What To Do If You Have So Much Stuff You Can’t Even See Your Floors?

What to do if you have so much stuff you can't even see your floors

Are you living in a house that is so cluttered and messy you think you’re beyond help? Maybe your clutter problem has gotten so bad it’s affecting your job, or your relationships with others? If nothing else is working, here’s what to do if you have so much stuff you can’t even see your floors.

If you’ve gotten yourself into a situation like this, you need to know that the origin of the problem is not physical.

This level of extreme clutter (or hoarding) tends to occur following traumatic life events like divorce and death, but it can also be a cumulative representation of a life that you just aren’t happy with.

Read moreWhat To Do If You Have So Much Stuff You Can’t Even See Your Floors?

Keeping Like With Like

Decluttering: keeping like with like

Paring back your possessions and living with less is most often a slow process. It takes mental adjustment along with the investment of time and energy to let go of things, and a way of life, that you have taken for granted for many years.

One of the things that can help you as you make this adjustment is the principle of keeping like with like. Keeping like with like was instrumental in helping me to finally organise my endless mess. It also made it easier to declutter because I could see just how much of each thing I had.

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Decluttering: Get Rid Of The Easy Things First

Decluttering - get rid of the easy things first

When you first start decluttering, what’s the first thing you should do?

You’re standing at the bottom of a mountain of stuff, and you know things have to change. You can feel the fire in your heart for a cleaner, clearer path forward. But you’re worried. Because the job just seems enormous.

How can you start, and make your start a success? So that several hours later you aren’t sitting in an explosion of your own things, conflicted over how many pencil sharpeners you need to keep, while on the floor around you is a flood of stuff that you can’t seem to find a home for?

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Decluttering Is A Habit Not A Goal

Decluttering is a habit not a goal

When I made the decision to declutter my house, it was a big goal. I imagined that when I had finished, everything would be wonderful. In reality it turned out to be a long time before I learnt that actually, decluttering is habit.

Unexperienced in keeping things to a minimum, I assumed that one great purge in every room would leave me with the clear and calm environment I craved. Decluttering commenced with a huge amount of passion and motivation, fuelled by a vision of how life would be when it was done. I sorted through every drawer, every cupboard, and tackled every surface.

It took months, and I learned some important lessons. Like how decluttering sometimes makes more mess than the clutter in the first place. And that getting the sorted clutter out of the house requires a lot of work. I also learnt that decision fatigue sets in after an hour or two. All-day sessions are not as productive as short intense bursts.

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10 Ways Life Is Easier With Less Stuff

10 ways life is easier with less stuff

Some of the very cool side effects of owning a whole lot less stuff!

1. Finding things is easier

When surfaces and floors are clear, and things that belong together are kept together, losing your passport, your keys or other important items rarely happens.

2. Keeping things tidy takes less effort

There is less stuff to get in a mess in the first place and the things you do have are all easily put away. Getting something out is easier because you don’t have to shift a mountain of other things out out of the way to get to what you need.

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Decluttering Time Not Space

Decluttering time not space

When I first started decluttering and sorting through everything I owned, I was a traditional hoarder. A lot of my stuff was easy to get rid of because I had a tendency to save things that might be useful – like old magazines, storage boxes, and old towels and clothes. The appreciation that decluttering time was just as important as decluttering space was a long way off.

In the beginning, clearing things out was easy and I made great progress.

But eventually, I got stuck.

I still had a lot of stuff – more stuff than I wanted – but I didn’t seem to be able to pare it down any further.

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Decluttering: Sell or Donate?

Decluttering: sell or donate?

When I first started getting rid of stuff, I listed it all on eBay. My reasoning was: why give something away that could make me some cash? It had never occurred to me that I could choose to sell or donate.

Partly this was because I was unemployed and living with my Dad, but also it was because I still had a very strong attachment to my things and I needed to somehow feel that I was getting compensation for getting rid of them.

Selling things however – as anyone who’s ever done it will know – takes quite a lot of time. Whether it’s a card in the newsagent’s window, a listing on eBay or the rumour mill of family and friends, getting rid of things this way is far from instant. There are item descriptions to worry about, photos, decisions on pricing, and then packaging up the item to send, or even dropping it to someone else’s house… it all adds up.

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Simple Living Weekend #2: Coffee And TV – And A Workout!

Simple living weekend #2

It rained!

In the UK rain and wind is usually the norm. Instead we’ve had weeks and weeks of beautiful hot sun. It’s unlike anything seen for forty years (according to the weather man that is, as I am obviously nowhere near old enough to remember, haha). It was a novelty to see some grey skies over the weekend.

We’ve been outside so much in the last couple of months that we took the opportunity to have some quiet time.

I used to panic about my children having too much screen time. As the years have passed I find I am less worried about it if I know that on balance we’re away from it more than in front of it. I still fantasise about chucking the telly away, but for the moment it stays 🙂

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Your House Is Not Too Small

Simple living - your house is not too small

As Peter Walsh, the Australian anti-clutter man says:

You only have the space you have.

I have read two of his books and they are very good (see my recommended reads page for all my favourite books). The quote above has stayed with me because it is so simple, yet so fundamentally true.

In the past, I was guilty of keeping things that were earmarked for the vague and far off day when we would live in a bigger house. How crazy is that? First of all, I didn’t have any intention of moving in the near future. And secondly, if the day did come when I could suddenly buy a bigger house, presumably I would also be able to stretch to buying whatever it is was that was being stored, right?

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Simple Living Weekend: Pea Shoots And A New Bed

Simple living weekend 1

The school holidays are almost here! In fact, they will be by the time I post this. My middle son is going up to a new school and my oldest son is moving from year 3 to year 4. My daughter has been enquiring about getting a “big bed” for a while now, so with all the transition that’s going on it felt like the right time to move her out of her cot (and my room!), and into something more independent.

Getting her set up in her new room was my main goal this weekend. On Saturday morning I drove over to Ikea and found a simple pine bed I really liked for £45, along with a spring mattress for £100.

Both of the boys went straight from their cots to an adult single bed, so for the third time we have skipped the whole toddler bed market. This has saved a lot of money and time in beds, bedding and set-up/take-down.

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