So, you’ve decided to start decluttering? Great!

Before - bedside table
After bedside table

Once you’ve figured out where to start, and what to focus on, you begin in earnest, rub your hands together, and get stuck in!

Within a few minutes though, the excitement wears off.

The dread sets in.

You look around and see the insane mess that’s been left in its wake.

What the absolute fuck have I done?!?!

You ask yourself.

How do I get myself out of this hole??!! There is literally no end in sight!!

Before picture of bedroom mirror
After picture of bedroom mirror

You start to panic. Adrenaline sets in.

You get frustrated. Angry. Upset. Fed up. Defeated.

Why did I even start?

What’s the point in carrying on?

I’ll just shove it all back to where it was before.. I know, I’ll get more storage!

Stop.

Breathe. In. And. Out.

Decluttering is so tough, because it overwhelms us with the sheer volume of stuff we need to think about all at the same time.

You have to think about:

  • What it is
  • Why it’s there
  • Where it belongs
  • What it’s used for
  • Whether you’ll use it
  • How (often) you’ll use it
    and so on.

The list is endless.

Imagine this: all your friends and family are all in the same room with you right now. And each one is trying to get your attention, telling you about a fond memory you share.

  • Remember when we went out that time?
  • Remember our first date?
  • Remember when you danced at your first school performance and we stood at the back applauding you all the way?

Your belongings around you all have a similar effect. It does of course affect men, but mostly I see it affect women, as we’re a lot more openly emotional (I say openly, as men in our society are encouraged to hide their emotions, but that’s for another post).

So, what can you do?

Before picture of bedroom
After picture of a bedroom successfully by Suzzy Smith @ Suzanne Designs

My top three tips for you to take away:

  1. Keep to between five and fifteen minutes of decluttering each time. Less than five and you won’t see a result. More than fifteen and you risk getting overwhelmed.
  2. Make sure you only do it when you’re feeling good: food in your belly, drink to hand, no other distractions
  3. Self-compassion. So what if you’d aimed for getting rid of three bags worth of stuff in one sitting? The fact that you’re attempting the process is the main thing, and there’s always tomorrow.