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Tackling Clutter, the Easy Way: Why Make It So Complicated?

This post is about tackling clutter the easy way, a simpler way. Because why make it so complicated?

If you search for articles and videos about tackling clutter, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a pretty complicated business. You need lots of time (that you haven’t got). You need to make difficult decisions about sentimental items (you often don’t). And you have to make a mess before you can get organised (again, you don’t – unless you really want to). There is definitely an easier way.

Before we get into it, you’re probably reading this because you’ve identified you have a problem with clutter, right? If so, don’t ever beat yourself up about it. Things happen in our lives that mean we perhaps can’t give the time needed to sort out our stuff: work, kids, family problems, relationship issues, etc. If your home is cluttered, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It just means your focus has been on other things, which at the time were far more important than tidying, cleaning, and organising your belongings. The fact that you’re reading about it now probably means you’re in a good place to tackle it. If that’s you, then read on!

An easy – and simple – method

In the article about the negative effects of clutter, I outlined a very simple method for reducing the piles of clutter in your home. The main premise is to tackle things regularly and consistently, with very little effort. I promise that once you start and you see those piles diminishing, you’ll want to do even more!

The above article shows such an easy method, I honestly don’t know why more people don’t adopt it. Of course, employing a professional organiser would mean that you’d get a lot of work done in a shorter period of time. But it would also cost you, and once they’ve done their job and left you, you’re on your own. If you don’t stick to the methods they’ve shown/taught you, then you’ll end up with clutter again, further down the line.

Let’s talk about sentimental items

Getting rid of sentimental items can been a problem for many people. But you actually have a tool to hand that can help solve a lot of issues around this. What is this magic tool? Your phone. Or more particularly, the camera on it.

When you look at an object that evokes strong memories of a time, place, or person, it can bring up all sorts of emotions. But have you ever considered that a photograph of the object could evoke the same memories? Think about it. When you’re looking through your photos, you end up thinking about the people and places in them. You feel the emotions and re-live those special times. So what’s the difference between those pictures, and a picture of the little dancing girl ornament that your grandmother passed down to you? Do you think looking at a photograph could work for you? (Please see notes at the bottom.)

If you do choose this method, you can apply it to almost any treasured items: a child’s artwork, a framed picture, a toy; even an item of clothing. (The only thing you won’t get in this case is any scent that the clothing may still hold, that reminds you of the person. If that’s something you treasure, then there’s nothing stopping you holding on to that item. Just make sure it’s not an entire wardrobe of clothes!)

I hope you found this article to be useful, if you did, please consider sharing it. There’ll be lots about decluttering and organising coming soon, so consider signing up for our newsletter if you’d like to continue reading.

Notes

I would always advise using cloud storage for your photographs. For me, that’s iCloud. There’s a folder on my phone where I can access all of my stored photos (all 25,000 of them!). This means never having to worry about losing or breaking your phone, physical storage, etc. My photos are all stored in folders sorted by year, month, or by special occasion. I would highly recommend this method, if you’re ok with organising.

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