What Kind of Declutterer Are You?

There could be all sorts of reasons why you might choose to declutter your home. It's safe to say not all decluttering projects are the same, but there are certain patterns of behaviour we tend to fall into. There may also be a trigger which motivates you to embark on your decluttering project.

Declutter Expert & Professional Organiser Kate Ibbotson (A Tidy Mind) helps us identify - which type of declutterer are you?

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Type 1 – The Overwhelmed Declutterer

You're likely to be busy rushing around with too many things to do and not enough time to do them. Or you have a lot on your mind and it's making you feel stressed. Your home feels far from the calm sanctuary it should be and you have 'clutter hotspots' on the surfaces and floors. You are keeping lots of items 'just in case' you need them but if you're absolutely honest, you're not quite sure what you own anymore OR where everything is.

You need to create a calmer home where everything has a place and there is less to clean and maintain. The treasures you own are being occluded by everything else so it's time to take action! Avoid further overwhelm by taking it step by step. Perhaps start with one kitchen drawer and work in blocks of 30 minutes. You're likely to have lots of quality donations so use the British Heart Foundation collection service to save you the trip to that charity shop.

Type 2 – The New Stage of Life Declutterer

Perhaps you have recently retired or your children have left home. Or you have just married, divorced or had a baby. Moving house can also be a significant new stage of life. The things you owned in your 'old' life don't quite fit the new you. Decluttering can be a great way to embrace your fresh start.

Declutter category by category - you might want to start with kitchen equipment and then move on to clothes and books. Consider letting go of anything which makes you feel negative. It's time to live in the present and look to the future. 

Kitchen decluttering by item category

Type 3 – The ‘I was keeping things to sell’ declutterer

With worldwide second hand online selling platforms at our fingertips, it's tempting to bag up items 'to sell' in the future. But it's easy to procrastinate since selling takes time and effort. The photos have to be spot on and it's a bit of a buyers' market for most things so returns can be less than you hoped.

Consider donating some of these things instead. A quality item displayed in a BHF charity shop window can lure customers in and help raise funds for life saving research. Think of the warm feeling you'll get from being altruistic, not to mention saving time you would have spent communicating with sellers and packaging items. If you're a tax payer, don’t forget to gift aid too.

Type 4 – The Indecisive Declutterer

In the decluttering industry, we often say clutter is the result of delayed decisions. The accumulation of decisions to be made can also cause feelings of chaos and anxiety. You might be a perfectionist or fear that if you let something go, you may regret it in the future but sometimes, simply making a decision may be your solution and create more headspace. Decide whether each possession deserves a place in your home and if it does, where you are going to store it.

If you're indecisive, it can help to declutter with a friend for accountability and motivation. Take before & after shots to encourage you to keep going.

Type 5 – The Sentimental Declutterer

You're a kind, soft hearted soul and you like to have things around you which are steeped in memories. Perhaps you have inherited some items from a friend or family member and the thought of giving them away or throwing them out makes you feel guilty.

But these items can take up a lot of room and become too numerous to store effectively, ending up in the loft to gather dust. It can be hard to let go of old letters or children's artwork but you could consider taking photos and creating a digital photo album to honour the sentiment. Also, think about the fact that vintage goods and bric a brac are very popular and by donating these items, someone else will cherish them again.

Whatever type of decluttering project you're planning, remember that it's a journey. Start small, stay motivated and keep going. You won't declutter your home in a week but if you divide the process into bite sized chunks, you'll get there. Feeling inspired? Discover more of Kate's decluttering tips on her blog A Tidy Mind.

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