As professional declutterers, you might think that our job is all about persuading you to get rid of your things. But we'd like to reassure you that this isn't always the case. If something is genuinely useful, or sentimental, we will help you find a way to store it or make it easier for you to use it. We want you to be able to find and use what you have more easily.
Of course it is often the case that people simply have too much stuff. Whether it is old clothes they never wear, kitchen gadgets they never use, or books they have read or have no intention of reading again, all of this is simply clutter. If you have cupboards and lofts that are overflowing, and cannot find what you want when you need it, could it be time to think about having a clear out?
We sometimes find that our clients are very reluctant to part with their clutter. There can often be a feeling that "it might come in handy some day". Sometimes people feel that because they have held on to it for an extended period of time, they have invested time and energy in it. Sometimes the item may even have moved house with them several times!
Our philosophy is that however long you have held on to something, it's fine to make the decision that it is finally time to let it go. The sense of relief and freedom you will feel as a result will outweigh any regret about the time you have invested in your belongings.
So how do decide if something is worth keeping or not? William Morris said "have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful". We think that is a great approach. However, how do you decide if something is useful or not? Here are our thoughts.
If it's something that you use occasionally but would be expensive to replace and are genuinely needed e.g suitcases, or Christmas decorations then yes of course it's worth keeping and storing. We can help you find the best way to do this, and make sure you can find it when you need it.
If it's something you bought for a specific purpose but no longer use then it might be worth passing it on e.g skiing equipment or things you bought for a particular hobby you no longer do. It may be worth your while selling these sorts of things.
If it's something you never use but are keeping "just in case" then perhaps you would be better off creating space by letting it go e.g empty jam jars, large amounts of tupperware, stockpiles of cleaning products. These things could easily be bought again should you actually need them, or even borrowed if need be. The space they take up is simply not worth their value.
If it's something you were given but do not like or use, could you regift it to someone else, or could a charity benefit from it? Sometimes people worry that the giver will notice but in our experience this very rarely happens.
If it's something you are keeping because it reminds you of something special or has been in the family, then you may like to store it, but perhaps there is a way to display it or store it more effectively e.g old theatre tickets could be put in a frame or photos stored in a beautiful album. We will be writing a specific blog about what to do with photos in the near future.
If it's something that you picked up at a charity shop or car boot sale, but haven't worn it or used it, could it be time to pass it back to another charity? This is a good strategy for things like paperback books.
If it's something you bought, that was expensive, but you no longer need it or use it, would you be able to sell it e.g a sofa that is too large for your house or a wardrobe you no longer need. This way you create space in your home and possibly recoup some of the value.
Once you have made up your mind that it's time to let something go, there can often be a feeling of relief. So many of our customers tell us that it feels like a weight has been lifted from their shoulders. This really is a joy for us and makes our job worthwhile. However, actually moving things on and out of your home can seem like a challenge.
To help you do this, we have written a simple guide called "How to Get Rid of Your Stuff". If you would like a copy please drop us an email and we will will send one to you straight away.
If you need more help with your decluttering journey, don't hesitate to give us a call and we will be delighted to help you.
Sue & Claire