On decluttering

Words by

Ellie Rees

Shrinking spaces

Over the past few years, the way we view our homes has changed dramatically. Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have plentiful storage—a garage, shed, or attic—to hide away your “unsightlies.” But for most of us, space is at a premium.

All-day family time can be rewarding, but it’s also relentless. Cooking three meals a day, washing up and never-ending tidying has shone a glaring light on our homes, cluttered with too much stuff. Broken vases we’ve never fixed. Books we’re not likely to read. Unwanted presents under the bed. Clothes that don’t fit anymore. WAY too much Tupperware. They’ve all made us consider downsizing our worldly goods.

Decluttering with purpose

If you’re thinking of moving when all this passes, or if you’ve just realised your life is overcrowded, decluttering can be a positive thing. Before you begin, however, it’s vital to adopt the right mindset.

You need a goal, whether it’s to cut your possessions or to increase the usable space in your home—something that has broad appeal. That’s why pre-marketing prep is such a worthwhile investment. Not only will it help you with a move, but it will also make your home feel fresh. When a house looks cared for, you can achieve the price you want. Sometimes surpassing expectations.

Accentuating the positive

Try and have fun while you’re decluttering. It’s only stuff, after all, and the process is absolutely worthwhile. We’ve had many clients who were so amazed at the results, they wondered why they hadn’t done it before—or if they even wanted to move!

What’s the biggest clutter culprit in your house? Books? Clothes? Paperwork? Kitchen gadgets? Kids’ toys? Start with one category, make a big pile, then divide it into sub piles: bin, donate or keep. Ask yourself honestly, “do I really want this when I move to my next home? Will I feel good when I unpack this?” And remember: if you haven’t used it in the past year, it’s unlikely you ever will. You’ll be shocked by the amount of excess stuff you’ve been carrying around, and I promise you’ll feel much lighter for letting it go.