Ten easy peasy decluttering tips – How to get started and face up to the Mountain of Overwhelm

10 easy peasy decluttering tips

I have finally cleared enough clutter to leave a little space in my life… to start a blog. Here I share some decluttering tips with you.

Ten easy peasy decluttering tips
Ten easy peasy decluttering tips – Order not chaos

Keeping baggage from the past will leave no room for the happiness in the future

Wayne L. Misner

These are just 10 decluttering tips that I try to follow with a mixed (Hoover) bag of results 😊 I hope that some of them might help you.

10 decluttering tips
10 decluttering tips
  • Don’t have pets. The more pets you have, the more there is to clean up of the poo, pee and puke variety, as well as fluff, mud (depending on the weather) and more fluff. The fewer pets you have, the cleaner your house will be. Plus, pets smell!
Don't have pets
Don’t have pets – only joking
  • Start the day as you mean to go on. Make your bed every morning – as Clutterbug’s Cassandra points out, your bedroom is the first thing you see when you wake up and the last thing you see before you go to sleep, so your bed’s a good place to start on the keeping-things-neat front. Plus, according to Tim Ferriss, author of five Number 1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, when you begin your day with a good habit, you’re more likely to continue spending your day with other good habits. Like a row of dominoes falling, but in reverse.
make your bed for that domino effect in reverse
make your bed for that domino effect in reverse
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes and really concentrate on just one spot (a drawer, for example). This avoids overwhelm, and it may seem insignificant, but do this every day, and you will, eventually, get through your entire living space! You might even find that once you get started, you’ll want to keep going.
  • Make sure everything has a home. ‘Homeless clutter’ is the bane of an otherwise tidy home. Have a basket for ‘homeless clutter’ and find homes for the items once a week.
  • Forget perfectionism. This is a good one if you don’t know where to begin. Macro-manage and collect all of the same kind of items together in just one place. If all of the shoes belonging to everyone in your home are on one single set of shelves, then you can always micro-sort them later – or not. But if they’re all in one place, then everyone knows where they belong.
  • Do it for yourself. For me, this was probably the biggest game-changer. When I gave myself permission to make a space look lovely just because it made me happier to be in that space, instead of playing the martryr (‘it’s not my turn to wash up’), everything shifted. You deserve a clutter-free space. You are worth it!
  • Listen to some banging music – or a gripping ebook – while you tidy. Whether you play your favourite tunes or listen to one of the many podcasts or TED talks which are out there for us, when you tune in, you can learn, or be entertained, while doing tasks which could otherwise seem mundane.
  • Motivation: If you are feeling overwhelmed, do something really small. Tackle one shelf. Then reward yourself and grant yourself permission to go down the social media rabbithole for half an hour, or give yourself a foot massage if that’s your thing. Whatever it is that feels like an indulgence, let it be yours. It’s a bit like parenting yourself (see the point below).
  • If you have kids, tidy-up time before playtime might mean you have to nag for a while. But if you’re consistent, it will eventually become a habit (that’s what I tell myself anyway!).
  • While we’re on the subject of kids, give them mini tasks which are manageable, so they’re not overwhelmed. And if you feel guilty as they’re telling you how their life is so awful (when you only asked them to vacuum their bedroom), remember that you are teaching your children to be competent human beings by nagging them now. Tough love!

Er, did I mention, don’t keep pets.

cute kittten
Don’t have pets – do have pets

I didn’t mean it…

I would love to hear any decluttering tips that help you make the Mountain of Overwhelm feel a little smaller. 

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  1. Great tips, I tend to try and focus on one drawer and then find I am enjoying it so end up doing them all. I think it’s always a chore to get started but once you do it is definitely worth being clutter free! Thank you. xx

  2. I was literally like this —-> 😳🥺 when I read the first bit about pets 😄😄 Your posts about decluttering have helped me to put it under my awareness. I still have the bag of clothes to donate stuffed in the wardrobe… I procrastinate so much 🤦🏻‍♀️ These tips help beating that! Thank you for sharing 🙏🏻😊😻 andddd taking back that thing about pets hahah 🐈 (he / she is a good candidate for cat of the year!)

    1. My next blog post should be ‘How to put off your first subscribers by pretending you hate pets!’ or something… Thanks for reading to the end 🙂 🙂 🙂 And I hope you make the next move soon… from the wardrobe to the car (if you have one) to the recycling place. (I also have bags of stuff that haven’t quite made it out of the house yet)… 😉

  3. These are all great tips. Even that don’t keep pets LOL. I can’t say I follow that one now because I foster cats so I have seven in total. And yes they do make your house a mess more than the kids do. As for clutter and mess and deserving to have a nice space it is taken me a long time to get to that place as well. I realized a few years ago that while the centre of my space but often neat and tidy the periphery was always cluttered and full of junk. And it reflected exactly how I felt inside, how my life felt. I think my clutter was also a way for me to have an excuse to keep people at bay like a physical barrier. Couldn’t really invite people in such a mess you know? Anyway these days I still have a fair bit of clutter but my main living spaces are fairly decent. Having said that I’m learning to pick away at it bit by bit.

    1. That’s really interesting what you say about clutter being a physical barrier. I’d not thought of that before. And also about being clear at the centre but messier as you move outwards… Thank you for the comment – and thank you for the food for thought 🙂

      By the way, I have six kitties and a dog 🙂

  4. What a lovely blog and post. Glad I came across you and I look forward to following your posts Eilidh. Anita😁 I’m off to pick up fluff from shedding labrador Amber. Pets, you gotta love em.

    1. Hi Anita 🙂 Thank you so much for reading, for your comment, and for following my blog. What a lovely start to my day (well, obviously after the paw stuck in my face to remind me it’s feeding time (it’s not actually!), treading in cat puke on my way downstairs and then battling the cats off my breakfast 🙂 But yes, you gotta love ’em! 🙂

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