight in it. The rest then gets taken upstairs to our study on the next trip. One of 3 things then happens: 1) Anything that doesn’t need action gets dropped into its Continue reading

For anyone who finds actually getting stuff out of the house a huge hurdle…

I have done so well with de-cluttering my stuff over these last 3 years. I have got rid of a lot, and not regretted any of it. It has also taught me to think more carefully about what I bring into the house. But I still have one aspect of de-cluttering that doesn’t get any easier for me: I am really bad at actually getting the pile of stuff I have declared can go out of the house. I mean really bad – I defer and defer and then procrastinate some more. I’ve worked out that for me it is around fear of regret and loss, even though experience tells me I haven’t once regretted anything after it Continue reading

Not just a place for everything and everything in its place…

I do love the mantra, a place for everything and everything in its place. This is a good rule to live by when dealing with an excess of stuff. But it is just as important to ensure that the place you give something to ‘live’ is also at the logical point of use, and easy to access. We live in a small space so inevitably, we have our armchairs in front of book/storage shelves and these need to be moved if we want to get something behind them. One thing that has been annoying me for a while is that somehow, my filing system has ended up behind my chair (and therefore now behind a sofa – see last Continue reading

Would I buy it now?

I found myself making the most of my day alone today by turning the living room upside down into a state of complete chaos and back again with 5 minutes to spare so my husband came home to calm and order.  :D There was a purpose to it of course. It started by my finally admitting my gorgeous red chenille chair seems to be now causing me back problems. So I have swopped it  position with the small very upright sofa for a few days to see if that solves the back issue and proves I’m right (oh, how I want to be wrong!) The sofa takes up more space, so there is no room for my set of drawers I use Continue reading

Garden Clutter and Aspirational Delusions

I catch the train a lot and love nosing at the back of people’s homes that we pass en route. I can’t help myself from thinking over some of them, that half an hour of putting things away at the onset of autumn would make such a difference to the look of a garden that never look their best during the wet dull days of winter. Of course, fortunately loads of strangers can’t see my back garden from a train :D We only have a small back garden – a very typical Victorian ‘backyard’ with high 8ft walls. The History Bit In the UK, the Victorian period is so named after the period that Queen Continue reading

Clutter and Illness By Doodle

We all have different reasons to keep on decluttering. I think ultimately, decluttering facilitates living in the moment, open to new opportunities because you have physically and psychologically made room for them. But it’s all too easy for us to bury our heads in the sand about aging and illness and the effect too much clutter has on our lives when unexpected illness and disability strike. I’m only 50, but have experience of how quickly and unexpectedly we can become ill or disabled, because it happened to me in  my 20’s, leaving me drained of energy for a decade  and then in my 40’s, I Continue reading

When clutter becomes invisible to you…try moving it to a different place by Doodle

We have a total of four choices of seating in the entire house: an armchair each (one purple, one red) and the 2 seater sofa. The sofa doesn’t get sat on much; unless we need to share a takeaway or we have visitors. We rarely have visitors, but it seems reasonable to be able to offer them a seat if we do :) The sofa’s other main function is by default “the temporary dumping ground”.  This was fine as I was in the habit of clearing it, if it needed it, every night before I went to bed. However, two months ago my husband had a bit of a clearout and put a large pile of papers/magazines on Continue reading